California, with over 39 million residents, is likely the world’s largest cannabis market. However more than in other jurisdictions non-legal cannabis continues play a large role in the state due to its long history and reputation for quality.
Legalization Dates:Medical: 1996 via the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215)
Adult-Use: 2016 via the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64)
Relevant Legislation:
Summary of California Dispensary Laws (COVA)
Regulatory Bodies:Department of Cannabis Control
Licensing Model:Many types and sizes of state licenses. Freeze on new large cultivation licenses until Jan 1, 2023
Example Firms: Cresco (multi-state operator), KushCo Holdings (ancillary products), Eaze (delivery), Medmen (multi-state operator), Harborside Health Center (California), Mercy Wellness of Cotati (Northern California), CannaCraft (California, CEO interview)
Industry Associations:California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), Southern California Coalition (SCC), California Cannabis Manufacturers Association (CCMA), Cannabis Travel Association (CTA), Cannabis Distribution Association (CDA),
Market Size & CharacteristicsCalifornia’s market hit $4.4B in sales in 2020. The market is projected to hit $7B by 2025 as local jurisdictions ease restrictions and consumer demand continues to increase. Eaze “State of Cannabis 2020” report. Regulators in California have struggled to curb illicit marijuana operators for a variety of reasons.
Articles:California’s Cannabis Market at a Crossroads (Cannabis Business Times, June 10, 2022)
Here are the rules for legal marijuana in California once the law goes into effect Jan. 1 (Mercury News, Dec 4, 2018)
California Drops Proposed Permanent Cannabis Regulations (Cannalawblog, July 16, 2018)
As of June 15, 2022
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