Up until Jan. 1, 2018, anyone could throw a cannabis event in California—all you needed was a venue, some vendors and people to attend. But now you need a state license in order to host any type of large-scale cannabis gathering. If you don’t have a license and still decide to throw an event, it’s possible the Bureau of Cannabis Control will proceed with harsh disciplinary action. Here are a few tips about getting your state event license.
Events aren’t a part of the supply chain, but still managed by the Bureau of Cannabis Control:
Unlike cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing, retail and microbusinesses, events are in its own separate category of licensure. That said, events are still overseen by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), a branch of the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is the same legislative body that manages distribution, retail, lab testing and microbusinesses.
Follow up with the Bureau:
The laws around cannabis are ever changing, so it’s important to stay informed. You can sign up for their email list here, which will keep you informed about workshops, lectures or meetings that come to your area. This is also a good way to stay up-to-date on when new information, forms or applications are added to the site. Or, if you have specific questions, you can also reach them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Temporary event licenses are being accepted—if you have a state event organizer license:
Confusing, right? That’s why it’s good to stay up-to-date with the BCC and reach out to them if you have questions. In order to obtain a temporary event license, the event organizer must first apply for and obtain an event organizer license. (You can download the application here.) Here’s what you’ll need for section A:
· Business Organization Structure: You’ll need to identify your business organizational structure. In other words you’ll need to provide:
o Sole Proprietor: Fictitious Business Name form filed with local business permit office.
o Corporation: Articles of Incorporation, Statement of Information, Certificates of Stock and a Statement and Designation by Foreign Professional Corporation (if applicable).
o Limited Liability Company: Articles of Organization.
o Limited Partnership: Certificate of Limited Partnership, Partnership Agreement and Operating Agreements.
o General Partnership: Partnership agreement, Statement of Partnership Authority.
o Limited Liability Partnership: Partnership Agreements, Application to Register as a Limited Liability Partnership.
o Foreign Corporation: Certificate of Qualification issued by the Secretary of State.
· Business Contact Info: If applying as an individual you’ll need to provide your first and last name. If the applicant is a business entity, then the full legal business name is required. The applicant business name must be identical to the name listed on the business-formation documents submitted to the Bureau. The applicant must provide the physical address of the premises, and the mailing address if it is different. The applicant must also provide the business website address, email address, and telephone number.
· Social Security Number/Individual Taxpayer Identification Number/Federal Employer Identification Number: Each applicant must provide a valid US Social Security Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or a Federal Employer Identification Number before an application can be approved.
Section B: Requires applicants to identify a primary contact person. The primary contact is the individual who is designated as the person the licensing entities can contact for information regarding the business. The applicant must provide the primary contact's name, title, telephone number, and email address.
Section C: Is about declarations.
· Limited Waiver of Sovereign Immunity: If the applicant is a federally recognized tribe or other sovereign entity, a waiver is required. To do this the applicant must submit a written limited waiver of sovereign immunity to the Bureau with any license application or renewal, which must be valid for the period of the license. The written waiver must include they will abide by all state laws, rules, and regulations governing commercial cannabis activity. The applicant must provide proof that they have the lawful authority to enter into the waiver and the waiver must be signed and dated by the authorized person.
· Peace Labor Agreement: If the business has 20 or more non-supervisory employees, the applicant must attest that they have entered or will enter into a labor peace agreement and will abide by its terms. A copy of the labor peace agreement must be provided. For applicants who have not yet entered into a labor peace agreement, the applicant shall provide a notarized statement indicating the applicant will enter into a labor peace agreement and abide by the terms of the labor peace agreement.
Section D: Will ask you to provide owner information. An owner is defined as:
· A person with an aggregate ownership interest of twenty percent or more in the person applying for a license or a licensee, unless the interest is solely a security, lien, encumbrance.
· The CEO of a nonprofit or other entity.
· A member of a nonprofit’s board of directors.
· An individual who will be participating in the direction, control, or management of the commercial cannabis business, including:
o A partner of a commercial cannabis business organized as a partnership;
o A member of a limited liability company of a commercial cannabis
§ business organized as a limited-liability company;
o An officer or director of a commercial cannabis business organized as a corporation.
· Each owner must complete an Owner Submittal form and must electronically submit fingerprint images to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The applicant must use the live scan form provided by the Bureau. Live Scan locations can be found here.
Section E: Asks applicants to identify non-owners who have a financial interest in the business. A financial interest means an investment into a cannabis business, a loan provided to a cannabis business, or any other equity in a cannabis business but not qualified as an owner. The applicant must provide the following information for all non-owners with a financial interest: their name, date of birth, type of government issued identification form, and the identification number.
Section F: F is for “fictitious business name.” The applicant must provide a list of all fictitious business names they will operate under and the location of the businesses.
Section G: Your application fee will be determined by the number of events held, so you’ll be asked to provide that info.
Once you’re approved as an event organizer, you can get your event license:
Note that it costs $1,000 to apply for an event license. You can download the temporary application here. You’ll need to provide most of the same information required for the Event Organizer Application, with the exception of a few details. For example, you’ll need to provide event information. The applicant must provide the name, location and the dates of the event.
Events can’t be held anywhere:
Events must take place at a county fair or district agricultural association locations. According to the BCC, no cannabis temporary event license will be issued for more than 4 days—so no week-long Burning Man style cannabis events are permitted.
You must provide a temporary cannabis event diagram:
Applicants are required to provide a diagram of the physical layout of the event, which must clearly identify:
· Where the cannabis event will be taking place on the grounds of the event's location.
· All cannabis consumption areas.
· All areas where cannabis goods will be sold.
· The specific location of each cannabis licensee who will be participating in the event.
You must have the approval of local jurisdiction:
Applicants must provide proof that the city approves what of the event. The written approval must authorize the applicant to engage in onsite cannabis sales and onsite consumption by people ages 21 and older at the event.
You must provide a list of licensees:
A list of all licensees that will provide onsite sales of cannabis products at the event must be listed. You can find that form here. So, what this is saying is that no unlicensed vendors are allowed to participate in the event.
No alcohol or tobacco!:
Consumption of alcohol or tobacco is not allowed on the premises. If caught and the BCC gets wind, the event could be shut down for good and you could get your license revoked.