Transferring a License

PLEASE NOTE: A business may only transfer ownership once they have received a license. A business may not transfer ownership during the application process.

A Cannabis Transfer of Ownership Application is required at least thirty (30) days in advance when:

  • A license is being sold or transferred to a new entity
  • A business is adding a new holding company
  • A business is adding or replacing owner(s) who own greater than 10% of the business
A change in ownership does not occur when one or more owners leave the business by transferring their ownership interest to the other existing owner(s). 

Removing Owners from the Business or Reallocating Existing Ownership Interest?

In cases where one or more owners leave the business by transferring their ownership interest to the other existing owner(s) or when the ownership interest among existing owners is being reallocated, the business shall notify the Business License Division using a Cannabis Business Removal of Owner(s)/Reallocation of Existing Ownership Form. 

Cannabis Business - Removal of Owner(s)/Reallocation of Existing Ownership Form

The form can be mailed or dropped off in person to the City of Long Beach Business License Division, 411 W. Ocean Boulevard 2nd Floor, Long Beach, CA 90802. 


Transfer of Ownership Application

Minor Transfer of Ownership (Between 10% - 49%)

A cannabis business must file for a Minor Cannabis Transfer of Ownership when a business is adding or replacing owner(s) whose ownership percentage totals between 10% to 49% of the business.

If a business is changing ownership greater than 50% or any majority shareholder of the business is changing, you must follow the process for a Major Cannabis Transfer of Ownership.

To add or replace owners with less than 49% ownership, the business must follow the steps below:

  1. Licensee must complete a Minor Cannabis Business Transfer of Ownership Application.  
  2. Submit the completed application along with all supporting documents to the Business License Division on the 2nd Floor of City Hall.
  3. Pay the Transfer of Ownership application fee of $215 plus $150 for each new owner at the 4th Floor Cashier. Checks should be made payable to the “City of Long Beach”. The City also accepts cash payments.
  4. The Business License Division will review the application and all supplemental documents. It is the goal to have reviews complete within 10 business days of receipt of application, however given the large volume of applications, the application review process may extend beyond such timeframe. 
  5. Once the application has been deemed complete, the application will be forwarded to the Long Beach Police Department to perform background investigations on the new owner(s).
  6. Once the background investigations have been completed, the business will receive notification of approval or denial of the ownership transfer.

The business may not operate until a valid State license and a valid City of Long Beach Cannabis Business License has been issued.  However, the existing licensee may conduct business under the existing license while an application for a change of ownership is reviewed by the City. The new owners may not begin operating until the City has approved the transfer of ownership.               


Major Transfer of Ownership (Greater than 50%)

A cannabis business must file for a Major Cannabis Transfer of Ownership when a business is changing owner(s) whose ownership percentage totals 50% or greater or when the majority shareholder(s) in the business change.

To transfer a cannabis business license, the business must follow the steps below:

  1. The new business and/or business changing ownership must complete a Cannabis Business License Application and select “Transfer of Ownership” as the Application Reason. 
  2. Submit the completed application along with all supporting documents to the Business License Division on the 2nd Floor of City Hall.
  3. The applicant will visit the Zoning Counter to determine if any changes will be made to the facility. At that time, the applicant may be asked to visit other departments, such as Building and Fire, for further evaluation of the proposed changes.
  4. After visiting departments, Applicant will pay application fees and leave City Hall.
  5. The Business License Division will review the application and all supplemental documents. It is the goal to have reviews complete within 20 business days of receipt of application, however given the large volume of applications, the application review process may extend beyond such timeframe. 
  6. Once the application has been deemed complete, the application will be allowed to proceed through the application process and the application will be forwarded to departments for approval.
  7. Once all applicable department reviews and inspections have been completed, the City of Long Beach Cannabis Business License will be issued to the new owners.
    1. For businesses that are being sold or transferred to a new entity, the new business entity will be issued a Letter of Local Authorization to provide to the State licensing authority to obtain a temporary state license. Applicant may apply for the temporary State license once they receive the Letter of Local Authorization. 

The new business may not operate until a valid State license and a valid City of Long Beach Cannabis Business License has been issued. However, the existing licensee may conduct business under the existing license while an application for a change of ownership is reviewed by the City. The new owners may not begin operating until the City has approved the transfer of ownership.

Please Note:

For cultivation businesses only: If the previous license was not expired and taxes were paid through the current year prior to the transfer of ownership, any remaining tax paid on the previous license will be transferred to the license under new ownership.

All applications will be deemed abandoned if deficiencies in the application are not corrected within ninety (90) days from notification by the City. 

If a business license is no longer active for any reason, the business license will not be transferable to a new owner.