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Getting a Cannabis Cultivation License in California

by Roger Tower on February 10, 2020
Getting a Cannabis Cultivation License in California

What You Need To Know If You Want To Get a Cannabis Cultivation License This Year

You’re thinking about entering the cannabis industry but don’t know where to start. The licensing process is cluttered with challenges and the only constant is that things are constantly changing. Hiring a cannabis consulting firm will help you navigate the complex licensing system and save you time by avoiding easy-to-make mistakes. 

Although the marijuana industry is rapidly growing, it’s not an easy business to get into without help. Even the industry giants have faced many challenges along the way.

Lay Out Your Plan 

First things first. Before even thinking about starting the application process for a cannabis cultivation license, it’s important to have a business plan laid out and to understand the process and requirements. A good foundation will make things run smoothly and avoid delays. 

Depending on what stage your business is in, these are some things to think about: 

-Company Goals

-Business Strategy 



-Startup Costs 

We align our goals with our clients’ to ensure we are all working towards the same results. If you’re not sure what strategy is best for your business, we can help with that. We have the relevant experience to advise our clients from conceptualizing to creating a cannabis business plan. 

If you’re not sure which direction to go, schedule a consultation with us. Having expert advise is guaranteed to save you time and money in unnecessary spending. We’ve seen it many times where cannabis entrepreneurs get so far on their own only to have to go back and redo part of the process, resulting in capital losses and licensing delays. 

Property Planning 

One of the most difficult stages of starting any cannabis business, and also a prerequisite for obtaining a state cannabis license, is finding land that’s cannabis-friendly and zoned for the specific type of license you’re applying for. 

Finding cannabis friendly commercial or industrial properties has turned out to be more challenging than initially expected. Although California has legalized marijuana sales for over two years, property demands have outweighed the supply due to local zoning restrictions.

Before applying for a cannabis cultivation license, business owners must obtain an approved property or facility and provide documentation that verifies ownership and required permits. Applying for a state license involves a property inspection that ensures all cultivators are following environmental protection measures. 

WeCann can help entrepreneurs find land zoned for cultivation purposes. We assist our clients in making sure they pass the required inspection and asses the premises for compliance.  

Create a Cultivation Plan 

First it’s important to understand the different types of cannabis cultivation licenses that a business can apply for. There are 17 different licensing types categorized by size and production type. 

The license types include:

-Specialty Cottage, Specialty, Small, and Medium Licenses

-Nursery License 

-Processor License

Each license type involving different requirements. Creating a thorough cultivation plan before submitting a cannabis cultivation application is key in securing state approval.  

The licensing authority in charge of processing cannabis cultivation licenses in California is CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This division is tasked with regulations and compliance. 

Getting Local Approval 

The next step is submitting your cultivation plan, business plan, and required permits and documents to the city and county where you plan on operating. 

In California, cities and counties decide whether they allow commercial cannabis activity in their jurisdiction and have a previously approved number of permits they will issue, so it’s important to know local regulations.

Applicants for state licenses must first obtain local approval. It’s important to do research on the city or county where your business will operate. We can assist in preparing all of the required documents and provide professional industry insights that will save you time and money and get you prepared for a state license. 

Getting State Approval 

Finally, once you’ve gone through the entire process of obtaining the required permits, creating a cultivation plan, finding appropriately zoned land or operating facilities, and received state approval, you’re ready to apply for a state license. 

CalCannabis Cultivation will perform a thorough review of cannabis cultivation license applications. The review also consists of a background check, as well as an environmental check and a review of these documents that will need to be attached to the application: 

-Surety Bond 

-Legal Right to Occupy Property 

-Waste Discharge Program Enrollment 

-California Department of Fish and Wildlife Documentation 

-EnviroStor Records 

-California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance 

-California Secretary of State Documentation 

-Water Source Documentation 

Get Help With a Cannabis Cultivation License in California 

We strive to make the licensing process as easy as possible for our clients. With previous experience and successes in getting cannabis businesses licensed  in California, we are well-equipped for navigating the complex system. 

WeCann provides a full suite of services for businesses trying to enter the exploding cannabis industry. 

We understand that each client has different needs so we tailor our services to provide the best solutions for each customer. Schedule a consultation with us to learn about how we can assist you. 


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