California has been building its medical marijuana industry for decades. However, with a shift toward cultural approval for marijuana and the passing of Prop 64, which legalized recreational marijuana, the state now faces a more robust cannabis industry. With a high demand for marijuana and its related products, more businesses related to the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and selling of marijuana are opening. All of this requires a regulatory framework to ensure medical and recreational cannabis products are effective in treating medical conditions or at the very minimum, are safely enjoyable. To that end, the California legislature created the Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety (OMCS) within the Center for Environmental Health of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
If you have questions about cannabis regulation and your business, contact an experienced San Diego medical marijuana lawyer at McElfresh Law today. We can help you navigate the complex regulatory landscape. Call today at (858) 756-7107.
Free consultation for criminal defense cases only. Cannabis business consultation requires a fee.
The OMCS’s Purpose
The OMCS is intended to create standards, regulations, and licensing procedures for cannabis manufacturing, including:
- Good manufacturing practices, including sanitation
- Operational requirements for manufacturers
- Personnel and Training
- License types, application procedures, and fees
- Product standards
- Permissible extractions
- THC limits and serving sizes
- Hazard analysis
- Preventative controls
- Packaging requirements
- Labeling requirements
- Security plans
- Video surveillance
- Track-and-trace requirements
- Waste disposal
What is Cannabis Manufacturing?
Manufacturing is not the same as the cultivation of marijuana, which includes growing the plants and picking and drying the flowers. California marijuana cultivation is regulated and licensed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The cannabis manufacturing process, regulated by the OMCS, refers to:
- The preparation and packaging of cannabis for consumption, including whole buds or in pre-rolled forms
- The extraction of the essential oils of the flowers, which includes Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), to create products like concentrates in oil, hash, wax, or dab form, and capsules
- The infusion process to create marijuana products like beverages, alcohol-based tinctures, topical lotions and oils, and edibles
- The packaging and repackaging of cannabis products
However, manufacturing does not include repackaging cannabis products from a bulk container from a distributor when the packaging or labeling is not changed or putting cannabis products into its final packaging at a dispensary. These actions are performed by distributors and dispensaries, which are under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
The OMCS’s Licensing Jurisdiction
The OMCS has begun issuing licenses as of January 1, 2018. There are two types: Type 6 and Type 7. A Type 6 license is for non-volatile solvent and/or mechanical extractions. This means the manufacturer does not use a volatile solvent in any of its processes. A Type 7 license is for volatile solvent extractions, which a solvent is or produces a flammable gas or vapor, which could create explosive mixtures. Types of volatile solvents include butane, hexane, propane, and ethanol. Both licenses allow a facility to conduct extractions, infusions and then package and label their own products.
There may soon be two more types of licenses issued by the CDPH: Type N and Type P. A Type N license will be for businesses that conduct infusions (but not extractions) and package and label their own products. A Type P license is for a business that only packages and labels products from other cannabis manufacturers.
You Can Obtain a License Now
If you wish to seek a license from the OMCS, you must prepare to submit a new license application. The office will issue you one license at a time for all of the actions you perform at your facility. For instance, if you have both non-volatile and volatile solvent extraction processes, you will receive a license for both Type 6 and Type 7, not two separate licensees.
An application includes a great deal of information. In addition to your basic business information, you will also need:
- The business structure of your organization and all owner’s information
- A seller permit number issued by the Board of Equalization
- Evidence of your local license for cannabis manufacturing
- Evidence of compliance with all local ordinances
- Information regarding the manufacturing premises, including a premises diagram
- The types of activities that go on at the premises
- Copies of operating procedures and protocols
- Descriptions of the security procedures
- Disclosures of criminal convictions, legal violations, fines, sanctions, or penalties
- Proof of a surety bond of at least $5,000, payable to the state
Avoid Future Liability
If you are currently operating a marijuana manufacturing facility in accordance with all of your local laws, you can continue to do so while California enacts marijuana regulations. You have until July 2, 2018, to submit a complete application for an appropriate license from the OMCS. If you have been operating and in good standing since before Jan. 1, 2016, then your application will have priority.
After July, if you continue to operate with a license, then you will be in violation of the law. You can face both civil and criminal penalties for this action.
Contact a San Diego Medical Marijuana Lawyer
If you currently own a business involved in the manufacturing of medical marijuana products or you want to go into business manufacturing medical or recreation cannabis, then you need a skilled and experienced attorney by your side. Attorney Jessica McElfresh can help you navigate California’s evolving marijuana industry, ensuring you remain compliant with all local and state regulations. She can also represent you in any administrative or criminal actions against you and your business.
To learn more about how a San Diego medical marijuana lawyer can help you with your business, call (858) 756-7107 to schedule a consultation.
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.