Jump-Start Your California License Process

December 2, 2015 | Dani Baldacci



In October, California took a major step toward regulating and licensing the medical cannabis industry by passing three bills under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). For California growers, manufacturers and dispensaries that intend to operate legal, for-profit businesses in 2018, the licensing process starts now.


Green Rush Consulting (GRC), a Bay Area cannabis consulting firm, is urging medical cannabis groups to start preparing business strategies and compliance plans now, to assist in potentially receiving priority licensing when the new policies take effect in 2018.


On December 10-11 in Santa Rosa, GRC will host workshops for a limited number of growers, manufacturers, and dispensary operators who want to get ahead of the curve and establish a business entity with local and state agencies. When it issues licenses in 2018, the state has announced that it will prioritize any cannabis operation that can demonstrate that it was “in operation and in good standing with [its] local jurisdiction by January 1, 2016.”


GRC workshop helps attendees get ahead of the compliance curve


During the 4-hour workshop, the GRC team will meet individually with clients to provide expert advice on the legal and accounting aspects of their businesses, and start the process of filing paperwork that will pave the way for a successful transition into California’s legal cannabis market. The workshop is geared towards already existing businesses in areas that do not have bans and will include:


  • Applying for a seller’s permit from the State Board of Equalization (BOE)


  • Consulting with a accountant to establish accounting objectives and receive advice on filing taxes


  • Consulting with a lawyer to discuss both non-profit and for-profit incorporation options


  • Consulting with a GRC expert to discuss the specifics of a cultivation, manufacturing or dispensary operation


  • Consulting with a GRC expert to create a preliminary business plan outline, including an executive summary


  • Consulting with a GRC expert to discuss Proposition 215, SB 420, and local medical cannabis guidelines, and how to best comply with these rules until the new MMRSA regulations take effect


  • A VIP Happy Hour with speakers Hezekiah Allen, sustainable cannabis cultivation expert, and Lev Mallinger, Founder of CannaBooks Accounting services


“One of our company’s main goals is to level the playing field and give all growers and manufacturers an opportunity to establish a business entity in the California market before licenses are granted in 2018,”said Zeta Ceti, CEO of Green Rush Consulting. “The first step in this process starts now, and we are offering these workshops to give clients our expert legal and strategic advice on how to proceed over the next two years in order to have the best possible chance of winning a license.”


Move from non-profit to for-profit in 2018


In October, Governor Brown signed the three bills that comprise the California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA): AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643. Together, these bills create a structure to license, tax and regulate the industry, and also fund the agencies that will develop and enforce the regulations. The laws are scheduled to go into effect in 2018, but the licensing process effectively begins on January 1, 2016.


The new legislation will slowly phase out the current non-profit collectives and cooperatives, and open the door to for-profit cannabis businesses, both large and small. Existing non-profit cannabis organizations will be allowed to operate with local approval until January 1, 2018.


Over the last five years, GRC has developed best practices for cannabis businesses across the U.S., navigating complex legislative processes along the way. Working closely with clients, the company develops the necessary components of a successful cannabis business, and explains how to best comply with local and state laws and regulations. GRC also helps clients develop the integral parts of running a successful business, from financial forecasting to marketing strategies and standard operating procedures.


Take advantage of GRC's expertise and schedule your workshop today


Workshops are by appointment only. To schedule a workshop with the GRC team on December 10-11 in Santa Rosa, contact Dani Baldacci: / 510-479-7327


Workshops will also available in December in Oakland and Humboldt County, on a limited basis. Please call for more information.