California to Unveil Temporary Cannabis Licensing Program

California’s chief cannabis regulator Lori Ajax announced a temporary state licensing program for marijuana businesses Thursday during her keynote address before the California Cannabis Business Conference in Anaheim. The program is aimed at ensuring a smooth transition toward legal cannabis sales while the state works to finalize permanent rules and regulations. The last thing they want is people turning to the black market because the state is too busy working out the kinks.

Applications for the temporary licenses are expected to be available in December, though no actual licenses would be issued before Jan. 1. Ajax promises the requirements won’t be too cumbersome. Once all the information is submitted, the temporary approvals will be sent via email.

“You’re just going to print out your license.”

They’ll be good for four months unless the state is still unable to get all its ducks in a row by that time.

“If it’s on us, we will continue to give extensions so you can keep operating,” she said.

But there is one major caveat: local governments.

“The biggest thing is that they will have to have local approval for conducting commercial cannabis activity,” states Ajax. “They will need that before the state can issue a temporary license.”

The state will need to confirm that the operator is allowed to operate in said jurisdiction before approval. Exactly what this process will look like is unknown.

You can read more about the temporary state licensing program at Leafly