California Cannabis Regulations 2018

Cannabis Legislation

California Cannabis Law Update

New Regulations for 2018

It is already 1 full year since California joined the other States who have legalized Cannabis for both medical and recreational use: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and recently Vermont.  This new law authorizes individuals over the age of 21 to use marijuana for whatever reason the citizen chooses.


MAUCRSA (Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act)


Earlier this year, 3 California state licensing agencies provided draft regulations pertaining to the 2015 Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.

  • Department of Public Health

  • Department of Consumer Affair’ Bureau of Cannabis Control

  • Department of Food and Agriculture’s Cal Cannabis Cultivation Licensing Program


The draft regulations were being reviewed and public hearings had begun early in 2017 including separate drafts for implementation of Prop 64, the Adult Use of Cannabis Act of 2016.  But by June 2017, Gov. Brown signed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).

What is MAUCRSA?

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act was passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law in June 2017.  This new set of regulations and policies created one regulatory system encompassing both Medical-use and Recreational-use of Cannabis.

At this late date of November 25, 2017, the 3 aforementioned State licensing authorities have now drafted emergency regulations and are purported to be following “emergency rule-making” procedures and processes to reflect the new regulations in preparation for 2018 implementation.  The following details regarding these new regulations were released on November 17, 2017.

  • Annual Licensing Fees

  • Product Restrictions

  • Purchase Restrictions

  • Temporary Licenses and Transition Period

  • Retail Restrictions

  • Product Testing

  • Annual Licensing Fees/Types

Rules and Restrictions on Cannabis

Annual Licensing Fees and Types

Investing in California’s Cannabis market is increasingly expensive due to these regulations.  Of the many categories of the new expenses (barriers) are annual licensing fees starting at $800 and up to $120,000 for companies with annual revenues exceeding $4.5 million.

Although it is unclear whether there will be a combined license as is the logic behind creating MAUCRSA, there are currently 2 types of licenses.

A-licenses – In order to engage in adult-use commercial Cannabis activities, an A-license is required (license fees are applicable)

M-licenses – This license is intended for those who engage in the medical Cannabis activities (licensing fees).

It remains unclear whether a dispensary, for instance, will have to pay for both licenses to provide products to both “kinds” of customers. The greed of these bureaucrats appear insatiable and illogical as ever.

The State will also be charging to license events involving Cannabis. The fee for 1 -10 events is $5,000 and over 10 events runs $10,000 annually in addition to other applicable license requirements and fees.

In addition to all above, there are “application fees” such as:

• Annual License Application Fee: $1,000
• Cannabis Event Organizer License: $1,000
• Temporary Cannabis Event License: $1,000

Cannabis Taxes and Fees

Temporary Licenses and Transition Period

On January 1, 2018, temporary licenses will begin being issued to allow commercial Cannabis activity for 120 days. It is unclear on exactly how to extend that for another 120 days, but a “6 month transition period” has been included in other parts of these regulations.

In order to obtain a temporary license, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have “local authorization” to engage in a commercial Cannabis enterprise by their local city of operation and jurisdiction.  Uncharacteristically, there is yet to be a fee for temporary licenses.

After the applicant provides proof of authorization, the State regulators will contact that city or jurisdiction and allow 10 days for any negative response before issuing the license.  And the cool thing is that if the applicant does not provide proof of authorization, then the State will presume the applicant is in compliance if they don’t hear back from said jurisdiction/city within 60 days.

Product Restrictions

While other “legal” States allow high-potency edibles, California has taken it’s typical nanny state position while maximizing its revenues at the consumer’s expense.

Serving sizes will be limited to 10mg THC and single package sizes with no more than 100 mg THC.

Even product shapes will be controlled. You can say good-bye to a consumer favorite – Gummies in the shape of animals, insects, fruit or anything they deem as appealing to children.  Additionally, there will be no more “candies”, no added caffeine (except tinctures) or alcohol.

CBD Gummies

Say goodbye to fresh but perishable products, anything containing seafood or dairy except butter from a specifically licensed provider.  The list goes on… and all products must contain the State’s Cannabis Warning.

Purchase Restrictions

Daily purchase limits have been established, and they discriminate between “consumers” and “medical patients”.

