After Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana, the legislature passed the passed the “Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” (“MAUCRSA”), creating a combined regulatory system for both medical and recreational marijuana.
When this law was passed it was thought that subsequent regulations from the three regulatory bodies, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, CA Department of Food and Agriculture, CA Department of Public Health would make no distinction between Medicinal and Recreational Marijuana and therefore licenses from these organizations would be for Marijuana and they would not be divided between medicinal and adult Use Cannabis.
However the regulations that were issued on November 19, 2017 and came enforceable on January 1, 2018 did make a distinction between medicinal and adult use marijuana. All the licenses issued by these State Regulatory Bodies, like a Transportation License, Cultivation license or a manufacturing license, if one wants to sell both medicinal and adult use marijuana they have to send in two applications for each license: one for medicinal use and one for adult use marijuana and medicinal use marijuana.
The interesting point here is that the medicinal marijuana and adult use marijuana for all the state licensing use the same license. You just simply check a box for medicinal or adult use marijuana.
Below is a question posed to The California Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) which issues manufacturing licenses to cannabis businesses. They say that one needs two licenses.
So as I stated one needs to obtain two licenses from each licensing category if they want to do both medicinal and adult use cannabis. However, the interesting point about these licenses is that each type of license uses the same application for both medicinal and adult use cannabis. In other words, each license contains a question of whether your applying for medicinal use or adult use marijuana otherwise all the questions on the license are the same. You just simply check a box either for adult use marijuana or for medicinal marijuana. So in a practical sense that means you send in the exact same license application for both medicinal and adult use cannabis, you just need to check the adult use marijuana or medicinal marijuana, and your answers the rest of the questions are all the same. Please review the license for manufacturing issued by the CDPH Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch.
In practical terms, this means that medicinal marijuana and adult use marijuana state application have the exact same requirements for approval. This lack of distinction begs the questions of why have two applications for medicinal and adult use marijuana if the requirements are the same?
One explanation is that some local jurisdictions only allow medicinal use marijuana. Remember that one has to get a local jurisdiction license, (city, town or county), before one can apply for a state license. So if the state had only one application for medicinal or adult use marijuana that would be mean in practical terms the local jurisdiction would have no way of ascertaining whether an applicant was planning on doing only medicinal or if they were selling both medicinal and adult use marijuana. If the is some other reason for the state making this distinction please let me know.
THE IMPORTANT POINT HERE IS THAT ANY MARIJUANA BUSINESS THAT IS DECIDING WHERE TO LOCATE THEIR CULTIVATION, COMMERCIAL KITCHEN OR OIL EXTRACTION OPERATION IN A CERTAIN LOCATION, THEY HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE LOCAL JURISDICTION (COUNTY, CITY, OR TOWN) ALLOWS BOTH MEDICINAL AND ADULT USE MARIJUANA.
Here are some links for further research on this issue.
Bureau of Cannabis Control – Licensing Information