(a) The department may issue state licenses only to qualified applicants.
(b) Revocation of a state license issued under this division shall terminate the ability of the licensee to operate pursuant to that license within California until a new license is obtained.
(c) A licensee shall not change or alter the premises in a manner which materially or substantially alters the premises, the usage of the premises, or the mode or character of business operation conducted from the premises, from the plan contained in the diagram on file with the application, unless and until written approval by the department has been obtained. For purposes of this section, material or substantial physical changes of the premises, or in the usage of the premises, shall include, but not be limited to, a substantial increase or decrease in the total area of the licensed premises previously diagrammed, or any other physical modification resulting in substantial change in the mode or character of business operation.
(d) The department shall not approve an application for a state license under this division if approval of the state license will violate the provisions of any local ordinance or regulation adopted in accordance with Section 26200.
(e) An applicant may voluntarily provide proof of a license, permit, or other authorization from the local jurisdiction verifying that the applicant is in compliance with the local jurisdiction. An applicant that voluntarily submits a valid, unexpired license, permit, or other authorization from the local jurisdiction shall be presumed to be in compliance with all local ordinances unless the department is notified otherwise by the local jurisdiction. The department shall notify the contact person for the local jurisdiction of any applicant that voluntarily submits a valid, unexpired license, permit, or other authorization from the local jurisdiction.
(f) (1) A local jurisdiction shall provide to the department a copy of any ordinance or regulation related to commercial cannabis activity and the name and contact information for the person who will serve as the contact for the department regarding commercial cannabis activity within the jurisdiction. If a local jurisdiction does not provide a contact person, the department shall assume that the clerk of the legislative body of the local jurisdiction is the contact person.
(2) Whenever there is a change in a local ordinance or regulation adopted pursuant to Section 26200 or a change in the contact person for the jurisdiction, the local jurisdiction shall provide that information to the department.
(g) (1) The department shall deny an application for a license under this division for a commercial cannabis activity that the local jurisdiction has notified the department is prohibited in accordance with subdivision (f). The department shall notify the contact person for the local jurisdiction of each application denied due to the local jurisdiction’s indication that the commercial cannabis activity for which a license is sought is prohibited by a local ordinance or regulation.
(2) Prior to issuing a state license under this division for any commercial cannabis activity, if an applicant has not provided adequate proof of compliance with local laws pursuant to subdivision (e):
(A) The department shall notify the contact person for the local jurisdiction of the receipt of an application for commercial cannabis activity within their jurisdiction.
(B) A local jurisdiction may notify the department that the applicant is not in compliance with a local ordinance or regulation. In this instance, the department shall deny the application.
(C) A local jurisdiction may notify the department that the applicant is in compliance with all applicable local ordinances and regulations. In this instance, the department may proceed with the licensing process.
(D) If the local jurisdiction does not provide notification of compliance or noncompliance with applicable local ordinances or regulations, or otherwise does not provide notification indicating that the completion of the local permitting process is still pending, within 60 business days of receiving the inquiry from the department submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A), the department shall make a rebuttable presumption that the applicant is in compliance with all local ordinances and regulations adopted in accordance with Section 26200, except as provided in subparagraphs (E) and (F).
(E) At any time after expiration of the 60-business-day period set forth in subparagraph (D), the local jurisdiction may provide written notification to the department that the applicant or licensee is not in compliance with a local ordinance or regulation adopted in accordance with Section 26200. Upon receiving this notification, the department shall not presume that the applicant or licensee has complied with all local ordinances and regulations adopted in accordance with Section 26200, and may commence disciplinary action in accordance with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 26030). If the department does not take action against the licensee before the time of the renewal of the license, the license shall not be renewed until and unless the local jurisdiction notifies the department that the licensee is once again in compliance with local ordinances.
(F) A presumption by the department pursuant to this paragraph that an applicant has complied with all local ordinances and regulations adopted in accordance with Section 26200 shall not prevent, impair, or preempt the local government from enforcing all applicable local ordinances or regulations against the applicant, nor shall the presumption confer any right, vested or otherwise, upon the applicant to commence or continue operating in any local jurisdiction except in accordance with all local ordinances or regulations.
(3) For purposes of this section, “notification” includes written notification or access by the department to a local jurisdiction’s registry, database, or other platform designated by a local jurisdiction, containing information specified by the department, on applicants to determine local compliance.
(h) Without limiting any other statutory exemption or categorical exemption, Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code does not apply to the adoption of an ordinance, rule, or regulation by a local jurisdiction that requires discretionary review and approval of permits, licenses, or other authorizations to engage in commercial cannabis activity. To qualify for this exemption, the discretionary review in any such law, ordinance, rule, or regulation shall include any applicable environmental review pursuant to Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code. This subdivision shall become inoperative on July 1, 2021.
(i) A local or state public agency may charge and collect a fee from a person proposing a project pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 21089 of the Public Resources Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 70, Sec. 43. (AB 141) Effective July 12, 2021. Note: This section was added on Nov. 8, 2016, by initiative Prop. 64.)