California Cannabis Cultivation: DFA’s Proposed Permanent Rules | Canna Law Blog™
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018

On Friday, the three California agencies charged with issuing and enforcing rules for cannabis business licensees issued a stack of proposed changes to the final rules it had previously proposed in July. Many of the most dramatic changes came from the BCC and will likely motivate more than a few comments during the rulemaking process (deadline for comments on these proposed changes is Nov. 5, FYI).

The Department of Food and Agriculture, which administers the cannabis cultivation licensing program, issued its own set of proposed rule changes that, while not as jaw-dropping as some of the BCC’s proposed changes, are still noteworthy.

Most importantly, the rules for cultivation plans just got a lot more onerous for licensees that plan to “stack” small licenses for use on one premises. Recall California’s controversial decision last year not to cap the total cultivation acreage per licensee to one acre, and the resulting benefit to mega farms that were then free to “stack” multiple smaller licenses to get a larger total cultivation area that they would otherwise be prohibited from getting due to the one-per-licensee limit of 1-acre outdoor licenses and the prohibition on Type-5 “large” cultivation licenses until 2023. A key element to that loophole’s benefit to large growers was AB 133, which clarified that a licensee could maintain one big “premises” upon which to operate all of its licenses, and was not required to make each license have its own “separate and distinct” premises. This would allow for economies of scale, as it would be arbitrary and inefficient to require every single chunk of canopy on a parcel to have its own fencing, security, etc.