What Are the New Medical Cannabis Regulations?

Cannabis industry regulations are governed by three different state departments - The Bureau of Cannabis Control licenses and manages testing laboratories, distributors, transporters, and micro-businesses, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing licenses and manages Cultivators, and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch licenses and manages Manufacturers of Cannabis products. Please click on the department names above to be directed to their websites. 

Laboratory Testing Regulations FAQ

+ Is Testing Required for both Adult-use and Medical Cannabis in California?

Yes. The testing standards and requirements are the same for both recreational and medical Cannabis and Cannabis products.

+ What Tests are Required?

Testing requirements and acceptable limits of chemical and microbial contamination varies from compound to compound and can differ based on product type. Certain tests are required now (as of January 1st, 2018), additional requirements are added on July 1st, 2018, and the final set become mandatory for all products produced on or after December 31st, 2018.

+ Who is Responsible for Testing in California?

Licensed adult-use and/or medical Cannabis distributors are legally required to facilitate compliance testing. Distributors must work with a licensed testing laboratory who must come to their facility and conduct the compliance sampling process.

+ I'm a Distributor, Can I take My Own Samples?

NO. Distributors are not allowed to select their own samples and bring them to the laboratory. A qualified laboratory employee MUST go to the distribution facility. There, the lab sampler must have access to the entire batch and will select a representative sample from the batch. For questions regarding sampling, please contact sampling@cwanalytical.com

+ What Are The Requirements for Testing Labs Under MMRSA?

  1. Labs must be independent and third-party. This means that a person who holds a license for a Cannabis testing lab cannot hold any other license. This is important for ensuring that there won't be any conflict of interest between labs and certain clients they test for.
  2. Labs must achieve ISO 17025 accreditation. (In most major countries, ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for which most labs must hold accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent.) CW Analytical achieved this accreditation in August of 2016.
  3. Cannabis Laboratories must hold both a local permit, as well as a state license, and are regulated by the Bureau of Cannabis Control

Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act FAQ


+ What Types of Licenses are Available?

The following categories of licenses are established under THE MCSRA (AB 266 adding B&PC 19300.7):

  • 10 types of Cultivation licenses, distinguished by scale, light source and production stage (SB 643 adding B&PC 19332(g)
  • 2 types of Manufacturing licenses, permitting solventless, butane and CO2 extraction (AB 266 adding B&PC 19341)
  • Testing license (AB 266 adding B&PC 19341)
  • 2 types of Dispensary licenses, for licenses with >3 retail sites, and ⋜3 sites (AB 266 adding B&PC 19334)
  • Distribution license (AB 266 adding B&PC 19334)
  • Transportation license (AB 266 adding B&PC 19334)
    *summary provided by CCIA

+ When Can I Apply For a License?

A state license is contingent upon first receiving a local license. Some local municipalities are already opening the application process, and some plan to very soon, while others have passed temporary bans on all sorts of Cannabis businesses. It's important to be in touch with local laws and ordinances before you invest money in a building or land.

+ How Can I Get Involved in the Rule-making Process?

Strength is truly in numbers. Over the past several years several well-organized and politically active trade associations have formed and need membership from Cannabis industry stakeholders in order to make their voices heard and meaningful

The California Cannabis Industry Association is an effective and knowledgable group, worthy of membership for any type of Cannabis business (whether you "touch" the plant or not).
The California Growers Association fights for the rights and privileges of farmers small and large and has local chapters all over the state
The Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories is a wonderful resource for currently operating Cannabis Laboratories to participate in joint research, proficiency testing, and standards development nationwide.