Cannabis Knowledge & Insights

What You Need to Know About California’s Permanent Cannabis Regulations

The new permanent cannabis regulations offer changes to labeling and packaging, new product definitions, OSHA training regulations, and more. 

  • California’s permanent cannabis regulations go into effect January 2019. 
  • There is some good news for delivery operators and white label manufacturers.
  • More detailed labeling and packaging requirements put a higher burden on operators. 

Speak to one of our experts to learn how these new regulations impact your business.


There have been some revisions to the last set of state-wide cannabis regulations that were originally released in October 2018. Check out our previous coverage for more information and history regarding these permanent regulations that go into effect this month (January 2019).

Are the changes good or bad for your cannabis business? As Pamela Epstein, founder and CEO of LA-based Greenwise Consulting reports: there are “wins, losses, and ambiguities.”

There are definitely some wins for delivery operators and white label manufacturers. But, there are also some drawbacks when it comes to regulations related to labeling and packaging. Here’s what’s changed – and how it might impact your operation.

Changes to Labeling and Packaging

A side-by-side comparison of the new regulations with the previous draft reveals the following: 

  1. Deliveries are allowed anywhere in the State of California. Municipalities can no longer “ban” delivery services.
  2. White labelling IS PERMITTED. This means that production and packaging of cannabis products on behalf of an unlicensed business, such as a celebrity brand or an out-of-state business is okay—so long as those businesses do not have control over the daily operations of the licensed facility’s operations.
  3. Exit packaging is still permitted until July 1, 2020. After that, manufacturers and cultivators will have to provide their own child-resistant packaging for their cannabis and cannabis products.
  4. Regarding labeling, if a product container is separate from its outermost packaging, the   product container must have label that has the following:
    1. For edibles, topicals, suppositories, and other orally consumed concentrates- all the information on the outer packaging, except for cannabinoid content.
    2. For inhaled cannabis products such as shatter, dabs, wax, a universal cannabis symbol must be affixed onto the inner container.
    3. For pre-rolls and pre-packaged flower: specific label requirements

New Product Definitions

There are new product definitions in the revised regulations. This is important in order to label and package your products correctly.

Infused pre-roll: a pre-roll into which cannabis concentrate, other than Kief has been incorporated.

Kief: resinous trichomes of cannabis that have been separated from the cannabis plant.

Orally Consumed Concentrates: cannabis concentrates that are intended to be consumed by mouth, such as tinctures, capsules, and tablets.

New OSHA Training Requirements

Probably the biggest change that your business needs to be aware of are the new OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) training requirements. If you are a licensed operator with more than one employee, or you plan to hire within the first year of receiving your cannabis business license, one supervisor and one employee must successfully complete a Cal/OSHA 30-hour General Industry Outreach course. This course must be provided by a trainer that is approved by the OSHA training institute education center to provide the course. Check this site for future updates on course availability.

Operational Changes Requiring State Approval

If your cannabis operation makes any of the following changes, the new regulations require you to report these changes to the state cannabis authorities. California regulators must approve these changes before you move forward with them. Here are the changes that require approval:

  1. Addition to any closed loop extraction method
  2. Addition of any other extraction method that necessitates substantial or material alterations
  3. Addition of infusion operations if no infusion activity is listed, and provide a new product list within ten (10) business days of making any changes
  4. Substantial material alterations to the licensed premises 

Every licensed operator should know local and state regulations. The key to compliance is knowing what regulations apply to your business and what control measures and processes you should implement in order to maintain compliance.

Need help with your standard operating procedures? Want to know if you are operating a compliant commercial cannabis business? Contact a team member today.