General Overview

Personal Activity 

Commercial Cannabis Activity 

California

City of Los Angeles

Unlicensed Commercial Cannabis Activity 


Personal Activity

California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), in November 2016. Under Proposition 64, adults 21 years of age or older can legally grow, possess, and use cannabis for non-medicinal purposes, with certain restrictions. Additionally, AUMA also made it legal to sell and distribute cannabis through a regulated business as of January 1, 2018.

To learn about Adult-Use Cannabis click here. For information about Adult-Use Penalties in California click here

To learn about Medicinal Use Cannabis click here. For information about Medicinal Use Penalties in California click here

For Information about “responsible cannabis use” click here. For more consumer information click here

Proposition 64 also reduced criminal penalties for specified marijuana-related offenses for adults and juveniles, and authorized resentencing or dismissal and sealing of prior, eligible marijuana-related convictions. 

To find out if your record has been cleared, or for more information about this initiative, contact the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office by phone at (323) 760-6763 or visit http://pubdef.lacounty.gov. The Public Defender’s Office will reply to all inquiries.

For more information regarding Personal Cannabis Activity click here for legal resources, click here for health resources, and click here to find an authorized retailer

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Commercial Cannabis Activity

In order to participate in Commercial Cannabis Activity within the City of Los Angeles, both a state license and a local license is required.


California

A state license is required to engage in commercial cannabis activity in California.

The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) was established through a series of bills passed by the California State Legislature in 2015 and 2016. MCRSA established the state’s three cannabis licensing authorities, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”), CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (“Cal Cannabis”), and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. MCRSA also created California’s first framework for the licensing, regulation, and enforcement of commercial medicinal cannabis activity.

California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), in November 2016. Under Proposition 64, adults 21 years of age or older can legally grow, possess, and use cannabis for non-medicinal purposes, with certain restrictions. Additionally, AUMA also made it legal to sell and distribute cannabis through a regulated business beginning on January 1, 2018.

In June 2017, the California State Legislature passed a budget trailer bill, Senate Bill 94, that integrated MCRSA with AUMA to create the Medicinal and Adult‐Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Under MAUCRSA, a single regulatory system governs the medical and adult-use cannabis industry in California. The text of MAUCRSA is available on the California Legislative Information website.

On January 1, 2018, the state’s three cannabis licensing authorities began issuing licenses for medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities for cultivation, manufacturing, retail, distribution, microbusinesses, testing laboratories, and temporary cannabis events. These licensed commercial cannabis businesses are now operating under new state cannabis regulations, which were approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and went into effect on January 16, 2019.

The state’s three cannabis licensing authorities are all accepting applications and issuing licenses for commercial cannabis activity in California.

For more information about California state commercial cannabis activity licensing please Click Here

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City of Los Angeles

A local license is required to engage in commercial cannabis activity within the City of Los Angeles.

The Cannabis Procedures establish the manner in which the Department and Commission are required to process commercial cannabis license applications and further establish requirements of commercial cannabis applicants and licensees.

The Cannabis Procedures authorize the Department and Commission to issue licenses for the following commercial cannabis activity types: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing, retail and delivery. The Cannabis Procedures prohibit outdoor commercial cannabis cultivation. 

To read the entire text of the Cannabis Procedures click here.

The City of Los Angeles has established a Licensing and Social Equity Program that enumerates various restrictions related to licensing and application processing. 

Local law required DCR to administer application processing for certain existing operators pursuant to LAMC 104.07 and 104.08. Applicants pursuant to these sections are often referred to Phase 1 and Phase 2 Applicants, respectively. The application process for both of these application types has CLOSED

Please the table below for information about commercial cannabis activity license restrictions and application processing restrictions. 


License Type 

License CAP

Are Applications Currently Being Accepted?

Application Processing Restrictions 

Comments

Testing 

No

No

No

Application processing is expected to open in Fall 2020. 

Distribution 

No

No

No

Application processing is expected to open in Fall 2020.

Non-Volatile Manufacturing 

No

No

No

Application processing is expected to open in Fall 2020.

Volatile Manufacturing 

Yes

No

No

 

Cultivation 

Yes

No

No

 

Delivery 

No

No

Yes. Limited to Social Equity Applicants until January 1, 2025 
(Phase 3)

SEAs must be verified.

SEAs may be verified under the original eligibility or the expanded eligibility.

Application processing is expected to open in Fall 2020.. 

Retail 

Yes

No

Yes. Limited to Social Equity Applicants until January 1, 2025 (Phase 3 Round 2)

Licenses are limited per CPA.

