CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing

(formerly known as the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program & Marijuana Cultivation Program)

CDFA Inspection Services • 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 • (916) 263-0801 • calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov

As directed by the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is currently developing regulations to establish cannabis cultivation licensing and a track-and-trace system, collectively referred to as CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing. (CalCannabis was previously called the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program and Marijuana Cultivation Program, or MCCP). We are in the final stages of developing the regulations that will define the cannabis cultivation licensing process.

PLEASE NOTE: We are not currently issuing licenses. We anticipate we will begin issuing licenses on January 1, 2018.

General Information and Links to Related Agencies

  • NEW! For an overview of CalCannabis, including an illustrated chart of the responsibilities of each state department required to regulate cannabis, click here.
  • Subscribe here for CalCannabis email alerts; on CDFA's "Agriculture Topics" sign-up page, scroll down to the "Commodities" section and click on the box for CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing
  • Contact CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing via email at CalCannabis@cdfa.ca.gov or call (916) 263-0801
  • To learn about licenses for cannabis transportation, distribution, laboratory testing, or dispensaries, visit the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation
  • To learn about licenses for cannabis manufacturing, such as edibles, visit the Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety (OMCS)
  • The California Department of Technology is leading the procurement efforts for the cultivation licensing solution and the track-and-trace system. If you are a vendor who would like more information on these procurement opportunities, please contact the California Department of Technology by calling (916) 319-9223 or sending an email to Mary Anne DeKoning at: Maryanne.dekoning@state.ca.gov

Programmatic Environmental Impact Report

The department is preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) to provide the public, state and local agencies, and permitting agencies information about the potential environmental effects associated with the adoption and implementation of statewide cannabis cultivation regulations.

CDFA conducted public scoping workshops in September 2016 and the public's comment period occurred on September 1, 2016, through September 30, 2016. Here are links to the information provided at the scoping workshops:


CalCannabis Newsfeed

Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation Now Accepting Applications for the Cannabis Advisory Committee

The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR) is now accepting applications for the Cannabis Advisory Committee to advise the bureau on matters relating to both medical and adult recreational use of cannabis.

Medical Cannabis Scoping Report, January 2017

MCCP Factsheet Summary - California

MCCP FAQ

Water Rights Information

MCCP Summary - Statute Regulatory Goals

CalCannabis Fact Sheet (formerly MCCP)—Pre-Rulemaking Discussion Questions

Regulation Development and Environmental review Scoping Powerpoint

Scoping Workshop Poster Boards

Scoping Comment Card

Public Scoping Workshop Schedule and Information

Public Scoping Public Notice

2016 Licensing Survey Results

Assembly Bill 243

Assembly Bill 266

Senate Bill 643

Cole Memo 2013

Presentation for Public Scoping Workshops- September 2016

Comprehensive Adult Use of Marijuana Act

Comprehensive Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act

  •   What types of medical cannabis licenses will the Department of Food and Agriculture issue?

    The Department of Food and Agriculture (Department) is authorized to issue ten license types for medical cannabis cultivation:

    (1) Type 1, or “specialty outdoor,” for outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting of less than or equal to 5,000 square feet of total canopy size on one premises, or up to 50 mature plants on noncontiguous plots.

    (2) Type 1A, or “specialty indoor,” for indoor cultivation using exclusively artificial lighting of less than or equal to 5,000 square feet of total canopy size on one premises.

    (3) Type 1B, or “specialty mixed-light,” for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the Department, of less than or equal to 5,000 square feet of total canopy size on one premises.

    (4) Type 2, or “small outdoor,” for outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting between 5,001 and 10,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.

    (5) Type 2A, or “small indoor,” for indoor cultivation using exclusively artificial lighting between 5,001 and 10,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.

    (6) Type 2B, or “small mixed-light,” for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the Department, between 5,001 and 10,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises.

    (7) Type 3, or “outdoor,” for outdoor cultivation using no artificial lighting from 10,001 square feet to one acre, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises. The Department shall limit the number of licenses allowed of this type.

    (8) Type 3A, or “indoor,” for indoor cultivation using exclusively artificial lighting between 10,001 and 22,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises. The Department shall limit the number of licenses allowed of this type.

    (9) Type 3B, or “mixed-light,” for cultivation using a combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting at a maximum threshold to be determined by the Department, between 10,001 and 22,000 square feet, inclusive, of total canopy size on one premises. The Department shall limit the number of licenses allowed of this type.

    (10) Type 4, or “nursery,” for cultivation of medical cannabis solely as a nursery. Type 4 licensees may transport live plants.

  •   How do I apply for a medical cannabis cultivation license?

    The Department is not issuing licenses at this time. The Department recommends interested parties continue to work with their city and/or county government to obtain the local licenses and permits required to apply for a State cultivation license.

    While CDFA is in the process of developing the regulations that will define the State licensing process, applicants may consider reviewing the licensing requirements outlined in the bills that created the Medical Cannabis Safety and Regulations Act (MCSRA): AB 243, AB 266, SB 643.

    Examples of requirements under MCRSA include submission of fingerprint images to the Department of Justice, evidence of the legal right to occupy and use the proposed location as a cultivation site, submission of a detailed description of business operating procedures, and obtaining and maintaining a valid seller’s permit.

    More detailed information on the proposed regulations will be available for public review and comment in the coming months.

  •   When can I apply for State medical cannabis cultivation licenses?

    CDFA is in the process of developing the regulations that will detail the application and licensing process. The Department expects to meet the January 1, 2018 program implementation date.

  •   How will the Department develop regulations?

    The Department is required to follow the statutory requirements found in the California Administrative Procedures Act. The Department will communicate with stakeholders, members of the public, and licensing authorities as part of developing the standards and regulations necessary to successfully implement a statewide medical cannabis cultivation regulatory structure in California. Proposed regulations will be available for public review and comment in the coming months.

  •   How can I receive updates regarding regulation development?

    The Department will post information online at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/mccp/. Opportunities for stakeholders and public input will be communicated well in advance of comment deadlines. Interested parties may also sign up to receive automatic email updates at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/subscriptions/index.html

  •   Where can I get a copy of the new law?

    The links below provide access the full text of the three bills that created the new MCRSA:

    AB 243, AB 266, SB 643

  •   What Department do I contact to learn about additional license types?

    The Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulations under the Department of Consumer Affairs will issue licenses for distributors, dispensaries, transporters, and testing laboratories.

    The Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety under the Department of Public Health will issue licenses for medical cannabis product manufacturers.

  •   How long will licenses be active before they must be renewed?

    Licenses will be effective for one year, at which time they must be renewed in order for the licensee to continue cultivating medical cannabis.

  •   Is cannabis considered an agricultural crop in California?

    California defines medical cannabis as an agricultural product. California Health and Safety Code 11362.777(a) specifies: “For purposes of this section and Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 19300) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, medical cannabis is an agricultural product.” The identification as an agricultural crop does not extend to other areas of the law. For example, cannabis is not an agricultural crop with respect to local “right to farm” ordinances.



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The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 ensures that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes where medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of medical cannabis. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug according to the federal Controlled Substances Act. Cannabis related activity is subject to federal prosecution, regardless of the protections provided by state law.