California Cannabis Retail


California storefront (dispensary) and non-storefront (delivery) licenses are issued by the same agency who issues cannabis distribution and testing licenses, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC.) Of course, like all other cannabis licenses, a prospective operator must first find a local jurisdiction willing to approve the project before the BCC will consider issuing a license.


A storefront cannabis business is a concept many will find familiar. The most notable dispensaries in the United States are those operated by MedMen. The most significant obstacle most will face in obtaining a cannabis dispensary license is the dearth of  suitable properties on the market meeting Los Angeles’ stringent zoning and sensitive use requirements. For example, in Los Angeles a dispensary must be located at least 700 feet from schools, public parks, public libraries, alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities, day care centers, permanent supportive housing; and outside of a 700-foot radius of any other Retailer or Micro-business Commercial Cannabis Activity having on-site retail sales.


Cannabis delivery services have fewer location restrictions. They need only to remain 600 feet or more from a school.


A dispensary or delivery may also try to gain the right to sell cannabis to an end user through a micro-business license. A micro-business is required to three out of the following four license types: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail. A person or company may obtain all four license types. For example, a company may choose to operate a small 5,000 cultivation facility, a distribution facility, and dispensary all out of the same location. One drawback to a micro-business license is the cultivation canopy cannot exceed 10,000 sq ft. Also, any time a dispensary becomes part of a micro-business, more stringent zoning and sensitive use restrictions apply.


Please contact CLS for more information regarding cannabis licensing, and how to get started with the application process.


Cannabis Legal Services

145 S. Glenoaks Blvd., #418

Burbank, CA 91502


T: 818-252-9433

F: 818-925-7014


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