US (CA): Majority of cannabis business licenses remain ‘provisional’ from bureaucratic backlog

It’s been a few years since California rolled out its cannabis licensing and tax program. But the state is still ironing out the kinks. As of now, the state has issued 12,691 licenses, three-quarters of which are provisional, used by cannabis businesses to operate until they get their annual licenses. Yet part of what the state acknowledges from the backlog of these temporary permits is the overwhelming amount of paperwork required of applicants to get their applications processed.

The California Department of Cannabis Control is stretched thin and buried in paperwork in three different databases. As a result, it’s unable to compare how many provisional licenses it has managed from one year to the next at this point.

Just this year, the department absorbed a spike in applications between February and March. The total number of applications the state received in March amounted to 1,210, compared to 338 in the prior month. “We see a large licensing pool, more than what we anticipated,” department Director Nicole Elliott said.

The majority (2,983) of the 3,951 “permanent” licenses issued are for cultivation businesses. This could mean disgruntled growers still seek legal status, despite being upset with the state because they believe they’re overtaxed. Small growers have until June 30 to turn in applications to the state. They’re defined as those growing in less than 22,000 square feet in mixed-light indoor environments and 20,000 square feet for outdoor settings. Licenses will be issued by Sept. 30.

To read the complete article, go to www.northbaybusinessjournal.com


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