<!– Recreational cannabis sales in California reached $4.4 billion in 2020. Despite a change in the law that requires cultivators to sell to distributors rather than directly to retailers, adult-use and medical cannabis are hugely profitable.

San Diego cannabis business lawyer Jessica McElfresh understands the hurdles that cannabis organizations in California must overcome. If you are seeking your cannabis distributor license, call McElfresh Law today at (858) 756-7107. We can help you get started with your cannabis business.

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Cannabis business consultation requires a fee
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How a California Cannabis Distributor License Attorney Helps

There are several different types of cannabis distributors in California. There are couriers, wholesale brand drivers, often niche-specific, and fully integrated distributors. Each of these entities has separate regulations and state laws to follow.

The process can be confusing. A cannabis distributor license attorney helps you obtain your license and get your business up and running. McElfresh Law has a deep understanding of the roadblocks that could delay or deny your distributor license process, including:

Legalization of Cannabis Businesses in California

Two laws govern California’s cannabis businesses: The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

If you seek a recreational marijuana distribution license, your license is authorized under AUMA. AUMA, however, largely mirrors MCRSA when it comes to distributor licenses. Distributors of recreational versus medical marijuana are virtually identical businesses.

Acquiring an Adult-Use Cannabis Distributor License

Distributors of adult-use cannabis are licensed and regulated by the Bureau of Cannabis Control under the Department of Consumer Affairs. Since 2018, the BCC has issued Type 11 NM (non-medical) licenses to distributors.

License Requirements

A California cannabis distributor license attorney can help you complete this process to avoid complications or delays.

State law requires you to:

  • Submit your fingerprints for a Department of Justice background check
  • Provide a detailed description of your business, including the transportation process, the inventory process, quality control procedures, and the premises where you will operate
  • Establish that you are bonded, insured, and able to provide a minimum security standard at your location

It is helpful for your application if you present proof of a local permit along with your AUMA distributor license application. The state might decline your application if you have a prior conviction for drug trafficking, violence, fraud, or deceit.

Cost of California Distribution License

A license fee for a distributor can range from $1,500 to $240,000. The amount of the license and renewal fee depends on the gross revenue for the 12-month license period, according to the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

What Role Do Distributors Play?

AUMA defines distribution as “the procurement, sale, and transport of marijuana and marijuana products between entities licensed pursuant to this division.”

In layman’s terms, the distributor is the middleman between manufacturers and retailers.

Specifically, the distributor’s purpose is to:

  • Ensure quality of the cannabis product
  • Provide samples to a testing laboratory if asked
  • Record product quantity
  • Store the product if necessary
  • Prevent diversion of the product into the black market
  • Transport the cannabis product to retailers

Distributors are essential in maintaining the state’s track and trace program, which aims to keep track of all cannabis that moves through the stream of commerce. For this reason, the state is stringent about granting distributor licenses.

Critics of Cannabis Distributors

Critics of the distribution process view it as an extra step and an unnecessary chokepoint justified only by the state’s desire to get accurate harvest and production numbers for tax purposes. On the other hand, distributors will provide another business opportunity for cannabis entrepreneurs and create new job opportunities.

Despite the critics, the distribution model is here to stay for the time being. And when you want to expand your professional career to include cannabis distribution, an attorney can help you with the legalities of your business venture.

Call a California Cannabis Distributor License Attorney

A cannabis distributor license attorney in California helps you avoid issues that might interfere with your business.

McElfresh Law wants to help San Diego area cannabis businesses reach their goals. We can help you avoid any roadblocks that stand in the way of your distributor license.

Contact our experienced California cannabis distributor license attorneys for more information on our services. Call us today at (858) 756-7107 or fill out our online contact form and schedule a consultation so you can protect your business from the start.

The California cannabis industry is relatively easy to enter compared to cannabis industries in other locations. There are lower expenses, and licenses are relatively simple to acquire. That’s why many entrepreneurs are attracted to the California cannabis industry.

However, setting up a cannabis business in California or expanding one that you currently operate is complex. A cannabis cultivator license attorney can help.

McElfresh Law has become a go-to law firm for cannabis distributors throughout California. If you want to start a cannabis business or expand your operation, call us today at (858) 756-7107 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

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

How a California Cannabis Business Lawyer Can Help You

California cannabis business lawyer Jessica McElfresh has a deep understanding of state law. She stays on top of changes in cannabis regulation, and this information ensures that you remain in compliance.

