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Manufacturers extract cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis plants and make products out of the extract. The types of products they make vary widely and include:

  • Food and beverages
  • Vape cartridges
  • Lotions and balms
  • Lozenges and sublingual sprays
  • Pills and tablets
  • Dab, shatter and wax

Cannabis manufacturers use techniques and processes common in other types of consumer product manufacturing. Manufacturing steps differ based on the type of manufacturing, but generally include:

  • Extraction of cannabinoids
  • Post-processing (refinement) of cannabis extract
  • Infusion of extract or plant material with other ingredients
  • Packaging and labeling cannabis products

Manufacturing licenses

You need a manufacturing license to make cannabis products in California. The type of manufacturing license you need depends on:

  • What activities you do
  • Whether you do extraction and post processing
  • What types of chemicals you use (if any)

You need a different license if you manufacture in a shared-use facility.

  • Manufacturing license types

    Manufacturing license types depend on several factors, including the activities performed, types of chemicals used, and facility type. Learn about the different manufacturing license types available.

Good manufacturing practices

The Department of Cannabis Control’s regulations require manufacturers to follow good manufacturing practices (GMPs) when making products. GMPs help ensure products are:

  • Free of contaminants and safe for consumers
  • Produced consistently every time
  • Labeled correctly

Manufacturers must demonstrate GMPs by:

  • Maintaining a sanitary facility, equipment and utensils
  • Using written procedures and instructions
  • Documenting work
  • Protecting against contamination
  • Including controls in processes
  • Practicing personal hygiene

Documenting manufacturing processes

Manufacturers must keep up-to-date documents with their procedures and instructions for making products.

Product quality plan

A product quality plan includes:

  • An assessment of the potential hazards in your facility and manufacturing practices
  • The preventative measures you use to mitigate risks

You must have a product quality plan for each type of product manufactured.

  • Master manufacturing protocol checklist

    Master manufacturing protocols are step-by-step instructions for creating your product. They are the “recipe” that staff follow to ensure they make the products the same way each time. You must have a master manufacturing protocol for each formulation. Use this checklist to make sure your protocols include the required information.

  • Batch production record checklist

    Batch production records document all the steps you take to create your product. Most manufacturers create a template that their staff can fill out when they complete each step. Use the this checklist to make sure your templates include the required information.

Closed-loop extraction systems

Checklist: closed-loop extraction systems

Cannabis manufacturers who utilize closed-loop extraction systems must ensure their extraction systems are operated and maintained according to the requirements established by DCC. These requirements govern the use of volatile or asphyxiating solvents, or flammable liquids, permissible extraction types, closed-loop extraction systems, and the continued certification of closed-loop extraction systems. This document is intended to outline the requirements that closed-loop extraction system operators must follow to ensure the compliant use of extraction systems.


Manufactured cannabis products must be packaged to prevent product contamination. There are additional requirements for packaging, including being child-resistant, tamper evident, and resealable. Use our guidance documents to ensure your packaging meets requirements.

Child-resistant packaging (CRP)

State law requires that all cannabis goods are sold in child-resistant packaging (CRP). CRP is packaging that is designed to be hard for children under five years of age to open. It is the responsibility of the licensee that packaged the cannabis good to make sure that the package meets CRP requirements.

Packaging requirements: final form cannabis goods

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) includes basic requirements for how cannabis goods must be packaged before retail sale. These guidelines apply to all nonmanufactured and manufactured cannabis goods that will be sold at a licensed retailer.


Cannabis products must be labeled so consumers know what they’re buying or using. You must list certain information on each part of the label. Use our labeling checklists to make sure your product has the required information.

Labeling checklist for manufactured products

Cannabis goods must be labeled to ensure consumers are informed about what they are buying and to prevent unintended use. Cannabis products must be in their final form and packaged and labeled for retail sale before they can be transferred to a licensed distributor for regulatory compliance testing.

Labeling checklist for nonmanufactured goods

Cannabis must be properly labeled to make sure consumers are informed about what they are buying and to prevent unintended use. These guidelines cover labeling requirements for non-manufactured cannabis goods that are ready to be sold by a licensed retailer.

Universal symbol

Download the universal symbol that must be included on your label.

Allergens and cannabis safety

  • Allergen control program checklist

    Used in conjunction with the Allergy Guidance document, this checklist will assist you in establishing and implementing a written allergen control program as required by the California Code of Regulations, title 4 (4 CCR) section 17214(d)(3), Product Quality Plan.

  • Allergen guidance

    Find out more about creating an effective allergen control program, as well as an overview of the major food allergens and where they are commonly found in cannabis products.