California Cannabis Regulations 2018

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Cannabis Legislation

California Cannabis Law Update

New Regulations for 2018

Updated May 16, 2018

As of this post update, it is already 18 months since California joined the other States who have legalized Cannabis for both medical and recreational use: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont.  This new law authorizes individuals over the age of 21 to use marijuana for whatever reason the citizen chooses.  Local laws still apply to ‘where’ you can medicate.

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

Last year (2017), 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.

On November 25, 2017, the 3 aforementioned State licensing authorities drafted emergency regulations 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.

According to these same new emergency regulations (translated: still incomplete and unimplemented according to plan), “Notwithstanding any other law, or regulation in this division, beginning January 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2018 licensees may do all of the following: Licensees may conduct business with other licensees irrespective of the M or A designation on their licenses.”

  • 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 a bit 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 to consumers  who just see prices go up even further.

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.

One application per applicant may be submitted regardless of designation.  An “A” designation or “M” designation, or both, may be submitted.  And regardless of designation, licensees are allowed to engage in commercial activities.  It’s just one of the many ways that States are pimping us medical patients and free citizens.

Nothing less than political/legal pressure and subsequent bureaucratic theft.  But don’t let your children be caught for giving away free lemonade.  The licensing fees for that activity in California is even more audacious.

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 were 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 for retail locations 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?  Or, have the Feds made other strategic decisions along those lines.  Time will surely reveal all.

What about CBD?

As of this update, I have no idea.  It’s truly amazing to me how the subject of CBD has been manipulated by the U.S. Justice Department and the DEA for over a decade since it’s popularity and subsequent anecdotal evidence of medical uses increases.

Americans are rightly focused on the melt-down of the FBI’s reputation and credibility while a rogue organization called the DEA doesn’t even answer our Congress, nor the Justice Department for that matter.  Jeff Sessions has repeated stated that he believes that there is no evidence that Cannabis has any medical use.

They only answer to Attorney General Jeff Sessions while our Justice Department authorizes Schedule 1 Dangerous Drugs codes that specifically target non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) which is clinically proven non-toxic, non-addictive, and used by physicians throughout the U.S. and the world to treat many serious medical conditions and diseases.


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?

Another Vote For...

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-46th District)

Just imagine what the Health System in America would be like if we had a ‘majority’ in the House of Representatives that had the common sense and decency for which Dana Rohrabacher has fought so valiantly.  Vote For Dana Rohrabacher!!

When it comes to truly representing the truth about Cannabis and CBD, Dana is arguably the foremost, loudest voice, and earliest adopter of pro-Cannabis legislation in the U.S. Congress, and he’s been supporting all of us here in Orange County, CA since 1992.

Check out this 3 minute video of Dana sharing a personal story about CBD.

So, What’s Coming Next?

Well, there’s this 22 member Cannabis Advisory Committee that met for the first time on November 16, 2017.  They claim to be concerned about more representation from the Cannabis community including farmers impacted by the War on Drugs.
In April 2018, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R_KY) performed a spectacular politician-about-face, and declared that he presented his

Hemp Farming Act of 2018 to his fellow Senate Chamber members.  In his proposed legislation, McConnell is now making the case for the struggling, American, family farmers and creating an environment that will provide a much needed, “new spark” to the economy.  All this from a man who has represented the ‘enemy’ snf promoted The War On Drugs for decades.

Sure, it’s not at all about Big Agra making Billions in Kentucky alone on the most sustainable and valuable crop known to man… surely not for that reason.  Never.

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 in the U.S…. unless you can pay the ‘vig’ to the merchant service agents and offshore banking laundry which is obnoxiously expensive and “high risk”.

Credit Cards at Cannabis Animus

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.  And rest assured that all Visa and Mastercard purchases at is based entirely in the U.S. including our merchant service, transferring bank(s), and payment gateway.


So, here we are in May 2018 and the same incomplete regulations from 2017 have been extended for another 180 days in order for proposed amendments to the first draft of regulations to be considered.

The following bullet points are all good from my perspective considering the bureaucrats that we are dealing with. Here’s a list what has changed since last November:

  • Applicants may request an M Designation, an A Designation, or both by completing one application.

  • Applicants pay a single license fee regardless of Designation.

  • Regardless of Designation, Licensees may engage in any Commercial Cannabis activity.

Medicinal & Recreational Cannabis Regs


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


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  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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