Rulemaking

Rulemaking

Regulations are state laws with specific rules for how businesses and others must operate.  Regulations are created and changed through a process called rulemaking. Changes must be approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).

The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is taking steps to simplify the cannabis regulations.  View DCC’s proposed and completed rulemaking below.

Proposed changes

Readopt emergency regulations for cannabis license fee waivers

Type: Emergency rulemaking

Status: In public notice period

The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is providing notice to the public of its intent to readopt its emergency regulations implementing Senate Bill 166 which requires DCC to develop and implement a program to provide waivers for cannabis licensing fees, with at least 60 percent of the total amount of fee waivers allocated to fee waivers for local equity applicants and licenses, as required by law. The cannabis equity fee waiver program is designed to assist commercial cannabis license applicants and licensees who have been harmed by the War on Drugs. DCC proposes this readoption action to allow emergency regulations, with amendments, to remain in place while DCC continues working to begin the process of permanently adopting the regulations through the regular rulemaking action.

View the proposed finding of emergency and notice of proposed readoption and the proposed text of emergency regulations below:

DCC will file the emergency readopt package with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) after the required five-working day notice to the public. The public comment period, which lasts five-calendar days, will begin when OAL publishes the proposed regulations as being “under review” on its website: https://oal.ca.gov/.

We will share instructions for submitting a public comment and participating in the regulatory process when the comment period opens. Please note that only comments received during the public comment period must be considered.

Consolidated cannabis regulations

Type: Regular rulemaking (certificate of compliance) 

Status: Accepting public comment until April 19, 2022 

This is a comprehensive regulatory proposal to make changes to streamline and simplify the cannabis regulations, enhance consumer protections and make permanent changes that are currently in effect as emergency regulations. The proposed regulations include:

  • Changes that are in effect as emergency regulations from the fall  
  • Additional changes to streamline and strengthen the regulatory framework 

The proposal is a continuation of efforts by the Administration and DCC to refine and strengthen the cannabis regulatory framework. DCC anticipates that the proposed regulations will become effective in fall 2022, if approved.  

View the rulemaking documents:

How to submit a public comment

You can comment on the proposed regulations until 5 p.m. on April 19, 2022. You can submit comments by mail or email. You only need to submit your comment by one method.  

Send your comment to DCC, and reference the rulemaking topic (“consolidated cannabis regulations”):  

You can also submit your comment verbally through a public comment hearing. Two hearings will be held:  

Read tips for submitting a public comment. We’ve created a public comment template to make it easy for you submit your feedback.

Learn more about this rulemaking

We have resources to help you understand the proposed changes. View a chart of the regulatory text modifications. This chart lists:

  • Changes that are included in this rulemaking because they were part of the emergency regulations adopted in September 2022
  • Additional changes proposed to streamline and strengthen the regulatory framework

DCC held a webinar on March 3, 2022, with information about the rulemaking process and proposed regulatory changes. You can:

DCC Conflict of Interest Code

Type: Special rulemaking

Status: Under review

California law requires all state and local government agencies to establish and follow a Conflict of Interest Code. These codes require agency officials who routinely participate in decisions to publicly disclose personal financial information. They designate:

  • Which employee positions must file a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests
  • The financial interests that those employees must disclose

DCC is proposing to adopt a Conflict of Interest Code.

The Political Reform Act prohibits public officials and employees from using their official positions to influence governmental decisions in which they have financial interests. A Conflict of Interest Code helps identify and disclose potential conflicts of interest. Learn more about the Political Reform Act on the Fair Political Practices Commission’s website.

View the rulemaking documents:

Completed rulemaking actions

Consolidated cannabis regulations

Type: Readoption of emergency regulations

Status: Approved March 28, 2022

The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is proposing to readopt its emergency regulations that consolidate the commercial cannabis regulations. This readoption would allow the emergency regulations to remain in place while DCC completes the regular rulemaking process, which began on Friday, March 4.

View the rulemaking documents:

AB 1525: Information sharing with financial institutions (Certificate of Compliance)

Type: Regular rulemaking (certificate of compliance)

Status: Approved March 8, 2022

DCC is proposing to adopt regulations to implement Assembly Bill 1525. The regulations allow licensees to authorize us to share information with financial institutions.

These regulations are currently active as emergency regulations. This action would adopt them more permanently through the regular rulemaking process.

View the rulemaking documents:

Equity fee waivers

Type: Emergency rulemaking

Status: Approved December 20, 2021

DCC adopted emergency regulations to provide licensing fee waivers to qualified equity businesses statewide. The waivers are designed to assist individuals harmed by the War on Drugs with starting and operating a cannabis business. The regulations implement the fee waiver provisions of Senate Bill 166.

This statewide program provides financial support to cannabis business by waiving licensing fees if applicants and licensees meet the equity eligibility criteria, such as past cannabis convictions or arrests, reduced income or residence in an area disproportionately impacted by past criminal justice policies, as well as other criteria.

The emergency regulations add specificity to eligibility criteria established through SB 166 and establish a process for equity applicants and licensees to request waivers for licensing fees.

Learn more about California’s equity initiatives.

View the rulemaking documents:

Quick-response (QR) code

Type: Regular rulemaking

Status: Approved November 15, 2021

QR code certificates help the public check if a cannabis business is licensed. This helps people distinguish licensed cannabis businesses from unlicensed ones. Retailers and distributors must display the certificate. Employees transporting or delivering cannabis goods must also carry the QR code certificate.

View the rulemaking documents:

Application process requirements

Type: Regular rulemaking

Status: Withdrawn

DCC will not proceed with the rulemaking to change application process requirements. The Bureau of Cannabis Control began this rulemaking in fall 2020.

Notice of decision not to proceed

Consolidation of the cannabis regulations

Type: Emergency rulemaking

Status: Approved September 27, 2021

DCC conducted an emergency rulemaking action. This rulemaking combined the three sets of cannabis regulations into one. It consolidates, clarifies and makes consistent licensing and enforcement requirements for cannabis businesses.

View the rulemaking documents:

AB 1525: Information sharing with financial institutions

Type: Emergency rulemaking

Status: Approved February 2021 and readopted August 2, 2021

The three cannabis programs adopted emergency regulations to implement Assembly Bill 1525 in February 2021. The regulations allow licensees to authorize us to share information with financial institutions.

The emergency regulations were first adopted in February 2021. This rulemaking was conducted to readopt the emergency regulations and extend their effective date.

View the rulemaking documents:

Re-titling of cannabis regulations

Type: Section 100

Status: Approved July 14, 2021

The three existing sets of regulations were moved into one title in the California Code of Regulations. The cannabis regulations are now together in Title 4, Division 19. Sections were also renumbered. No changes were made to the requirements in regulation.

This change used a rulemaking action called a Section 100. Section 100 lets agencies make changes to regulations that have no regulatory effect.

View the rulemaking documents:

Regulations issued by the former cannabis programs

Email regulations@cannabis.ca.gov for copies of previous rulemaking files. You can also view them online:

How regulations are made

Regulations are made through a process called rulemaking. It gives the public the opportunity to take part in the creation of regulations proposed by California state agencies. Learn more about the rulemaking process.