California Cannabis Business Compliance


The legal cannabis industry in California is constantly evolving. With ambiguity comes confusion, especially for cannabis entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of operation. Remaining compliant in this landscape can be challenging, and missteps are detrimental. At McElfresh Law, we can protect your cannabis business investment with all the guidance, support, and advocacy you need to secure licensure and ensure day-to-day compliance.

Marijuana business attorney Jessica McElfresh is at the forefront of California cannabis law. Based in San Diego, attorney McElfresh assists cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses across California looking to thrive. At McElfresh Law, our priority is to provide clients with up to date legal services concerning all local and state requirements, regulatory enforcement, and to give your cannabis business every opportunity to succeed by staying 100% compliant.

Call (858) 756-7107, or contact McElfresh Law online to learn more about the services we offer within the cannabis industry.

Cannabis Regulatory Compliance in California

California state and local governments have put the processes in place to create the legal cannabis industry. However, the system is still far from perfect. Forming and running a marijuana business takes significant financial investment, time, careful planning, and a myriad of regulatory issues to consider.

For cannabis businesses to remain competitive, they must be aware of these rules and comply with all federal, state, and local regulations. Failure to do so means financial loss, endangering your cannabis business licenses, and potential legal action – even possible criminal charges if you operate without valid credentials.

At McElfresh Law, our extensive experience in this space lets us assist cannabis business professionals and deliver detailed, accurate, and timely compliance assessments. Whether it involves establishing secure cash handling policies in a retail outlet, implementing labeling standards for cannabis manufactures, or reviewing advertising materials – we know what to do.

Our regulatory compliance attorneys can assist your cannabis business with:

  • State/Local Agency Communications
  • Industry Specific Contracts & Financial Agreements
  • Tax Compliance Cannabis Financing
  • Adherence to Environmental Laws and Regulations
  • Executing Accepted Cannabis Waste Management Policies
  • Crisis Management / Public Relations Consulting
  • Data Privacy and Security Measures
  • Disciplinary Enforcement Actions
  • Internal Audits & Ongoing Compliance
  • Meeting Lab Testing, Packaging, and Labeling Standards
  • Permitting, Licensing, & Annual Renewals
  • Litigation and Reducing Legal Risk
  • Trademark Registration and Protection
  • Advertising Review
  • Secure Cash Handling Practices/Track-and-Trace Compliance
  • Establishing Operational Standards

Environmental Cannabis Regulations

California takes the environment seriously. So, it should come as no surprise that the laws governing the cannabis industry take its ecological impact into account. This includes the proper disposal of cannabis waste byproducts, meeting renewable energy standards, and establishing safe, eco-friendly cultivation practices. Many of these regulations fall under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and are meant to ensure that commercial cannabis activities are performed in a manner that protects the health and safety of the general public.

At McElfresh Law, we can help your cannabis business comply with all environmental guidelines by:

  • Establishing indoor, outdoor, and mixed-light cannabis cultivation requirements.
  • Meeting water usage, quality, diversion, and discharge standards.
  • Employing best practices for cannabis waste disposal.
  • Ensuring operational standards are following all laws concerning land use, conversion, grading, electricity, habitat protection, agricultural discharges, and pesticide use.

Annual License Renewal & Defense

Many cannabis businesses in California that are currently operating were originally issued temporary licenses while permeant processes were created. These final regulations were approved in January 2019 and mandate applicants to apply annually.

There now are strict time limits for renewing cannabis business licenses, at the state and local levels. These guidelines can vary by location and industry type. Failure to submit a renewal prior to the expiration date will result in an inability to sell, transfer, transport, manufacture, test, or distribute any commercial cannabis goods until the license is renewed.

At McElfresh Law, we can keep track of your filing deadlines, compile all the information required, and take the necessary steps to keep your cannabis license in good standing.

A cannabis license defense attorney can also help if your cannabis license is called into question for an alleged violation. While the California Department of Consumer Affairs (CDCA) has authority over the California cannabis industry, three state agencies oversee license enforcement depending on the business:

The sanctions imposed by these agencies can cripple a legal cannabis operation, from fines to suspensions, and even having your license revoked. If you are ever issued a notice to comply or need to deal with an administrative hearing or appeal, we will provide zealous representation. Our priority will be to intervene early, defend against any alleged malfeasance, and mitigate all negative consequences.

Contact McElfresh Law Today

Taking a proactive approach to compliance is the best strategy for success in California’s dynamic cannabis industry. With all-encompassing experience in the fields of cannabis permitting, regulation, and licensing, McElfresh Law can provide the all-inclusive and personalized legal support you need for long-term success and prosperity.

Call (858) 756-7107 today, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Free consultation for criminal defense cases only. Cannabis business consultation requires a fee.