California Cannabis Dispensary Laws

California Dispensary Laws, Licencing & Taxes

November 29, 2019 1 Comment

California Dispensary Laws – Despite cannabis being legalized in California for medical use since 1996, the state legalized the recreational marijuana in 2016. In November, 2016, Proposition 64 was approved by California voters to start the era of legalized recreational marijuana industry in California. However, the use, sale and possession of THC over 0.3% is still illegal under the federal law.

Now companies indulging in marijuana in California are supposed to be licensed to grow, test or even sell cannabis. Opening a dispensary in California, hence is possible through application of cannabis retailer license. 

California Cannabis Dispensary Laws

California Dispensary Laws – Table of contents:

  • Requirements for operating marijuana dispensary in California
  • Non-storefront retailer license
  • Event organizing license
  • Cannabis dispensary safety requirements in California
  • Cannabis dispensary operations and compliance requirements in California
  • Delivery requirements of a non-storefront retailer
  • Purchasing limits in California
  • Taxes on cannabis in California
  • Cannabis dispensary POS requirements in California
  • How does Zencanna POS helps marijuana dispensaries in California?

California Marijuana Dispensary Laws & Licencing Information

Let’s discuss about the California dispensary laws and licencing information.

Requirements for operating marijuana dispensary in California

  • Submit the California cannabis retailer license application through the Bureau’s online application system.
  • The application should have business information like documents, financials, operating procedures plans
  • The application should also have detailed information about the physical retail location and 
  • $5000 bond payable to California state
  • Depending upon the type of dispensary you want to have, you will have to apply for “A-license”, for adult-use or “M-license” for medical marijuana license. In case, the dispensary wants to sell both the kinds of marijuana, the owner will have to apply for both kinds of licenses, separately.
  • The already established marijuana dispensaries in California should also go through the same application process. It will become easier for them to avail the licenses provided they prove they were running their operations in compliance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, before 1st September, 2016
  • In case of a temporary or annual license, you must have a license, permit or other form of approval from your local jurisdiction.

Non-storefront Cannabis retailer license

  • A non-storefront retailer in California indulges in cannabis products sales exclusively through delivery. 
  • A non-storefront retailer has licensed premises to store cannabis inventory, but unlike regular dispensaries, these are not open to public.
  • While applying for non-storefront retailer license, the applicants should follow the same requirements as regular cannabis dispensary application
  • The application should have business documents, financials, operating plans, procedures, detailed information about the physical retail location and $5000 surety bond payable to the state of California.
  • The fees for non-storefront retailer license includes $1000 application fee, in addition to a licensing fee, which in turn is based on the projected value of the operation.

Cannabis Event organizing license

  • For a one-time cannabis event also, it’s important to avail a cannabis event organizer license.
  • This temporary license needs written approval from the local jurisdiction authorizing onsite cannabis sales and consumption.
  • Only licensed retailors may conduct cannabis sales at such one-time cannabis event.
  • In case one has a retailor license, you can easily avail cannabis event license.

Cannabis dispensary safety requirements in California

  • Security personnel, for the fact that most of the cannabis dispensaries have to deal largely in cash.
  • ID badges for all employees
  • Limited access areas within facility
  • Alarm systems, with 24-hour video surveillance of all areas, wherever there are cannabis products
  • Commercial grade locks for further security of cash 
  • Secure storage of marijuana products

Cannabis dispensary operations and compliance requirements in California

  • All the cannabis dispensaries should have POS, which is in sync with the state of California’s track and trace reporting requirements. California works around METRC, for its official track and trace system. 
  • As per the state’s METRC seed-to-sale system, the retailers are required to submit daily reports for every kind of cannabis sale, which includes every sale, receipt, return and disposal of cannabis products. 
  • All marijuana products need to be packaged and labelled before arriving at the retail facility.
  • All cannabis retail dispensaries should operate between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. pacific time.
  • A non-storefront retailer may conduct sales between 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. pacific time.
  • All kinds of cannabis products should be displayed only in the retail areas.
  • As per California’s collective model, which was there till January 9th, 2019, if a cannabis collective conducted any cannabis sales/profit, then they were held liable by state and local authorities.
  • Retailers are responsible for verifying age of the customers, with a valid government issued ID, at the time of cannabis purchase. For adult-use, the age bar is 21 years, while for medical purposes, the age bar is 18, with a written physician’s recommendation.

