California Forms Department of Cannabis Control


California is working to centralize and facilitate regulatory and licensing oversight for its cannabis space with its new regulatory agency, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC).

After the state passed Assembly Bill 141, the DCC will now consolidate three state cannabis programs. The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Manufactured Cannabis Safety Brand, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division are all operating under this single department.

Now that Cali’s cannabis space has experienced so much growth, the state needed a centralized regulatory body. With the DCC’s creation, we can expect a navigable system in which participating individuals will have access to resources and an education regarding the processes involved in owning and operating a California cannabusiness.

On July 12, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB-141 into law, effectively appointing Nicole Elliott as the DCC’s first Director.

With this law in place, we expect entrepreneurs and businesses operating in cannabis to benefit as the state’s tripartite regulatory regime becomes more streamlined. Determining which regulatory body is responsible for what will no longer be as complex, and business operators will no longer have to worry about understanding the roles that the various regulatory bodies play in vertical integration.

Through this law, the DCC receives all “powers, duties, purposes, functions, responsibilities, and jurisdiction” from the BCC, CDFA, and CDPH.

“The state’s consolidation effort delivers on the commitment made by the Newsom Administration to listen to and work with California’s legal cannabis industry to streamline participation in the legal market by offering a central point of contact for licensed operators,” Lourdes Castro Ramirez, the secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing (BCSH) Agency, explained during a statement.

Furthermore, besides consolidating Cali’s cannabis regulatory agencies, the DCC also stands to improve licensing transparency in the cannabis space. AB-141 demands the DCC give information on its website to show the status of all licenses issued. This, of course, includes the county of a licensee’s address of record.

Starting on January 1, 2022, AB-141 will make it so this information must include revocations and suspensions of licenses, as well as final decisions the DCC adopts. Even with this being the case, AB-141 does not allow personal identifying information sharing. This includes home telephone numbers, social security numbers, home addresses, or dates of birth.

Louis Levey is the Content Success Manager and Founder at No Strings Content. He's passionate about helping cannabis businesses use content to attract, educate, and convert audiences. His hometown is Boca Raton, Florida, but he currently lives and works remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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