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California Won’t Be Giving Out Cannabis Licenses Forever

California’s cannabis law—the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and its corresponding regulations (or “MAUCRSA”)—doesn’t put a cap on the number of licenses that will be issued. MAUCRSA even envisions that large size (Type 5) cultivation licenses will be issued in 2023. In theory, the state could issue unlimited licenses, but that’s…

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california cannabis licenseCalifornia’s cannabis law—the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and its corresponding regulations (or “MAUCRSA”)—doesn’t put a cap on the number of licenses that will be issued. MAUCRSA even envisions that large size (Type 5) cultivation licenses will be issued in 2023. In theory, the state could issue unlimited licenses, but that’s extremely unlikely to happen in light of how municipalities across the state have limited commercial cannabis activity. Even though we don’t have explicit license caps at the state level, in a few years, there probably won’t be many (or any) licenses left to give out.

One of the reasons for this is the fact that most of the cities and unincorporated county areas in the state prohibit cannabis activity altogether. Unless that changes, licenses will never be available in those areas. Legislation this year that would have required localities to issue more licenses essentially failed. And even if it does change, those jurisdictions are highly unlikely to open up their doors to dozens of different operators—if they weren’t cannabis-friendly before, we doubt they would be in the future.

Even in cities that allow cannabis activity, the majority have caps in one form or another. If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you’re probably familiar with the City of LA’s ultra-competitive retail licensing process that’s about to open up for 100 social equity applicant businesses, Pasadena’s recent process for 14 total licenses, or Culver City or West Hollywood’s previous competitive licensing processes.

And even in cities that don’t have caps, it’s unlikely that they’ll give out unlimited licenses. City and state laws incorporate sensitive use “buffer zones” or other similar requirements that can make it hard to physically find space to set up shop. In some jurisdictions, pushback from locals has led to the proposal of caps where there were none. For example, Santa Barbara County is in the process of adopting caps on cultivation in light of strong resistance from local residents, many of whom were unsatisfied with even the size of the new cap. (Santa Barbara County retail cannabis licenses were already subject to a tight cap, to boot.)

What all of this means is that even though MAUCRSA doesn’t limit licenses in California, local laws may run the well dry sooner than you think. We expect that in a few years, most jurisdictions will be “full” and occasionally, new jurisdictions will open up for highly limited permitting. If this happens, it’s safe to say that these new permit opportunities will be extremely competitive.

Companies that are considering applying for California cannabis licenses should act sooner rather than later, so they aren’t left behind. Otherwise, companies will have to turn acquiring interests in licensed businesses, which can be a big challenge in and of itself.

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California

California Cannabis Workers Now Included In First Phase of COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

California Department of Public Health updated their guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine late last week.

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California Department of Public Health updated their guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine late last week.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily HeadlinesTuesday, February 9, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther // South Dakota judge strikes down state’s marijuana legalization vote (Leafly (AP))// Virginia lawmakers pass landmark recreational marijuana legalization bills (Marijuana Business Daily)// Schumer Hosts First Formal Meeting on Legalizing Weed as VA GOP Opposes Legalization (Hill Reporter) These headlines are brought […]

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South Dakota governor Kristi Noem (GOPQ) is seen in a tightly-cropped photograph while speaking on stage. She is set against a blurred blue background and is giving a condescending frumpy smile framed by her Karen-haircut.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// South Dakota judge strikes down state’s marijuana legalization vote (Leafly (AP))

// Virginia lawmakers pass landmark recreational marijuana legalization bills (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Schumer Hosts First Formal Meeting on Legalizing Weed as VA GOP Opposes Legalization (Hill Reporter)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical and adult use marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 350,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// Deadline for Murphy to Act on NJ Marijuana Bill Pushed Back (NBC Philadelphia)

// Lt. Gov. John Fetterman enters Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate race (CNN)

// California Clears Up Confusion Over Marijuana Industry Coronavirus Vaccine Eligibility (Marijuana Moment)

// New Jersey Governor Signs Psilocybin Bill To Immediately Reduce Penalties For Possession (Marijuana Moment)

// Wisconsin governor proposes medical recreational cannabis legalization (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Marijuana concentrate sales up 40% as more consumers turn to the product category (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Legal Marijuana Is More Popular Than Joe Biden $15 Minimum Wage Or Rejoining Climate Agreement Poll Finds (Marijuana Moment)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Else Olofsson/Flickr

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adult use

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily HeadlinesTuesday, February 9, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther // South Dakota judge strikes down state’s marijuana legalization vote (Leafly (AP))// Virginia lawmakers pass landmark recreational marijuana legalization bills (Marijuana Business Daily)// Schumer Hosts First Formal Meeting on Legalizing Weed as VA GOP Opposes Legalization (Hill Reporter) These headlines are brought […]

Published

on

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem (GOPQ) is seen in a tightly-cropped photograph while speaking on stage. She is set against a blurred blue background and is giving a condescending frumpy smile framed by her Karen-haircut.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// South Dakota judge strikes down state’s marijuana legalization vote (Leafly (AP))

// Virginia lawmakers pass landmark recreational marijuana legalization bills (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Schumer Hosts First Formal Meeting on Legalizing Weed as VA GOP Opposes Legalization (Hill Reporter)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical and adult use marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 350,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// Deadline for Murphy to Act on NJ Marijuana Bill Pushed Back (NBC Philadelphia)

// Lt. Gov. John Fetterman enters Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate race (CNN)

// California Clears Up Confusion Over Marijuana Industry Coronavirus Vaccine Eligibility (Marijuana Moment)

// New Jersey Governor Signs Psilocybin Bill To Immediately Reduce Penalties For Possession (Marijuana Moment)

// Wisconsin governor proposes medical recreational cannabis legalization (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Marijuana concentrate sales up 40% as more consumers turn to the product category (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Legal Marijuana Is More Popular Than Joe Biden $15 Minimum Wage Or Rejoining Climate Agreement Poll Finds (Marijuana Moment)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Else Olofsson/Flickr

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