Medical Marijuana Manufacturers


In 2015, the California Legislature passed three bills, AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643, which make up the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). The law, which went into effect on January 1, 2016, creates a statewide licensing and regulatory framework for the commercial cultivation, manufacture, processing, sale, transport, distribution, delivery, and testing of medical marijuana to qualified patients.

MMRSA created the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation in the Department of Consumer Affairs to oversee licensing and regulation of the marijuana industry. Statewide regulations, standards, licensing procedures are currently being developed, so it is unclear how the law will actually be implemented. If you are interested in becoming a medical marijuana manufacturer, California’s extensive patchwork of laws can seem confusing and overwhelming.

Working with an experienced San Diego medical marijuana attorney gives you the best chance at understanding the nuances of state laws and getting approval to start and operate your business. Contact McElfresh Law at (858) 756-7107 today to learn how we help your medical marijuana business through the complicated licensing and permit process.

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

Who is Considered a Manufacturer Under MMRSA?

Under MMRSA, “manufacturer” means a person that conducts the production, preparation, propagation, or compounding of manufactured medical cannabis or medical cannabis products either directly or indirectly or by extraction methods, or independently by means of chemical synthesis or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis at a fixed location that packages or repackages medical cannabis or medical cannabis products or labels or relabels its container, and that holds a valid state license and valid local license or permit.

Licensing Requirements Under MMRSA

Under MMRSA, all categories of state licenses require authorization from the applicant’s local jurisdiction. The Department of Public Health is responsible for issuing state licenses to medical marijuana manufacturers and testing laboratories, but will not available until 2018. State licenses will be valid for one year and are required for each medical marijuana business location.

Existing businesses may continue operating so long as they comply with state and local requirements until their state license application is approved or denied. According to a provision in MMRSA, the state will prioritize businesses that were operating as of January 1, 2016, and in good standing with their local jurisdictions. For any prospective manufacturer, the first step is to apply for a license permit, or other authorization from the local jurisdiction in which it intends to operate.

Types of Licenses

Overall, there are seventeen different types of licenses available, depending on what classification the business falls into (i.e. cultivation, manufacturer, delivery, dispensary, testing, or transporter). Although it is possible for businesses to have licenses in multiple categories, businesses cannot hold licenses in more than two separate license categories and can only have certain combinations of licenses.

For manufacturers there are two types of licenses:

  • Type 6 – Manufacturing level 1, which includes sites that produce medical cannabis products using nonvolatile solvents
  • Type 7 – Manufacturer level 2, which includes sites that produce medical cannabis products using volatile solvents

Who is Eligible for a License Under MMRSA?

Applicants must provide proof of local authorization and evidence of legal right to occupy in proposed location. Applicants must also submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. MMRSA allows the state to deny applications for anyone convicted of an offense that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of operating a business in the medical marijuana industry.

Contact an Experienced San Diego Medical Marijuana Lawyer For Help

If you’re considering starting a marijuana business or have questions about how MMRSA may impact your existing business, look no further than the experienced San Diego medical marijuana lawyers at McElfresh Law. We have extensive experience helping San Diego medical marijuana businesses navigate the complicated licensing process.

Contact a knowledgeable and skilled San Diego medical marijuana attorney today at (858) 756-7107 to learn how we can help you put your medical marijuana business in the best position to obtain approval to operate.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Free consultation for criminal defense cases only. Cannabis business consultation requires a fee.