Adult consumers have the following daily purchase limits:

• Up to 28.5 grams (1 oz.) of non-concentrated Cannabis flower
• Up to 8 grams of concentrate(s)
• Up to 6 immature plants

Medical patients have higher daily purchase limits:

• Up to 8 ounces of Cannabis flower
• Physician prescriptions for higher doses of any form
• Product gifts or otherwise free product under certain unspecified conditions


Retail Restrictions

  • Operating hours are limited to between 6 am and 10 pm

  • No Bicycle, motorcycle, ATV, golf cart, drone, or deliveries other than from a licensed employee/retailer in enclosed vehicle.

  • Dispensaries must be a minimum of 600 ft. from any K -12 school, child daycare, or other youth center.

  • Cities, counties any related jurisdictions can impose additional restrictions.

Product Testing

According to, testing standards have been designed to become more strict over the first year of sales. The primary concern from the regulators is potency and contaminants that may pose a “high public health risk” while relatively minor health risks will kick in later.

Test measurements will include the main cannabinoids present, foreign matter, heavy metals, moisture content, microbes, mycotoxins, processing impurities, residual solvents and chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and terpenoids.  Products will also be tested for homogeneity, and even distribution of Cannabis compounds.

Contaminant Free Cannabis

Advertising Restrictions

One of the most vague references to the new laws is in regard to anticipated audience age demographics and the advertisements directed toward them.  Apparently, the nanny state expects advertisers, prior to any marketing attempts, to accurately identify the fact that at least 71.6 % of its intended audience is 21 years of age or older.

Yes, you heard that correctly.  Perhaps the Government-Google partnership is going better than we anticipated?

What about CBD?

As of this article, I have no idea.  It’s truly amazing to me how the subject of CBD has been manipulated by the U.S. Justice department. Americans are focused on the melt-down of the FBI’s reputation and credibility while a rogue organization called the DEA.  They don’t even answer to our Congress.

They only answer Attorney General Jeff Sessions while and our Justice Department authorizes Schedule 1 Dangerous Drugs codes that specifically target non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) which is clinically proven non-toxic and non-addictive..


This insanity continues for over 80 years and still nothing is done at the Federal level about this outrageous lie and fundamentally unconstitutional breach of the first amendment.  Where are the physicians?  Where are you on the subject of CBD and the Feds?

So, What’s Coming Next?

Well, there’s this 22 member Cannabis Advisory Committee that met for the first time on Thursday November 16th.  They claim to be concerned about more representation from the Cannabis community including farmers impacted by the War on Drugs.

I’m sure they really care about our farmers or anyone else running around with absurd amounts of cash because there’s no way to transact business with any financial institution… unless you can pay the ‘vig’ to the merchant service agents and offshore banking laundry which is obnoxiously expensive.

These regulators will be accepting online applications for temporary business permits without any financial infrastructure support for anyone or any business in the Cannabis other than those with the deepest pockets. BRILLIANT!

Well, needless to say, I’ll be updating this article as the answers come in.

Medicinal & Recreational Cannabis Regs


The following documents are available on The Bureau of Cannabis Control website:


  1. Mishel Antoinette on January 12, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    These new laws really hurt the pockets of the people who legitimately use cannabis for medical reasons. There’s a 30% hike on taxes, and being a person who’s on the inside, the prices prior to the tax hike were already high for some people. A lot of people are on a fixed income, and with California already being an expensive state to live in, people already struggle to survive on minimum wage jobs.

    And as for edible potency, I can understand why they chose to make it a maximum of 100 mg, that also hurt the consumers. Some people have higher tolerances than others, and so are they expected to eat more of an edible to obtain the desired effect? What if that person has a medical issue such as diabetes. Not all edibles are made the same, and just because you eat 25 mg from one company, 25 mg from another company can feel completely different.

    Let the people vote on the policies rather than letting politicians/government dictate what the people “want.”

    And as for animal products being made, once again, let that be left to the people. They really screwed us over with these new changes.

    • Ted Mortenson on January 12, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      I completely agree Mishel. What hurts even more is the way CBD is being ignored by people who should now better. Weak electorate for sure, while taxpayers have to listen to this dinosaur of an AG in Jeff Session. He actually believes ANY marijuana or hemp product (CBD) is a dangerous drug and we should all be arrested for breaking federal law. The situation is way out of control. Black Market is coming back to fill the void.

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