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Applying for a State Cannabis License

In order to apply for a State cannabis business license, applicants must provide evidence of a valid license, permit or other local authorization from a local jurisdiction and evidence that compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is underway.

Approval of a State cannabis license does not grant a business the right to operate in Long Beach.

A cannabis business may not operate in the City of Long Beach until:

  1. The business has been issued all required local permits for the proposed business location;
  2. The business has been issued a valid City of Long Beach Cannabis Business License; and
  3. The business has been issued a valid temporary or annual cannabis license from the State.

Local Authorization

The City of Long Beach will issue a letter of local authorization to assist an applicant in obtaining a temporary, provisional, or annual State cannabis license if the proposed cannabis business has completed the following tasks:

  1. The Applicant has submitted a Cannabis Business License Application, supporting documentation and applicable fees to the City of Long Beach;  
  2. The City’s Planning Bureau has conducted a review of the proposed business location and has deemed the application to be in compliance with all applicable buffer and zoning requirements pursuant to the Long Beach Municipal Code; and
  3. The submitted cannabis business license application has been determined by the City Manager or his or her designee to be complete.

The letter of local authorization does not grant a business the right to operate in Long Beach. The letter of local authorization is exclusively intended to assist cannabis businesses in initiating an application for a temporary, provisional, or annual license with the State. 

Please note: Effective July 1, 2019, applicants are no longer required to hold or have held a temporary license to be eligible for a provisional license. State licensing authorities may issue a provisional license if the applicant has submitted a complete annual license application to the State licensing authority and is in the process of complying with local ordinances and completing the requirements for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The State will stop issuing provisional licenses after January 1, 2022. For more information regarding provisional licenses, please visit the individual State licensing authority’s websites.


Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

To apply for an annual cannabis license with the State, applicants must submit evidence of compliance with, or exemption from, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Division 13 of the Public Resources Code. 

The City has prepared the following documents to assist applicants with this process.  Please note that applicants may be subject to a separate CEQA environmental review when applying for a cannabis business license with the State of California (the State).  Applicants will be responsible for preparing all environmental documents in compliance with CEQA for approval and/or certification by the State.  For more information on State CEQA requirements, applicants should contact the appropriate State Agency.

Medical

Medical applicants should refer to the document entitled Evidence of Exemption from California Environmental Quality Act for Medical Cannabis Business Applicants from the Office of Cannabis Oversight.  Notwithstanding local exemption, applicants will be subject to a CEQA environmental review when applying for a medical license with the State.  For more information on State CEQA requirements, applicants should contact the appropriate State Agency.

Special instructions for Retailer, Distribution and Testing Laboratory Applicants

In addition to the Evidence of Exemption document provided above, Retailer, Distribution and Testing Laboratory Applicants should complete the CEQA Project-Specific Information Form and CEQA Exemption Petition Form provided by the Bureau of Cannabis Control.  Retailer, Distribution and Testing Laboratory Applicants should attach a copy of the CEQA forms to their application(s) with the State.

Special instructions for Cultivation and Manufacturing Applicants

In addition to the Evidence of Exemption document provided above, Cultivation and Manufacturing Applicants should complete a Notice of Exemption from CEQA (NOE) Form and schedule an appointment to submit the form, a project description, and plans to the Planning Bureau.  Appointments can be scheduled by calling (562) 570-6194. 

Once the NOE is completed, the Planning Bureau will make the form available for pick-up and the applicant must:

  • File the NOE with the original wet signature with the County of Los Angeles (County) Recorder’s office.  The Cultivation and Manufacturing Applicants must pay the County posting fees. To receive a “conformed” copy documenting completion, the Cultivation and Manufacturing applicant must submit a second photocopy to the County and SCH, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.  The “conformed” copy can then be attached to the State application.
  • File two photocopies of the NOE filed with the State Clearinghouse (SCH) in the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. To receive a "conformed" copy documenting completion, the Cultivation and Manufacturing applicant must submit a second photocopy to the County and SCH, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The "conformed" copy can then be attached to the State application. 

Adult-Use

Adult-use applicants may submit a copy of the Notice of Determination and Negative Declaration (ND) 13-17 prepared for the Adult-Use Cannabis Ordinance.  In addition, applicants that complete the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or Administrative Use Permit (AUP) process may submit additional project-specific environmental documents to the State as evidence of compliance with CEQA.  Project-specific documents may include, but are not limited to, Notice of Determination (NOD), Negative Declaration (ND), Notice of Exemption (NOE), Environmental Impact Report (EIR), or other materials.

Adult-use applicants not required to obtain a CUP or AUP are exempt from local CEQA review.  Notwithstanding local exemption, applicants may be subject to a CEQA environmental review when applying for a license with the State.  For more information on State CEQA requirements, applicants should contact the appropriate State Agency.

Special instructions for Retailer, Distribution and Testing Laboratory Applicants

In addition to the ND 13-17 document provided above, Retailer, Distribution and Testing Laboratory Applicants not subject to the CUP or AUP process should complete the CEQA Project-Specific Information Form and CEQA Exemption Petition Form provided by the Bureau of Cannabis Control.  Retailer, Distribution and Testing Laboratory Applicants should attach a copy of the CEQA forms to their application(s) with the State.

Special instructions for Cultivation and Manufacturing Applicants

In addition to the ND 13-17 document provided above, Cultivation and Manufacturing Applicants not subject to the CUP or AUP process should complete a Notice of Exemption from CEQA (NOE) Form and submit the form, project description and plans by appointment to the Planning Bureau. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (562) 570-6194. 

Once the NOE is completed, the Planning Bureau will make the form available for pick-up and the applicant must:

  • File the NOE with the original wet signature at the County of Los Angeles (County) Recorder’s office.  The Cultivation and Manufacturing Applicants must pay the County posting fees. To receive a “conformed” copy documenting completion, the Cultivation and Manufacturing applicant must submit a second photocopy to the County and SCH, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.  The “conformed” copy can then be attached to the State application.
  • File two photocopies of the NOE filed with the State Clearinghouse (SCH) in the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. To receive a "conformed" copy documenting completion, the Cultivation and Manufacturing applicant must submit a second photocopy to the County and SCH, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The "conformed" copy can then be attached to the State application.

Disclaimer: The information on this webpage is only intended to assist applicants in applying for a State cannabis license. It is ultimately the responsibility of the applicant to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and requirements as required by State licensing authorities. For more information on applying for a State license, please visit the California Cannabis Portal