Dispensaries have long been the kings of cannabis and as things turn up during the regulatory transition period, the BCC is slowly inching towards a final set of rules to adhere by. The competition is hotter than ever. Are you prepared to stay compliant and be one step ahead of the rest of the field?

As a storefront retailer, you have the opportunity to make a lasting impression on customers that come into your dispensary and keep them coming back by curating an irresistible experience each and every time. But, you can only do this if you’re a compliant business

Check out these 4 regulations changes for dispensaries in California!

A & M Licenses + Attached Fees

Associated fees to obtain a cannabis retail license in California.

Before July 1, 2018, to service both medicinal and recreational customers, two separate applications were required with the attached fees for each being due at the time of application submission. One of the major changes to this process since July 1 is the ability to submit a single application that encompasses both the medical and recreational market with cost of application not being due until the approval of an application.

This not only simplifies the application process for these looking to service both sides of the market, but allows for a little bit more of economic freedom to take place and a smaller overhead for any potential business owner.

Be sure to specify which category of business—A-U, Medical, or both—you’d like to participate in on your application!

Security Personnel Age Requirements

4 Regulations Changes for Dispensaries in California

Dispensary security staff must be 21 or older.

The old regulations on security personnel didn’t have a set age limit or qualification for staff. This meant that almost anyone you hired over the age of 18 years old could play a part of your security team.

But those were the good old days; things are different now!

The BCC has ramped these requirements up to a minimum age requirement of 21 years of age and made it mandatory for all security personnel to be licensed/ accredited by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

This is unfortunate for those under the age of 21, but there is something to be said about the level of maturity that comes with life experience and the 3 years of difference in age. As someone 21 and older, you not only are of age to legally consume cannabis (at will) but are capable of dealing with any legal situation that might arise at your dispensary.

After all, you wouldn’t want to leave the security of your business in the hands of someone that is bound to be younger than the majority of your customers, would you? Make sure your dispensary security is adequately aged and fit to perform whatever duty is necessary.

Related: 5 Simple Compliance Violations Dispensaries Don’t Really Think About

Cannabis Goods Display Limitations

4 Regulations Changes for Dispensaries in California

Cannabis goods displays cannot be sold to consumers in CA dispensaries.

11 months ago, your customer could walk into your dispensary and pick out any jar of cannabis they wanted to smell or touch with the expectation of being sold what was about to be weighed out in front of them. Well, those days are long gone and the BCC has made it very clear that there are display standards to uphold when customers come into your location.

Check out our simple do’s and dont’s for cannabis displays below:


Ensure that cannabis not used for displays is locked and inaccessible to the general public.

-Display cannabis and report the display as use in METRC.

-Allow customers to smell samples and get hand-on with what they are going to purchase.

-Dispose of all cannabis on display in accordance to regulations.


-Sell cannabis that isn’t pre-packaged.

-Give samples to customers in-store.

-Sell the display package to a customer even if its the last one on shelves—this is a blatant violation and is sure to get a fine tacked onto your monthly expenses.

In a nutshell, cannabis can be displayed insofar as it is not to be offered for retail sales at any point. Cannabis not for display that is intended to be sold should be stored in a way that is not obtainable by the general public.

Verifying Customer Age. Every Time.

A-U customers must be 21 years of age or older while medicinal patients can be 18+

Each customer needs to be checked in at the front of your dispensary on each visit. Age requirements are 21+ for recreational users while those holding a valid MMID card can be 18 years of age and older. Appropriate forms of identification are state or government issued forms of identification including driver’s licenses and passports.

Checking in customers is a basic requirement that has been set by the BCC and the importance of this goes beyond just the regulations. Checking in customers works in more ways than just staying compliant. It helps keep track of the amount of foot traffic your dispensary is generating, resulting in an accumulation of wealth in data that should be used to your marketing department’s advantage.

Related: A Definitive Guide to Compliance — California Cannabis Dispensaries

The BCC doesn’t play around…

One slight hiccup can send your cannabis business tumbling.

Breaking down the cannabis regulations in California is a lot like trying to keep up with a toddler that is making their mind up at the dinner table—exhausting. Our goal is to provide you with an easy-to-digest list of the essentials that make your business run seamlessly in a time where everyone is struggling to understand the BCC changes.

Related: A Definitive Guide to Compliance — California Cannabis Dispensaries
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