Currently California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued 267 active microbusiness licenses. In order to hold a California microbusiness license, a licensee must engage in at least three of the following cannabis business activities: Retailer, Retailer Non-Storefront, Cultivation (less than 10,000 sq. ft.), Distributor, Distributor Transport Only, Manufacturer (Level 1, Type 6). These have been planned in a number of states as a way to encourage craft cannabis and to ensure that small businesses can participate in the industry.
- The premises cities most often cited mirror the large population centers in California. Oakland has 46, Los Angeles 33, and San Francisco 11.
- Distribution was the most popular activity chosen by microbusinesses and can be found in 97% of the licenses.
- Manufacturing was part of 91% of the licenses while cultivation rounded out the top 3 with 69%.
- 71% chose three activities to pursue out of a possible six.
The graph below shows what the number and the percentage of microbusinesses that selected that activity.
And when offered such a plethora of choices, here’s how many activities the license holders chose:
Some popular combinations included Cultivation, Manufacturing and Distribution which was the choice for 115 license holders and Cultivation, Manufacturing, Distribution and Retail which was chosen by 44 of the license holders.
Of the 185 that chose cultivation – data was provided by some as to the type of lighting they selected. The list is not mutually exclusive. The tally looks like this:
- Indoor – 57 licenses
- Nursery – 17 licenses
- Mixed – 3 licenses
- Outdoor – 2 licenses
Thirteen licenses that chose cultivation as an activity would use more than one lighting type.
97% of microbusinesses have chosen Distributor as one of their activities. Based on the BCC’s recently updated instructions distribution licenses give these owners important control throughout the seed-to-sale process:
- Distributor: Purchases, sells, arranges for testing, conducts quality assurance review of packaging and labeling, and transports cannabis goods between licensees.
- Distributor – Transport Only: Transports cannabis goods between licensees. May not transport cannabis goods to a licensed retailer and may not engage in any other distributor activities
Oddly there were a few cases where Distributor and Distributor-Tranport Only were selected.
This was chosen for 91 of the licenses and oddly was paired with Retailer Non-Storefront six times.
Why does this matter?
Microbusinesses were created as a way to give small operators a chance to succeed in the cannabis economy. They were creatively constructed to give entrepreneurs choice with a build-your-own type approach. California is not the only jurisdiction to permit these – they are currently cropping up in Michigan and will be available in Illinois and Massachusetts.
Cannabiz Media customers can stay up-to-date on these and other new licenses through our newsletters, alerts, and reports modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports delivered to your inbox. Or you can schedule a demo for more information on how to access the Cannabiz Media License Database yourself to dive further into this data.
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Ed Keating is a co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Cannabiz Media and oversees our data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his whole career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has overseen complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental and human resource markets and focuses on workflow products over the last twenty five years. During that time he has worked for both startup and established information companies where he has led marketing, product management and sales organizations. These companies include Wolters Kluwer/Commerce Clearing House, CT Corporation, EDGAR Online and Business & Legal Reports. At Cannabiz Media Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators across the globe as he and his team gather corporate, financial, and license information to track the people, products and businesses in the cannabis economy. Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.