To apply in a CPA that has reached Undue Concentration, eligibility must be verified pursuant to LAMC Sections 104.20 (b) and 104.06.1(c)(3) before submitting a PCN Request.

A lottery will be administered to determine which eligible SEAs are selected to  apply for a License in a CPA that has not reached Undue Concentration.

SEAs must be verified pursuant to LAMC Sections  104.20 (b) and 104.06.1(c)(3) before being determined eligible to participate in the lottery. 

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Public Participation 

DCR encourages members of the public to be informed about, and participate in the License application process. For information on how to participate in the License application process click here

Application Procedures & Resources

DCR has established several resources to assist individuals seeking a Commercial Cannabis Activity License. For information on application procedures and related resources click here.

Application Forms & Resources

Application procedures require Applicants and Licensees to use specific forms and documents associated with various application processes. For information about application forms and documents click here

Fees and Fines

Applicants and Licensees are required to pay fees associated with the Commercial Cannabis Activity application process. For information about fees and fines associated with Commercial Cannabis Activity click here

Location Requirements and Sensitive Use Restrictions

The City of Los Angeles restricts where Commercial Cannabis Activity may lawfully occur.  The City restricts Commercial Cannabis Activities to specific zones. To verify the zone of a particular parcel within the City using ZIMAS click here.

Sensitive use restrictions include but may not be limited to following:

  • A licensed retail storefront must be outside of a 700-foot radius of a School, Public Park, Public Library, Alcoholism or Drug Abuse Recovery or Treatment Facility, Day Care Center, and Permanent Supportive Housing, and any other licensed storefront retailer.
  • A licensed non-storefront retailer (delivery), distributor, cultivator, non-volatile manufacturer or testing lab must be outside of a 600-foot radius of any School.
  • A volatile manufacturer must be outside of a 600-foot radius of any School and a 200-foot radius of any Residentially Zoned Property. 

To learn information regarding where a commercial cannabis business may operate within the City of Los Angeles including zoning requirements and sensitive use restrictions click here

Licensing Map

DCR has developed a Licensing Map to assist individuals seeking a Retail License to learn about retail LLicense availability. To view the Licensing Map click here.

Please note that the Phase 3, Round 1 licenses that have are eligible for further processing have not been included on the map. Click here for a list of all Phase 3 Round 1 operators.

Applicants are encouraged to review all applicable laws and regulations before applying for a license.

To apply for a license click here

Information submitted to DCR may be publicly disclosed in response to a California Public Records Act request (Government Code section 6250 et seq.), as permitted by the Information Practices Act (Civil Code section 1798 et seq.), to another government agency as required by state or federal law, or in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a search warrant. 

Information about the City of Los Angeles Commercial Cannabis Activity License application procedures and requirements can be found on this website or by contacting the Department of Cannabis Regulation.

Applicants and Licensees are Required to Comply with all applicable Laws and Regulations. Furthermore A Licensee, its employees, agents, and officers must obey all applicable labor laws of the State of California and the City of Los Angeles

Other Permits Authorization May Be Required 

No local commercial cannabis activity license issued by the Department of Cannabis Regulation shall be construed to waive or otherwise circumvent other City requirements or necessary permits from the City or other public agencies, including, but not limited, to a Certificate of Occupancy, health permit from the County of Los Angeles, or authorization from the State.

Please Click Here to learn more about Partner Agencies that may require licenses or permits.

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Unlicensed Commercial Cannabis Activity

The Mayor’s Office of Public Safety has established a Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce to coordinate the City’s efforts against unlicensed commercial cannabis activity.

To identify your area Police Station Click Here.

Submitting a Complaint to the City of Los Angeles

To file a complaint about a licensed or unlicensed commercial cannabis business with the City of Los Angeles please Click Here.  

Submitting a Complaint to California Cannabis Licensing Authorities 

California cannabis licensing authorities provide the public with the option to file a complaint against any licensed or unlicensed commercial cannabis activity throughout California. It is recommended that complaints are submitted both to the City of Los Angeles and the state’s three cannabis licensing authorities. For tips on illegal cannabis cultivation operations or related complaints, call the CalCannabis toll-free hotline: 1-833-WEED-TIP.

Bureau of Cannabis Control – File a Complaint
CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing – File a Complaint: Call 1-833-WEED-TIP
Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch – File a Complaint

Penalties for Unlawful Cannabis Related Activities within the City of Los Angeles 

The City of Los Angeles has established penalties for unlawful cannabis related activities in Section 104.15 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

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