California cannabis business compliance guide

In this guide, we'll cover:
Legally reviewed by:

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Dutchie does not provide compliance advice. Merchants are responsible for their own compliance. External Dutchie compliance documentation may be updated from time to time and has been prepared for informational purposes only, is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or compliance advice. Merchants should consult their own tax, legal and compliance advisors to determine how best to operate within the cannabis industry.

Market Type

In California, cannabis is regulated by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). Medical and adult-use cannabis are allowed.Β 

Metrc and Inventory

California uses Metrc as their state traceability system. In California, medical and adult-use cannabis inventory are shared.

Purchase Limits


  • 28.5 grams of non-concentrated cannabis
  • 8 grams of cannabis concentrate, including cannabis concentrate contained in cannabis products
  • 6 immature cannabis plants


  • 8 oz of cannabis flower
  • 12 immature plants


While CA does not have equivalent limits, the category of cannabis concentrate is shared between many product types.


Taxes are overseen by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.Β  They have built an excellent guide for cannabis taxes.Β  Cannabis in California is potentially subject to local taxes, the state excise tax, and state sales tax.Β 

CDTFA guidance outlines a need to have taxes compounding.Β  This guidance points to a stacked order of:

  1. Local cannabis taxes
  2. State Excise tax
  3. Sales tax


Retailers and non-storefront retailers may conduct deliveries in CA.Β  Municipalities may restrict delivery within their limits.

California allows for extra inventory to be carried so a driver may be dispatched from the road.

Maximum amount of inventory for delivery

A licensed retailer’s delivery employee shall not carry cannabis goods in the delivery vehicle with a value in excess of $10,000 at any time. This includes both inventory associated with an order and that available for order.

Delivery locations

Retailers may only deliver to physical addresses. Deliveries cannot be made on public land, or in buildings leased by a government agency.Β  Schools and childcare centers are additionally prohibited.

Delivery misc.

All vehicles must have GPS.Β 

Retailers must keep a detailed delivery log and update it after each sale.

Things to Note

Special rules, things that have come up, regulator confirmation of things, guidance

State Resources

The DCC makes their current and proposed rules public at this site.



How much does it cost to open a dispensary in New York?

How long does it take for applications to be reviewed?

How many licenses do we expect New York to issue?

Has New York identified what the application will look like?

How will the office evaluate applications?

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