Post date: 1/18/2023

To become a licensed cannabis business in the State of California, cannabis professionals have to go through the three main regulatory agencies. Each of these agencies is tasked with the licensing, standards, regulations, and laws associated with the California cannabis trade. 

These agencies are: The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB), and CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CalCannabis). In this post, we’ll review what these agencies do, California’s cannabis licensing types and requirements, and how Paybotic makes it easier for cannabis professionals to conduct business in California. 

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC)

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is California’s main cannabis regulatory agency. All cannabis retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, and testing labs must be licensed through the BCC. The BCC also regulates miscellaneous cannabis-related businesses,  like cannabis consumption events. 

Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB)

The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) is a division of the California Department of Public Health that regulates the manufacturing and sale of cannabis-infused consumer products and concentrates like vapes, pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures and other cannabis retail products. 

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CalCannabis)

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (CalCannabis) is a division of the California Department of Agriculture that regulates the commercial cultivation of cannabis in California. CalCannabis is also responsible for managing California’s Cannabis Track and Trace (CCTT) system for all legally farmed cannabis, from the seed to its point of sale, to the end-user. 


Types of California Cannabis Licenses 

California cannabis business can apply for and hold one or both of these two types of licenses. :

  • Adult Use (A-License): This license is for businesses selling recreational products to adult cannabis users 
  • Medicinal (M-License): This license is for businesses selling medicinal products to adult cannabis users with a valid California medical cannabis card

California cannabis business licenses are also subdivided by business type:  

  • Cultivator 
  • Manufacturer 
  • Testing Laboratory 
  • Retailer 
  • Distributor 
  • Microbusiness 
  • Event Organizer and Miscellaneous

Most licenses can be secured as either an A-license or an M-license, or cannabis businesses can hold more than one type of license. Separate licenses may be required for every location where a cannabis business operates. 

The Licensing Process for California Cannabis Businesses

The California cannabis licensing process varies for each type of cannabis license and business type. No matter which agency (or agencies) a cannabis business must apply through, the business is required to submit: 

  • Business plan
  • Financial statements (proof of current financial holdings, documentation of investors, creditors, and loans, etc.)
  • Inventory control plan
  • Security plan
  • Quality control and record-keeping plans
  • Business premises information (floor plans, leasing, or purchase agreements)
  • Proof of a $5,000 cannabis surety bond 
  • Criminal background checks and fingerprinting for all owners and employees 

Give Your California Cannabis Business An Edge With Paybotic

Your cannabusiness needs a way to meet fast-changing industry growth and create risk management protocols that are up-to-date and easily integrated with your daily operations. With Paybotic’s full suite of FinTech and banking solutions, it’s easier and faster to provide continuous, compliant payment processing for your business – without added stress. 

Decrease Costs

Getting licensed in California is pricey. Paybotic is here to reduce the cost of payment processing for your cannabis business. We offer competitive rates with no hidden fees – so you can save money on each and every transaction.

Get Funds Faster

Focus on growing your business with Paybotic’s quick payment funding. We empower merchants to take control of your money instead of worrying about cash flow. With Paybotic, you’ll enjoy payments deposited directly into your bank account in as little as 24-48 hours. 

Transaction Security

Enjoy secure payment processing via ACH/debit, digital wallet, eCheck, or gift card. Make it easier to track and monitor cash flow in and out of your business, reducing the amount of cash in your store. Real-time reports and inventory monitoring helps identify irregularities and before they become threats.


Paybotic is compliant with all PCI-DSS and relevant federal, state, and local laws for cannabis businesses. In addition, Paybotic offers fraud protection services to help keep your cannabis business safe from unauthorized activity.

To learn more about our payment processing solutions for cannabis businesses, contact us today! 

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