The California gold rush is already here in the form of recreational and medical marijuana. After California voters passed an initiative in 2016 legalizing recreational marijuana, entrepreneurs have been planning how to take advantage of this new market. Cities and counties have been grappling with different laws to allow or block dispensaries, while the state has been busy setting up the state agency and rules that will regulate marijuana. It is estimated that recreational and medical marijuana will be a $4-8 billion industry. State permits will be available to apply for in early 2018 (but expect delays).
If you have been considering getting into the business, now is the time. Some cities in California have already issued licenses to dispensaries (as of March 2017), while others are in the process of voting on city ordinances and accepting applications from interested parties. Others will accept applications later in 2017. For example, the deadline for marijuana dispensary applications recently closed for the City of Long Beach. Long Beach will permit up to 32 dispensaries in the city, after an extensive application review process.
The process to apply for a marijuana business permit can be complicated and lengthy. Some cities are only allowing dispensaries, while others are also allowing cultivation farms, manufacturing locations, and delivery services. Each city and/or county is different. As a business and real estate attorney, I am experienced in the application process and can help you work through the paperwork and state permits required. Opportunities are endless, but you must do it right the first time and not wait.