Renewing your cannabis business license in California might seem simple. Most licensing organizations have an online process. But renewing your license requires complying with all local and state regulations, which is sometimes easier said than done.
A cannabis business lawyer helps you prepare for the renewal process, including making sure you comply with any new or changed laws.
Who Issues Cannabis Licenses in California?
Three California entities control cannabis business licenses:
- The Bureau of Cannabis Control – California Department of Consumer Affairs: Issues licenses for retailers, distributors, testing labs, microbusinesses, and temporary cannabis events
- CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division – California Department of Food and Agriculture: Issues licenses for cultivators
- Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch – California Department of Public Health: Issues licenses to manufacturers
Renewing Your Cannabis Business License
To renew a license with the Bureau of Cannabis Control, you submit an amendment for renewal by:
- Logging on the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s Online Licensing System with the same account you used to submit your original license application
- Navigate to “My Records”
- Find the license record that’s about to expire
- Click on “Renew License”
- Complete the renewal amendment
When Should You Renew Your License?
You can’t submit your amendment for renewal more than 60 calendar days before your license expires. It’s best if you prepare to submit your renewal amendment as soon as possible.
The Bureau notifies you when your license is about to expire and gives you renewal instructions. But you should keep track of your expiration date instead of relying on government notification. Many things could go wrong, and missing the deadline can be devastating for your business. Failing to have a current license leads to fines and other consequences.
Proof of Gross Revenue
You need to give the Bureau documentation of your gross revenue for the current license period. That could be a copy of your quarterly or annual tax filings with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, the California Franchise Board, or another institution. You also can submit profit and loss statements.
Proof of Cal/OSHA Training
If your business has two or more employees, at least one supervisor and one employee have to complete the 30-hour Cal/OSHA general industry outreach course successfully. The course provider has to be authorized by an OSHA Training Institute Education Center.
You have to pay a renewal fee based on your estimated gross revenue for the previous year. The Bureau establishes a license fee schedule.
Estimating your fee is hard when you have multiple licensed businesses sharing gross revenue. You’re allowed to apportion the gross revenue between the licenses. You’d benefit from a cannabis business lawyer who has experience with this issue.
You won’t submit your fee when you send in your renewal amendment. Instead, your license renewal fee is due after the Bureau reviews and approves your renewal. The Bureau will notify you and provide instructions on how to pay your fee.
Renewing Your Cultivation License
You have a 60-day window to renew your cultivation license with the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division before it expires. When you log in to your account, you’ll see a “Renew License Amendment” link in the “Action” column. If you click on your license record number, you’ll also see a link to renew your license.
You can change your current license designation to either Medicinal or Adult-Use Cultivator or leave it the same. You can’t change other information at this time. You’d need to file an amendment if you need to update your license information.
The process takes you through a declarations page, where you’ll confirm each statement. Next, you’ll agree to a certification statement before the process takes you to the fees page.
You can submit your renewal fee payment or choose to pay in person at the nearest office. If you choose to make a cash payment in person, the system generates a record number you’ll use to make an appointment. Renewal fees depend on the type of license and range from $1,205 to $77,905.
After you pay your fee, the CalCannabis Licensing Division staff reviews your renewal application. Once they approve it, your status in the system shows as “Active,” and you’ll see a new expiration date.
Renewing Your Manufacturing License
You can renew your manufacturing license 60 days before its set to expire. You should receive an email from the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch with a link and instructions.
Login to your MCLS account using the same account information for viewing your licensee account. Click on the business name to open the license that’s eligible for renewal, then click “Renew License.”
You’ll have a chance to update any information that’s changed and upload any missing documents for your license renewal. It’s your opportunity to provide information on any business or operational changes.
Suppose your business has 20 or more employees. In that case, you must provide a copy of the signature page of the Labor Peace Agreement or a notarized statement proving your business entered into a Labor Peace Agreement. For businesses with fewer than 20 employees, you have to provide a notarized statement showing the business will enter into a Labor Peace Agreement within 60 days of hiring your 20th employee.
After submitting your renewal application, you’ll have to pay the renewal fee by credit card, a bank account, or scheduling a cash payment appointment. The annual fee is a sliding scale based on your gross annual revenue. Fees range from $2,000 to $75,000 for gross annual revenue between up to $100,000 and up to $10 million.
Renewing Your San Diego Permit
In addition to renewing your state cannabis license each year, you have to renew your local permits, as well.
In San Diego, you must have a conditional use zoning permit and a public safety permit to run a cannabis business. To renew the conditional use permit for your cannabis outlet or cannabis production facility, you must go through a Process Three decision with a Hearing officer. You’ll have to show you comply with all local ordinances, including distance requirements from specific locations, like residences, churches, playgrounds, schools, and state cannabis laws.
You’ll also have to pay fees when you submit your application. The fees vary depending on your situation.
In good news for cannabis businesses, San Diego’s City Council approved a simplified renewal process. Now, you don’t have to go through another public hearing to renew your conditional use permit.
McElfresh law helps you prepare for this process. The paperwork alone can be daunting. You also have to review any regulatory changes that have happened since you obtained your initial permit. An uptick in a crime or new properties near your business could impact whether you receive your permit again.
Are You Prepared for Your License Renewal Process?
If your permit or license renewal process is coming up in a few months, now’s the time to prepare. Failing to renew your license or losing your San Diego conditional use permit could be devastating for your business. McElfresh Law is here to help your marijuana business prepare, improving the likelihood of a smooth process and another year to grow your business.