Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act

California’s updated law regarding commercial cannabis: The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”)

In 2015, the California legislature passed a series of bills collectively titled the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”). Then, in 2016, the voter passed Prop 64 which approved the enactment on the Adult-Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”). Together, MCRSA and AUMA regulated commercial cannabis activity in California; however, there were some inconsistencies as the two Acts did not work well together. Therefore, the California legislature passed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”), which would repeal MCRSA and include certain provisions of MCRSA in the licensing requirements of AUMA. 

Minus some specific exceptions, MAUCRSA imposes the same requirements on both medicinal and adult-use commercial activities. Below are the major changes to the law under MAUCRSA:


  • ·         The type of license for medical and adult-use are the same; however, applicants will have to get a Type M or Type A designation to indicate a medical or adult use license.
  • ·         Businesses can be vertically integrated, but will require applicant to apply for each individual license (CA legislature just passed Assembly Bill 133 that removed the requirement that each license must be located at a separate and distinct premise)
  • ·         Businesses can be their own distributor; removed the transportation license
  • ·         Distributors will be responsible for transporting inventory, ensure the product is tested, and packaging and labeling requirements
  • ·         Residency requirement removed
  • ·         Temporary licenses will be available beginning January 1, 2018 to provide time to complete the substantial application for actual license
  • ·         Retailers and microbusinesses can have on-site consumption as long as their city or county permits that use
  • ·         Allows for delivery only businesses so long you have a locally permitted brick and mortar location, and can use technology platform to deliver


Now that MAUCRSA will allow temporary licenses beginning January 1, 2018, it is imperative that your cannabis business be fully permitted with the city and county you’re located in. The temporary license application process should be rather smooth for those who have a permit at the time they apply. Therefore, it is important you get your local license and to find someone who can expedite the process.