Under a bill signed last week by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), the state’s three cannabis regulatory bodies have been consolidated into the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), according to the agency’s first press release.
The new DCC is housed under California’s Department of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing (BCSH). California’s cannabis programs were formerly separated across three different state departments and included the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, and the Department of Public Health’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. Operators have long expressed difficulties in having to navigate the requirements of three separate agencies.
The DCC will maintain the state’s current licensing structure but starting in 2026 will no longer renew the provisional licenses under which the majority of the industry has operated since legalization.
“The state’s consolidation effort delivers on the commitment made by the Newsom Administration to listen to and work with California’s legal cannabis industry to streamline participation in the legal market by offering a central point of contact for licensed operators. One of the key missions of our agency is to build strong, equitable, and vibrant communities. This action takes bold steps in that direction.” — BCSH Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez
Nicole Elliott, formerly the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Cannabis at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, was appointed to be the first DCC director.
The governor described the new agency as a “significant step forward to fulfill the opportunities of legalization” and called for continuing the state’s “efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive industry.”
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