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5 Steps on How to Obtain a Cannabis Cultivation License in Los Angeles

The legalization of Cannabis, commonly known as Marijuana in the United States, has existed for years. Today, almost half of the American states have welcomed the cannabis market, and eleven states are looking to join by the end of this year. As such, the cannabis industry in the U.S. has continually grown not only in demand but also in production.

In California, including Los Angeles, Cannabis was legalized for medical use in 1996. However, in 2016, the state finally approved the recreational use of this plant. With this, Los Angeles locals and Californian residents are finally allowed to grow, use, and transport marijuana either for medical consumption or personal expenditure.

Los Angeles locals and Californian residents are finally allowed to grow, use, and transport marijuana either for medical consumption or personal expenditure.

Therefore, Los Angeles’ cannabis industry continues to boom today, and many would like to explore it. However, like any other type of business, you’d need to obtain a permit before you can start. Below are the steps you should follow to obtain a marijuana cultivation license in Los Angeles, California.

Develop A Work Plan

Whether you are starting from scratch or supporting an existing cannabis business, developing a work plan is the primary step to take when getting a cannabis cultivation license. In Los Angeles, there are permits you must get first in connecting government agencies before you are granted a final license.

Your work plan should include all the essentials to fulfill your cannabis production. Make sure to outline your goals, procedure, and other necessary requirements clearly. Other elements you need to emphasize on your work plan must have the capital, formed entity, and the entire acquired property.

Construct the Site and the Whole Production Process

Once you’ve successfully created a work plan on how your cannabis business should look, it’s time to build the site and keep an eye on the production. Your site should have a space intended for the plantation. Moreover, it should have a room that can accommodate the processing, drying, and curing of Cannabis.

Aside from that, you must also clearly layout the whole production process. It should include the timeline when to grow and harvest the Cannabis. Resources such as GreenBudGuru has a guide on how to harvest the right cannabis plant that can offer the highest quality both for medical and recreational consumption.

Get a Supporting State Agency Approvals

After constructing your business plan and laying out the site, getting supporting state agency approval is a step closer to getting the final cannabis cultivation license. Here are the state agencies you must go through.

  • State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)
  • Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
  • Department of Tax and Fee Administration (DTFA)
  • CalFire
  • Secretary of State (SOS)

To get warranted by these five California state agencies, you must provide a business entity documentation. Additionally, to quickly get granted by these agencies, you can apply for either a profit or non-profit organization.

Secure Local Approvals

If the state agencies already gave you the go signal, you should directly head on to securing a local agency approval. When you start your cannabis cultivation within Los Angeles, you must submit your business proposal, including the site plan to the local county.

Immediately go to the Los Angeles Planning Department to secure the land permit. One thing you should consider is that the local county grants a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for all cannabis businesses in Los Angeles. This is used for the public hearing to either deny or approve your cannabis cultivation license.

Once your proposal is approved, you’ll move on to getting certifications and other permits in the local department used for environmental assessments. Do know that obtaining local permission is costly and takes a long time, so you need to prepare if you want to venture out in the cannabis industry. Patience is truly necessary when acquiring these documents.

Acquire State Cannabis Licenses

The final step to getting your cannabis cultivation permit is acquiring a state cannabis license. It merits you to operate your cannabis production fully and allows you to trade them in and out of the state. The state will require you to submit the following before awarding the license.

  • Business Operations Plan
  • Premises Plan
  • Labor Peace Agreement
  • Property or Lease Agreement
  • Neighborhood Context Map
  • Business Entity Formation
  • Surety Bond (est. $5,000)
  • Live Scan Background Check
  • Security Plan
  • Local Approvals
  • Seller’s Permit

Apart from that, cultivators are also asked to submit these forms.

  • 1602 Permit or Waiver
  • Verification of Water Source
  • Hazardous Materials Record Search
  • Cultivators Waste Discharge Permit


Los Angeles, California, is in its 24 years of legalized the cannabis industry. In line with this, the state makes sure that they fully exercise the law that governs this type of market. Thus, if you plan to start a cannabis cultivation business in this area, ensure to obtain a valid license by referring to the steps listed above, so everything is legal and warranted.

First posted on LA Progressive


DISCLAIMER: Cannabiz Digital does not sell cannabis. This publication covers business topics surrounding legal cannabis in California and the United States. It does not provide legal or medical advice. Consult your physician, lawyer, and local laws regarding cannabis. We do our best to provide current information at the time of publishing with no guarantees to accuracy. We understand this industry changes quickly and welcome your feedback. [Send Feedback]