THE CCIA "Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act" (MMRSA) CHEAT SHEET:


The MMRSA establishes the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the Department of Consumer Affairs. The Dept. of Food and Agriculture has responsibility for regulating cultivation and processing, and the Dept. of Public Health for developing standards for the manufacture, testing, and production and labeling of all cannabis products; the Dept of Pesticide Regulation for developing pesticide standards. See SB 643, adding Section 19332(g) of the Business and Professions Code, hereinafter (“B&PC”).


The following categories of licenses are established under THE MMSRA (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)


Under the MMRSA, licensees can only hold licenses in no more than two separate license categories (AB 266 adding B&PC 19328(a)). For example, testing and distribution licensees will not be able to hold any other class of license (AB 266 adding B&PC 19341(c)).  

There are a few exceptions, however. Businesses operating in local jurisdictions that require or allow full vertical integration of their supply chain (cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing) will be allowed to continue operating as they do now (AB 266 adding B&PC 19328(c)). There is also a specialty dispensary license modeled after “brew pub” license, which allows for a licensee to be vertically integrated if they operate no more the 3 retail sites, hold only 1 manufacturing license, and own no more the 4 acres of licensed cultivation sites in the state (AB 266 adding B&PC 19328(a)(9)). Both of the above exemptions are only good until Jan 1, 2026 unless extended through the state legislature (AB 266 adding B&PC 19328(d))


While licensed manufacturers and cultivators will have to send their product to a distribution licensee for quality assurance inspection and lab testing before selling it to a dispensary, they will not be required to sell their cannabis to the distributor (AB 266 adding B&PC 19326(b)).  The bill clarifies that farmers and manufacturers will be able to maintain direct contracts with dispensaries and set their own prices (AB 266 adding B&PC 19326(c)(3)).    
MEDICAL CANNABIS IS NOW “LEGAL” The industry no longer has to rely on an “affirmative defense” to operate. All actions by licensees that are permitted by both a state license and local government are now legal and protected from arrest, prosecution, asset forfeiture and other legal sanctions under California law (AB 266 adding B&PC 19317).


A businesses operating in compliance with current state laws and all applicable local ordinances before January 1, 2018 may continue to operate until the state grants or denies its licenses (AB 266 adding B&PC 19321(c)). Additionally, Section 6 of AB 266 allows existing collectives to operate under existing state laws for one year after initial licenses are granted under the MMRSA (AB 266 amending Section 11362.775 of the Health and Safety Code).


Licensees will not be prohibited from operating “for profit”. Section 6 of AB 266 repeals the existing Medical Marijuana Program Act, and the non-profit mandate with it (AB 266 amending Section 11362.775 of the Health and Safety Code).  Additionally, the MMRSA defines eligible applicants to include for-profit business entities (AB 266 adding B&PC 19300.5(aj))


The state will require that all licensees take part in a “Track and Trace system” (SB 643 adding B&PC 19335).   


Deliveries will be allowed only in cities and/or counties where not prohibited by local ordinance. All deliveries services will be required to have a local license from the locality they are based out of (AB 266 adding B&PC 19340)


Testing of cannabis will be mandated prior to delivery to dispensaries or other businesses (AB 266 adding B&PC 19341 to 19346).


Once the regulations are implemented, a licensed transporter will be required to transport cannabis and cannabis products between licensees once a certain monetary threshold is met (TBD by regulating agency) (AB 266 adding B&PC 19326(a)).


An LPA will be required of all applicants with 20 employees or more, though supervisors/management don't count. The union can’t strike or use work stoppages while negotiating or organizing.  (SB 643 adding B&PC 19322(a)(6))

Copyright 2015 California Cannabis Industry Association.



If you are in the cannabis industry, then your business is politics!!


With a new state legislature in 2015, and a 2016 cannabis initiative on the horizon, there are many issues being introduced in the state capitol that will affect California's cannabis industry. CCIA and its advocacy team have a busy and exciting year ahead!

Although the state legislature did not end up creating a state regulation system for the current cannabis industry during the last session, CCIA had some important victories. Most significant was having provisional licenses included, removing of cross-licensing ownership and removing ban on cannabis extracts from key legislation. Our advocacy staff continues to achieve victories everyday as we continue to entrench CCIA into California's legislative and regulatory writing process.

The 2015 legislative calendar is hot with issues critical to CCIA members - now is the time to get involved and get energized! 

Advocacy is a contact sport: mobilize your grassroots membership, call your legislators, visit their local offices, use our Legislative Action Center and write a letter. Have your voice heard by those who represent you TODAY!


Summary Legislation of CCIA is tracking:

Below is a summary of legislation that CCIA is presently tracking.   Print view