Ah, California. A place synonymous with sunshine, redwood forests, farmland, cliff-lined beaches, Hollywood and cannabis. Since 1996 the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland have served as consumer hubs for the best-in-the-world marijuana grown in the Emerald Triangle and across the state. There are large high-tech indoor grows producing strains with up to 30% THC content, small family farms cultivating organic, sun-grown flower and vertically-integrated coastal greenhouse grows bringing CBD balanced options to market.
California is home to thousands of licensed cannabis companies; dispensaries, extractors, edibles manufacturers, cultivators, delivery services, distributors, consumption lounges and brands. All of these businesses are operating in what is, in my opinion, the most highly-regulated, complex and fast changing environment in recent history. It’s frustrating, confusing and at times it can be demoralizing. It’s also exciting, innovative and filled with some of the smartest, most ambitious and creative people in business today. Having moved to Los Angeles in 2016 and transitioned into the cannabis space in 2018, I’ve had an amazing front row seat to the spectacular emergence and growth of the industry.
Alice & Fran provides virtual services across all 50 states but at the moment all of my clients are California based. This phenomenal group of cannabis business owners benefit from my enthusiasm for the plant and the people and my commitment to helping them grow sustainable, compliant and profitable organizations. I’d like to share some of that with prospective clients and the Cali cannabis community. I’ve compiled a list of regulatory, industry and networking resources vital to operating successfully in The Golden State.
Regulatory & Tax:
Start Here: https://cannabis.ca.gov/ The California Cannabis Portal serves as a valuable resource and a one-stop shop for all things related to the state’s effort to regulate the commercial cannabis industry.
The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) is the lead agency in regulating commercial cannabis licenses for medical and adult-use cannabis in California. The Bureau is responsible for licensing retailers, distributors, testing labs, microbusinesses, and temporary cannabis events.
CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), ensures public safety and environmental protection by licensing and regulating commercial cannabis cultivators in California. CalCannabis also manages the state’s track-and-trace system, which tracks all commercial cannabis and cannabis products—from cultivation to sale
The California Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch is is responsible for the regulation of all commercial cannabis manufacturing in California.
The California Department of Tax & Fee Administration (formerly the State Board of Equalization) collects state level cannabis taxes https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/industry/cannabis.htm and has a very well organized Tax Guide for Cannabis Businesses
Cal/OSHA https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/cannabis-industry-health-and-safety.html Regardless of whether you’re a cultivator, manufacturer or retailer you need to be familiar with the rules and regulations that govern your facility and your employees’ safety.
Speaking of employees, the EDD (Employment Development Department) https://www.edd.ca.gov/Payroll_Taxes/Cannabis_Industry_Payroll_Tax_Reporting.htm is another important agency to be familiar with. California has the some of the strictest employment laws in the country and the penalties and fees for infractions are no joke.
Additional state regulatory agencies involved in cannabis include:
Events & Networking:
Cannaboss Circle offers a profound way for womxn to network and personally connect with likeminded cannahemp professionals. Through intimate monthly gatherings we share wins and challenges, cross educate, and support the collective advancement of feminine leadership in the industry. We host multiple all gender events for the conscious community to connect throughout the year.
owned by Khara Pechtes, she produces cannabis-infused dinners and other cannabis-related events that offer more than the meal itself. Setting the table for a more intimate way to connect within our community, with more meaning and purpose. Partnering with several cannabis brands that are featured, while providing education and awareness, while cultivating community through food, flower, and conversations about the future.
Blunt Talks is a series of engaging speeches & Networking events that are cultivating professional relationships that bridge the gap between cannabis industry leaders and mainstream businesses
Meadowlands is an annual retreat designed to build a united and collaborative cannabis community. Held in the redwood forests of Mendocino County, the gathering brings together like-minded cannabis entrepreneurs, decision-makers, state regulators and industry professionals. Come share knowledge, build valuable alliances across the supply chain, and participate in educational, interactive, and wellness programming under the stars.
I hope this list is helpful! Please comment below on any organizations I have missed. #bettertogether