Cannabis delivery requirements of a non-storefront retailer

  • Non-storefront retailors also require valid ID proof from their customers for cannabis products. This ID proof is required to establish age 18, if for medical marijuana (along with a valid physician’s recommendation) or 21, in case of adult-use marijuana
  • Delivery by non-storefront cannabis retailors may not be done to addresses on publicly owned land, schools, day care centers or youth centers.
  • Delivery employees should carry government approved ID cards, in addition to the ID badge of the cannabis retailor and a retailors’ license copy.
  • The delivery employees are not allowed to carry cannabis products of value more than $5000.
  • A direct employee of the retailor is supposed to make the deliveries in an enclosed vehicle, which has GPS device and secure storage for cannabis products.

Cannabis purchasing limits in California

For recreational marijuana, purchasing limits are 

  • 28.5 grams/1 ounce of non-concentrated cannabis per day.
  • 8 grams of concentrated cannabis per day
  • 6 immature plants/day

For medical purposes, purchasing limits are to the tune of

  • 8 ounces of medical cannabis per day

All kinds of cannabis products are not allowed for consumption in public places or within 1000 feet of any school, daycare center or youth center.

Taxes on Cannabis in California

  • Cultivators pay a tax rate of $9.25 per ounce of marijuana flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves.
  • Retailors collect a 15% excise tax from customers on the average market price of the product.

Cannabis dispensary POS requirements in California

Cannabis point-of-sale system for marijuana dispensaries in California should be highly compliant at all levels and highlight features that include

  • Purchase limits: – The POS should calculate the purchase limits at the time of sale, including calculating THC amounts in marijuana products like concentrates and edibles.
  • Inventory compliance: – California’s inventory reconciliation requires dispensaries to maintain accurate inventory records and physically reconcile inventory with their internal records once in every 14 days. 
  • Operating timings: – The point-of-sale system should configure in a way that it able to comply with the operational hours of a cannabis dispensary within California. Once the timings are setup, the POS should not allow any kind of retail sales beyond the already fed timings.
  • Customer ID verification: – A good POS will scan customer ID’s and record it by creating customer profiles. Based on the customer records, the staff will double check the ID’s at the time of repeat sales with a repeat customer, thereby eliminating chances of any sales to minor.
  • Real-time reporting: – It’s important for the cannabis POS to generate management reports regarding sales, expenses, revenues and taxes in real-time. The reports, when with dispensary personnel will help in gauging about dispensary performance.
  • Reporting during outage:Cannabis compliance of POS should not get affected by internet outage. In fact, even if the POS does, then it should have the ability to record all information and backlog it to METRC within 3 days of restored connectivity. 
  • Compliant labeling and receipts: – Customization of all printed materials, including product labels and receipts should comply with California’s labeling and packaging requirements.
  • Tax reporting: –The POS should have tax compliance in a way that it is able to calculate sales and excise taxes automatically for states, including California. The built-in tax calculation and reporting feature will always help a dispensary stay aware about their tax expenses.

How does Zencanna POS helps marijuana dispensaries in California?

  • Transaction limit alerts are in-built to ensure that consumers don’t go overboard with their permissible cannabis purchase.
  • The POS integrates well with METRC to track and trace compliance, automate reporting and establish inventory accuracy.
  • The retail platform has an offline mode feature, which doesn’t disrupt the retail experience of the customers, while also fulfilling the basics with METRC.
  • The cannabis retail software integrates with BIOTRACKTHC, to assist further with compliance and adhere with government mandates in state.
  • Zencanna POS System is equipped with right hardware accessories like embedded barcode scanners, which conveniently scan the RFID tags, assisting further in the state’s seed-to-sale tracking process.
  • The marijuana POS is highly tax compliant, automating cannabis tax calculations and tax filing for both medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries, across all states, including California.

State Cannabis Dispensary Laws

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