Governor Signs Bill Creating New Department of Cannabis Control

California’s three cannabis licensing agencies have officially consolidated into the new Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). The change was first proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in January and was incorporated into the 2021-2022 budget.

The Department of Cannabis Control will handle responsibilities formerly carried out by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (Department of Consumer Affairs), CalCannabis (Department of Food and Agriculture) and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (Department of Health). The DCC will also oversee California’s track-and-trace system.

“I think that having all of this housed under one agency is going to help with communication, it’s going to help with transparency and hopefully with process time for applications too,” Lindsay Robinson, Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, told the Sacramento Bee.

Cannabis businesses, researchers, and municipalities do not need to make any significant changes.

“Existing licenses and license applications will automatically be transferred to the Department of Cannabis Control,” the Bee reports.

“Researchers also do not need to worry about changes to grant funding under the consolidation. Local government and law enforcement may continue working with existing contacts.”

Nicole Elliott, who has been serving as the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Cannabis since 2019, will lead the agency.