California’s marijuana licensing is set to enter a new chapter.
In the last-minute push which ended in June, hundreds of California cannabis businesses were given the final significant batch of provisional licenses that the state will ever grant.
The end of this temporary license program is viewed to raise the blockade to entry into the state’s cannabis market, particularly for the newcomers, because yearly licenses will be harder to get than the provisional permits were.
Temporary licenses essentially provided a path for the businesses to continue operations and to maintain the state abidance while they applied for more permanent yearly permits.
The (DCC) California Department of Cannabis Control in June approved 529 temporal licenses covering the retailers, manufacturers, distributors, delivery operators and most cultivators.
The tally portray about a quarter of the close to 2,300 temporal licenses the DCC issued during the entire financial year, which ended on June 30.
The approval on June was deadline, among several authorized by the agency since it endure a major reorient about 1 year ago, are part of state efforts to gradually hand out temporal permits altogether.
Looking forward, state regulators must have moved nearly 8,300 temporal licensees into yearly permit holders by Jan 2026.
According to the state data, the June bump affirm for more than 6 percent of the total active temporal licenses that were granted since the beginning of 2019, when the provision system launched.
The State authorities had until June 30th to grant most of the final permits, with exceptions for social fairness licensees and smaller cultivators.
“We have seen an inconstancy in application submissions that often correspond with judicial deadlines, impacting the total number of temporal and yearly licenses we have issued,” DCC transmission director Maria Luisa Cesar confirmed the numbers back that up.
Starting March to June, the DCC gave 1,574 total licenses, including both temporal and yearly permits – an 89% skip from the previous 4 months.
The month of June also provided a remarkable increase in yearly license approvals – the final stamp for the state compliance – with 306, or 21% of the whole financial year’s total of 1,465.
Two licensing dilemmas
Santa Barbara-based Autumn Brands is one of a thousand of California cannabis companies that has been operating under temporal permits for years, meanwhile simultaneously still trying to obtain yearly licenses.
It took this cannabis company close to four years to secure a county land-use permit and then another full year to secure a county business license – requirements before applying to change its temporal permits into yearly licenses, which the company filed to do so on the 15 of June. But the Autumn Brands is down with the waiting game.
“We are still to receive any communication from the DCC to finish that transition,” owner Autumn Shelton said.
Two local and state licensing requirements have caused headaches for cannabis operators like Autumn Brands since California brought new regulations for its medical and adult-use cannabis markets in the year 2018.
The 2 licensing has also slowed down licensing approvals in the world’s largest marijuana market, California. Still, the DCC encourages most of the applicants to obtain a full local compliance before applying.
“If they are not, then the DCC is not able to take a step forward til the local requirements are done,” Cesar said, including that the social equity applicants have a slightly different timeline.
State lawmakers the previous year approved a one-time $100 million grant to help 17 cities and counties streamline their applications, meet environmental consent and transition temporal permits into yearly licenses.
The DCC has dissolved about 80% of that funding.
The remaining 20% will be appropriate“after the local jurisdictions have considerably met the goal and the intended outcomes” set in their yearly plans, Cesar said.
The waiting game of the California’s marijuana licensing
After the DCC joined 3 state departments into 1 agency, it authorized several rule changes to simplify applications, California’s marijuana licensing improve licensing and ease acquiescence requirements.
The Industry insiders clapped those overhauls, but pointed out that the priority placed on licensing might bring other delays.
“As the DCC has mounted up efforts around licensing, we have deceitful noticed a slowdown in the processing of other important items like business adjustment and science correction (required for cultivation licenses),” said Conrad Gregory, senior director of compliance and corporate affairs at Oakland-based Statehouse Holdings, formerly known as Harbor side.
“These slowdowns can have an effect on the overall operations, like the planned operational changes, but we hope it is not long-lived while the DCC focuses on the licensing,” Gregory said.
The Chula Vista-based vape cartridge maker Helmand Valley Growers Co. is still operating under a temporal license and hopes to have its yearly license approved in the next month or so, according to CEO Bryan Buckley.
The company completed paperwork for its yearly license about five months ago.
“Overall,” Buckley said, “it seems that things with the DCC have become more up-to-date … and things are moving more efficiently than were before.”