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Every dispensary that sells cannabis products must be approved by the state of California and is regulated by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), which was originally known as the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC).  It was recently merged so that one body can manage all commercial cannabis activity in California. This also means that dispensaries must directly go through the DCC to receive a license to sell the drug.  California is the largest marijuana market in the US, making it a popular spot to open up a cannabis dispensary, but there are many rules and regulations the businesses must adhere to in order to be licensed and allowed to sell products. These businesses must be compliant with the law so that they can sell cannabis products such as pre rolls, live rosin, THC concentrates, and products that are solventless concentrates, like certain vape items which are considered solventless.

What is a Dispensary?

A dispensary is a location where cannabis is sold for recreational and medical use, depending on the state and whether cannabis is legal or not. A cannabis dispensary can sell the drug to individuals 21 years of age or older at a max of 28.5 grams (1 ounce) per day per individual. Over the years, as more and more states legalized the drug, cannabis stores have been growing in popularity and demand, and remaining competitive, these dispensaries specialize in specific cannabis products. Some of the products include  pre rolls, live rosin, THC concentrates, and more. As more and more dispensaries open and the industry continues to grow and evolve, cannabis stores are selling unique and specialized products to cater to a wider audience.

How Do They Work?

Before a business can open and begin selling products to customers of age, it must register through the DCC website and be approved at the state level. There are additional requirements a dispensary must adhere to, including laws pertaining to California Environmental Quality Act. A business must obtain a retail license in order to become a legal seller of cannabis products ranging from solventless concentrate to pre rolls.

Important Things Dispensaries Must Consider

With the recent merge of the BCC to the DCC, new rules were established that include sales for branded merchandise and sharing samples of products within the supply chain. The cannabis dispensary industry is constantly growing and evolving, and businesses must stay informed about new and updated rules and regulations to remain operating smoothly. If a business does not properly adhere to the regulations, it can lose a license to sell. The most important things to know include:

  • Licenses and Permits
    • In order to run a cannabis dispensary in California and sell products such as California solventless vapes or live rosin, businesses must renew their permit each year. It is also mandatory to provide owner information to the DCC every two years.
    • There are two licenses a business can apply for, A-License or M-License. A license is a recreational sale license, and an M-license is a medical sale license. If a business is looking to sell both medical and recreational cannabis, they are required to apply for both licenses separately.
    • There is a $1000 application fee and an additional licensing fee based on the projected value of a dispensary. If a dispensary has a projected value of $750 000, there is a $4000 licensing fee which is the lowest, and the highest fee is up to $120 000 if a dispensary has a value of over $7.5 million.
  • Location
    • Before setting up a dispensary, the potential business needs to get a permit to sell cannabis products like solventless concentrate items, and thc concentrates.
    • The dispensary must not be within 600 feet of a school district or another cannabis dispensary.
  • Advertising
    • Advertisement laws are important to abide by as they differ from each state and have specific restrictions. California enforces that cannabis dispensary ads can only be advertised where there is a minimum of a 71.6% audience age of 21 years or older.
    • Advertising on billboards and other large signs has to be 1000 feet away from any areas where children are present. This includes schools, playgrounds, and more.

What to Expect

Every dispensary is different, but there will always be knowledgeable staff working that can provide assistance and give recommendations to those who may know very little about the types of products and different uses.  It is required to show a government-issued piece of ID to prove the legal age for purchase. It is comparable to visiting a liquor store, but there is a set limit on the amount of cannabis an individual can purchase per day. The legal amount of concentrated cannabis per day is 28.5 grams, and concentrated cannabis is at a maximum of 8 grams per day. Each state in the US has different laws set in place to monitor and control the cannabis industry, and even though many states have legalized recreational cannabis, there are many regulations businesses and consumers must follow.


Cannabis dispensaries can sell many different products ranging from pure THC, only CBD, or a hybrid of both. Common cannabis products include gummies, marijuana, and drinks with more specialized items such as solventless vapes and live rosin. Opening and operating a cannabis dispensary comes with many responsibilities and a required understanding of rules and regulations. California has specific laws in place to ensure every dispensary sells products that are safe to sell to the public.




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