Cultiva Law: Becoming A Cannabis Cultivator In California

Published Via JD Supra

Since 2016, California has experienced a transformative landscape surrounding the legal cannabis market. Officially made legal by Proposition 206, the market for cannabis sale, manufacturing and cultivation has experienced a dramatic shift. While retailers get all of the publicity, an often-overlooked area of the legal cannabis market is cultivation: planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, and trimming of cannabis. Read on to learn more about the cultivation business and some particularly important aspects of entering this burgeoning industry.

Why Cultivation?

Being a living plant, cannabis must be grown organically before it ends up in the hands of a consumer. While this side of the legal cannabis business may involve high initial startup costs, it has the potential to yield considerable sums. Cultivation in California may also have the distinct advantage of not requiring indoor facilities as the weather in many parts of the state may be suitable for outdoor cannabis farms.

Develop A Business Plan

Any new business venture will require extensive planning. Cultivation takes it a step further as there are extensive zoning and local ordinances that apply specifically to this type of cannabis business. Getting approved for a cannabis cultivation license will not only require a business plan, but also a site plan that is complete with diagrams and management plans.

Adult Use Vs. Medical Use Licenses

No matter what category of cannabis business you are looking to enter, you will have to apply for a license. Cultivation requires a license from California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). However, before applying for the license, you must decide which type you will be applying for. An adult use license refers to cultivating cannabis specifically for the recreational retail sector. A medical license is necessary for the cultivation of medical marijuana. Lastly, CDFA allows for a provisional or temporary license. Unlike the other license types, temporary licenses cannot be renewed.

Applying For A License

CDFA is responsible for issuing cannabis cultivation licenses. The Department has a number of resources online that will guide you through a step-by-step process in obtaining your cultivation license. A number of documents and diagrams will be necessary to complete in connection with the application process. Decisions on how your cultivation business will be owned and operated must be made prior to applying for the license. You can read an in-depth look at how to get a California cannabis license here.

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Author Bios

Matt Maurer – Minden Gross
Jeff Hergot – Wildboer Dellelce LLP

Costa Rica
Tim Morales – The Cannabis Industry Association Costa Rica

Elvin Rodríguez Fabilena


Julie Godard
Carl L Rowley -Thompson Coburn LLP

Jerry Chesler – Chesler Consulting

Ian Stewart – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Otis Felder – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Lance Rogers – Greenspoon Marder – San Diego
Jessica McElfresh -McElfresh Law – San Diego
Tracy Gallegos – Partner – Fox Rothschild

Adam Detsky – Knight Nicastro
Dave Rodman – Dave Rodman Law Group
Peter Fendel – CMR Real Estate Network
Nate Reed – CMR Real Estate Network

Matthew Ginder – Greenspoon Marder
David C. Kotler – Cohen Kotler

William Bogot – Fox Rothschild

Valerio Romano, Attorney – VGR Law Firm, PC

Neal Gidvani – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder
Phillip Silvestri – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder

Tracy Gallegos – Associate Fox Rothschild

New Jersey

Matthew G. Miller – MG Miller Intellectual Property Law LLC
Daniel T. McKillop – Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

New York
Gregory J. Ryan, Esq. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Tim Nolen Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Paul Loney & Kristie Cromwell – Loney Law Group
William Stewart – Half Baked Labs

Andrew B. Sacks – Managing Partner Sacks Weston Diamond
William Roark – Principal Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin
Joshua Horn – Partner Fox Rothschild

Washington DC
Teddy Eynon – Partner Fox Rothschild