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Californian Cannabis Businesses Given 60 More Days to Renew Their Licenses

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jun 30, 2020   
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Once again, cannabis businesses in California have been allowed to defer their license fee payments for up to 60 days in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an announcement on Monday, June 29, the state’s three cannabis licensing authorities clarified that businesses with licenses expiring between July 1 and August 31 can now request a deferral.

60 more days

Although they were deemed “essential businesses” back in mid-March, cannabis companies are still excluded from federal financial assistance, due to the drug’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance.

So, considering the financial strains the coronavirus pandemic may have caused, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA), and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will all begin accepting requests for fee relief immediately.

“We hope that today’s announcement will provide assistance to the industry as we continue to work together to address the challenges created by the pandemic,” Lori Ajax, the BCC’s chief, said in a statement.

With a deferral, a business’ license fee will be due 60 days from its expiration date. But refunds will not be given for fees that have already been paid.

The three state agencies announced a similar 60-day leeway option last month for any Californian marijuana business that would struggle to renew its license before the June 30 deadline.

Following the height of the state’s Covid-19 lockdown, legal cannabis sales appear to be returning to regular rates. According to the cannabis market research firm BDSA, the Friday sales seen in California increased with every passing week in May. 

But despite this retail pick-up, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently downgraded the projections for the state’s legal cannabis tax revenue for this year and the next.


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