California begins issuing full annual marijuana business licenses

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

, California begins issuing full annual marijuana business licenses

(This story has been updated with the state’s announcement it has issued a third license.)

California has issued its first full annual cannabis business permits, doling out two recreational cultivation licenses to Forbidden Fruit Farms in Humboldt County as well as one recreational and medicinal manufacturing permit to Om Edibles in the Bay Area.

The cultivation licenses were issued over the weekend by the state Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the manufacturing permit on Monday by the Department of Public Health (CDPH).

This marks the first wave of annual permits for the vast majority of California’s marijuana companies – although a handful of annual MJ event permits had already been issued.

Until now, cannabis businesses have been operating with temporary licenses as the state prepared to implement a full annual licensing system. Many of those temporary permits are set to expire in the coming weeks.

A spokeswoman for the CDFA said the two new permits are the first of many to be issued on a rolling basis. CDFA is reviewing a total of 2,547 annual permit applications it had received as of Oct. 29, while CDPH has received 373 annual applications for manufacturers, spokespeople for the agencies said.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) – which oversees permitting for retailers, distributors, testing labs and microbusinesses – may begin issuing full annual licenses as soon as Nov. 1, a spokesman said.

The issuance of annual permits also triggers new inventory tracking and reporting requirements, which could lead to more industry headaches because companies will need to familiarize themselves with that process.