Deadline is imminent for California provisional cannabis licensing

The final day of this month – Thursday, March 31 – marks the final opportunity for most California cannabis companies to apply for provisional licenses in the state – if they haven’t already.

After Thursday, the vast majority of the legal marijuana industry in California will be required to already have either provisional or annual licenses to be compliant with state law.

The Thursday deadline applies to retailers, distributors, manufacturers, delivery operations and most cultivators. There’s an exception for small-scale growers with less than 22,000 square feet of canopy and some social equity licensees.

The deadline is the first of several facing the legal California marijuana industry as “provisional” licenses are phased out over the next few years.

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The last day that state authorities will be allowed to issue most provisional permits will be June 30, and by January 2026, all provisional licensees will have to transition to annual licenses.

The transition is likely to have major ripple effects, particularly for businesses that aren’t yet operational, in large part because requirements for annual licenses are much tougher to meet than for provisional permits.