Welcome to our guide on how to search for a cannabis license in California for the year 2023. Given the regulated nature of the cannabis industry, having a valid license is not only a legal requirement but also a sign of credibility for businesses. This article aims to guide you through the process of searching for and verifying cannabis licenses in California.

The Regulatory Bodies:

Three primary agencies oversee cannabis licensing in California:

  • California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA): Manages cultivation licenses.
  • Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC): Regulates retail, distribution, and testing.
  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH): Oversees manufacturing of cannabis products.

Types of Licenses:

  • Retailer Licenses: For storefronts and delivery services.
  • Distributor Licenses: For intermediaries between cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers.
  • Manufacturer Licenses: For producing cannabis products like edibles and concentrates.
  • Cultivation Licenses: For growing cannabis plants.

How to Search for a License:

  • Online Databases: Websites like the BCC’s license search are reliable sources.
  • Physical Checks: Licenses should be prominently displayed in physical locations.
  • Verifying License Numbers: Always cross-reference the number with official databases.

Here are the steps on how to search using Online Databases.

Step 1. Go to and click search for a License.

You Can Search By

  • With an already obtained License Number / Address
  • Retailers Near Me (by location)
  • Advanced Search

Step 2. Place the license number on the field (if you have it) and press enter or click search

*If no license number you may follow the steps below;

By Location

Step 1. Click Find Retailers Near Me

Step 2. Enter the address you want to look into (depending on your location or target location)

Step 3. Hover your mouse over to the location(with Numbers) and it will list the location on the right part of your screen

Step 4. Click the location you want

To Export Data into a Spreadsheet

Step 1. Click Advanced Search

Step 2. Select the License type you want to export

Step 3. Select the License Status you want to export and hit Submit

Step 4. Click Export (Depending on your preference, you can choose for all data or only available(selected columns)

Step 5. Select your Option (Visible Data includes what’s shown in the dashboard, all data is for all pages listed). The file type that will be downloaded will be a CSV/Excel file.

Why Searching For a License is Important

For Already Licensed Business Owners:

In order to find customers and clients, the website search navigation offers businesses to ensure they are buying and selling with actively licensed operations, with the latest up to date status live on the site.

For Not Yet Licensed Business Owners:

To apply for a license, you’ll need to go through a thorough application process both at the city and state level, that includes background checks, business plans, and various fees. Each agency has its requirements listed on their respective websites.

For Consumers:

It’s essential to ensure that you are buying from a licensed retailer to guarantee product safety. If you encounter an unlicensed operator, you can report them through official channels like the BCC’s complaint form.


Ensuring that a cannabis business is licensed is crucial for the integrity and safety of the industry. Both consumers and business owners have a role to play in maintaining this standard. Therefore, familiarizing yourself with how to search for and verify licenses is a valuable skill to have.

References and Resources:


Major Corporations Investing in Cannabis

As cannabis legalization continues to spread across the country, major corporations are increasingly taking notice and investing in the industry. In April of 2023, a major beverage company announced a $100 million investment in a cannabis-infused drink startup, signaling the growing trend of large corporations entering the cannabis space.

NCAA Medical Committee Calls for End to Cannabis Penalties for College Athletes

In a significant and up-to-date policy shift, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) medical committee has recommended that college athletes should no longer face penalties for using cannabis. This progressive stance reflects the evolving landscape of cannabis regulations across the United States. The committee has firmly asserted that drug testing efforts should be redirected towards detecting performance-enhancing substances, leaving cannabis use without punitive measures. This recommendation comes after the committee conducted a thorough review of existing policies and solicited input from member organizations. It anticipates that the final decision on this matter will be made in the fall, following consultations and legislative processes within each of the NCAA’s governing bodies.

Los Angeles Launches Job Board for Local Cannabis Licenses, Boosting Social Equity Benefits

The city of Los Angeles has taken a significant step towards fostering a healthier and more equitable licensed cannabis market with the launch of a dedicated job board. This innovative initiative aims to connect individuals seeking employment opportunities in the cannabis industry with licensed businesses in the local Los Angeles area.

Elevating Cannabis Brands: The Path to Luxury Through Sensory Science and Consumer-Accessible Branding

Cannabis brands are currently at a crossroads, faced with a critical decision: whether to steer their product towards becoming a luxury consumable or an affordable agricultural commodity. While the trajectory of the cannabis market seems destined to evolve into a luxury goods industry, akin to wine and spirits, the foundations of such luxury brands in other markets were built over years of engagement between consumers, connoisseurs, and producers. To successfully market cannabis products as luxury items, a concerted effort towards well-defined, consumer-accessible branding is required.