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California and retail cannabis sales: How local regulations shape the industry

As opening day looms large, many local California cities have been working hard to establish new cannabis business regulations. Here's a rundown of where several municipalities are in the process. 

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Open for business?

As 2017 draws to a close and the start date of January 1 fast approaches, the first temporary licenses have been issued by California's Bureau of Cannabis Control. While emergency regulations have been issued at the state level, local governments are at different spots in their rule-making process, and not every city or county in California will have retailers open for business on New Year's Day. 

City of Los Angeles

LA is allowing retail adult-use cannabis stores, and the first shops may be open shortly after January 1. Medicinal dispensaries are already operating within the city.

San Diego

San Diego allows retail adult-use cannabis stores, some of which are expected to be open January 1. Medicinal cannabis is already allowed. 

San Jose

San Jose is also allowing retail adult-use cannabis stores, which may be open by the start date. Medicinal cannabis dispensaries can also apply to distribute adult-use cannabis products alongside their medicinal cannabis products. 

City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco's retail adult-use cannabis stores won't be licensed by January 1, but they should be ready to go less than a week later.

Fresno

Fresno will not allow retail adult-use cannabis within the city. The city prohibits medicinal cannabis currently, but is currently working towards allowing medicinal cannabis dispensaries within the city. 

City of Sacramento

Sacramento is also allowing retail adult-use cannabis stores, which may be open by January 1. Officials there also expect that some existing medicinal cannabis dispensaries to be open for adult-use sales on that date as well. 

Long Beach

Long Beach has given the go-ahead for medicinal cannabis dispensaries, but won't license and regulate adult-use retail stores until possibly June 2018.

Oakland

Oakland is ready to go on January 1, and already allows medicinal cannabis dispensaries. 

Bakersfield

Bakersfield won't allow adult-use cannabis shops in the city. It also forbids medicinal cannabis dispensaries.

Anaheim

Anaheim, also, won't licence and regulate cannabis shops, both adult-use and medicinal. 

Santa Ana

Santa Ana will allow retail cannabis shops, but they won't be licensed until a few days after January 1. The city already allows medicinal dispensaries.

Riverside

Riverside prohibits all cannabis businesses — medicinal and adult-use alike.

Ramping up to compliance

CCA knows that the key to success for any cannabusiness in 2018 will be compliance. No matter which municipality you're planning to do business in, partnering with CCA will be the most important step you take to setting up a successful shop in California’s increasingly complex regulatory landscape.  

Monica Beyer