Attorney McElfresh provides confidential, comprehensive legal service for cannabis business owners. As a valued client, you enjoy several benefits from an experienced California cannabis business attorney.

Cannabis Distributor Business Strategy

In addition to obtaining a distributor license, you will need to ensure your new endeavor meets your business strategy. Attorney McElfresh can review your business plan or new business marketing strategy to ensure your goals and resources are aligned and lead to success.

Property Acquisition

You may need new real estate to handle assets you will acquire to operate your cannabis business once you get a distributor license. We can help you identify appropriate properties and ensure they meet permit requirements for your cannabis distributor business.

State Licensing Process

The California state licensing process allows entrepreneurs a way to start a successful cannabis business. However, it can be complex to navigate. Your license may be denied or delayed if you miss a deadline or improperly complete a form. These errors might cost you thousands in revenue.

Let attorney Jessica McElfresh handle the marijuana cultivator license process for you. She can also help with other cannabis licenses.

Approval Process at the Local Level

You will also need to get approvals from local governments when opening or expanding your cannabis distributor business. We can help you get the appropriate permits and licenses for continued operations.

Legal Compliance & Renewals

McElfresh Law does more than help new businesses. We stay abreast with new and updated laws to help our existing clients with ongoing legal compliance and renewals of licenses and permits.

You don’t have to worry about learning the law. Attorney McElfresh and her staff have the resources to handle compliance issues for you. We take care of the legal details so that you can focus on your business.

Cannabis Distributor License Process in CA

A cannabis distributor license is generally easier to obtain than one for cultivation or retail. However, the process is still complex. You must obtain local and state licenses and permits as well as comply with zoning ordinances.

What Is a Cannabis Distributor?

A cannabis distributor has the exclusive right to sell to licensed dispensaries. McElfresh Law typically works with three types of distributors:

  1. Simple couriers who deliver products to retailers but don’t develop a brand
  2. Wholesale drivers who choose a niche and offer options like holistic or organic products
  3. Vertically integrated businesses that handle cultivation, retail, and manufacturing as well as distribution

Obtaining Property for Your Facility

It’s essential to find the right property for your cannabis distributor facility.

Abide by Zoning Regulations

Localities have zoning regulations addressing where cannabis businesses can operate. If you buy or lease a facility that isn’t zoned correctly, you may have made an expensive mistake.

Distribution Locations Have Flexibility

Distribution businesses have more options for locations according to most compliance requirements. A distribution business does not have to be in an area with high traffic like cannabis retail businesses, nor does it need the space like cultivation businesses.

Look for ‘Green Zones’

One of the most significant restrictions is your location’s proximity to schools, churches, and drug treatment facilities. You will want to find a “green zone” where you can locate your distribution facility.

Obtaining Local Approvals, Licenses, and Permits

Local jurisdictions often have strict conditions than state licensing. Each jurisdiction has different requirements and restrictions. A California cannabis distributor lawyer reviews local laws to ensure you comply with them.

Application for Distributor License

Once you have a conditional use permit and local licenses and permits, you can apply for a state-issued cannabis distributor license.

The Goal of Your Application

The cannabis distributor application in California is long and complex. The goal is to show the Bureau of Cannabis Control that you will operate your cannabis business according to California laws.

Avoid Mistakes

Multiple state agencies will be involved in considering your application, including the BCC, Secretary of State, and Department of Justice. Many mistakes could cause your application to be delayed, pulled for further review, or denied.

By working with an attorney at McElfresh Law, you will have a better chance of completing your distributor application correctly and moving through the system efficiently.

Maintaining Permits and Licenses

After you get your distributor license approved, you will need to keep up with permits and licenses. These permits and licenses must be reviewed regularly, with new information submitted when necessary.

You will be expected to track all aspects of your business carefully. The California government will frequently inspect your business and make sure you comply with all regulations.

A California Cannabis Distributor License Attorney Can Help

The process of obtaining a California cannabis distributor license is rewarding but challenging. When you work with a California cannabis attorney, you enjoy peace of mind that someone is protecting your best interests.

Call attorney Jessica McElfresh at McElfresh Law today at (858) 756-7107 or use our online contact form to reach out.

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