Cannabis Public Occasion Sales: Licensing and Legal Considerations


Public events that permit the on-web site sale of cannabis goods present a big monetary chance for cannabis organizations. As an instance, Outdoors Lands, the annual music festival held in San Francisco, sold seven figures worth of cannabis goods in just 3 days. With the legalization of cannabis, and adoption of nearby regulations and equivalent pilot applications authorizing such particular occasion sales, we count on to see equivalent numbers at other public events. Beneath, we lay out how you can sell cannabis goods at events, and the different actions of the licensing course of action.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Handle (the “BCC”) implemented a non-statutory license scheme to present the legal framework of the cannabis occasion sales license. This license permits for the on-web site sale and consumption of cannabis goods at public events. Following the implementation of the BCC regulations, various nearby jurisdictions, which includes San Francisco, introduced pilot applications inside the framework that the BCC set forth. Vital to note at outset, informational or educational cannabis events exactly where no cannabis goods are sold or consumed are not necessary to acquire a short-term cannabis occasion license.

State Licensing Method

The BCC demands that just about every public occasion that permits for the on-web site sale of cannabis be licensed. Hence, if your occasion is open to the public, or you are promoting tickets publicly, you want to get licensed. Nevertheless, if you have a private celebration that is not open to the public, you do not want to get licensed.

Subsequent, you need to acquire an annual cannabis occasion organizer license. The annual cannabis occasion organizer license need to spend a charge primarily based on the quantity of events organized by the licensee per year. As you are applying for the annual license, you should really be conscious that you are not only necessary to disclose private info, but info of your cannabis small business. Particularly, you are necessary to list all of the owners (anybody who owns far more than 20%) of your cannabis small business, and anybody else who is deemed to be a monetary interest holder. In addition, the BCC demands you to sign the application beneath penalty of perjury. Hence, it is important that you are forthcoming in your application, otherwise you could not only jeopardize your application for the annual occasion sales license, but also other feasible active licenses you could hold. The application charge for the annual even license is $1,000 along with the necessary annual license charge you need to spend based on how several events you are organizing to host in a offered year. The annual license charge ranges from $three,000 for up to 3 events to $20,000 for organizers organizing to host far more than 20 events in a single year.

After you secured your annual occasion license, you want to apply the for the short-term cannabis occasion license for each and every person occasion exactly where you would like to permit the sale of cannabis goods. The application charge for this license is also $1,000 and you could get this license for up to 4 days. In addition to disclosing particular private info, you also have to attach the following documents to the application:

  • a diagram of the physical layout of the occasion
  • a written approval from the nearby jurisdiction and
  • a list of all licensees and personnel that will be offering onsite sales of cannabis goods.

You need to submit your application at least 60 days prior to the occasion. Nevertheless, if you choose to keep away from final minute annoyances, you may think about submitting the application even earlier. As a reference, the BCC authorized the license for Outdoors Lands only 67 hours ahead of the festival began. Hence, it is critical to strategy far ahead and submit your application with a lot of lead time in case the regulators have comments or issues about your application.

Legal Considerations

As you are navigating by way of the licensing course of action laid out above, it is vital to spend interest to the following in order to keep away from challenges with state and nearby regulators.

Very first, although the cannabis occasion sales license is state-wide, nearby jurisdictions are totally free to permit it or not. For instance, San Francisco implemented its pilot plan just earlier this year. We count on that San Francisco, and other cities, will ultimately introduce permanent applications. Regardless, when you apply for this license, you want to seek advice from nearby regulations which will most likely have a myriad of complicated and financially burdensome permitting specifications.

Second, an occasion sales license does not give you the capability to cultivate, distribute, package, transport, or even sell cannabis. It only offers you the license to hold a public cannabis occasion. In order to distribute, package, transport, and sell cannabis goods you either want to get the right licenses, or you want to employ third-celebration vendors who have the suitable licenses. If you do determine to employ third-celebration vendors, maintain in thoughts that the BCC demands you to disclose all licensees and personnel that will be promoting cannabis on-web site. Importantly, payment to a cannabis occasion organizer could not be determined primarily based on, or tied to, the sale of cannabis goods.

Third, you need to guarantee that the cannabis goods adhere to retailer specifications pertaining to displays, exit packaging, buyer returns, each day sales limits, and totally free samples. If you are working with third-celebration vendors, it would be smart to have the vendors sign nicely believed out contracts obligating them to adhere to the different license and occasion specifications, amongst other factors. This is important due to the fact you will have much less capability to manage the atmosphere and dangers, in particular at a bigger scale occasion. Specialized contract provisions concerning adhering to the regulations, indemnity, liability challenges and insurance coverage coverage protections are vital.  It is critical to perform with an lawyer with the ability and understanding in this really specialized and rapidly moving region.  Though chance abounds, it will be really critical to acquire particular insurance coverage coverage for the complexities and dangers inherent at a public occasion supplying cannabis for sale.

Lastly, with the cannabis occasion sales license, you need to sell only inside the authorized region and only to these 21 years old or older. Sales by way of use of a mobile cart or equivalent indicates are prohibited.  You will not be in a position to sell alcohol inside the cannabis goods sales and consumption region either.  Alcohol need to only be sold at a separately licensed region.


Right after Outdoors Lands, it is clear that an occasion exactly where you can sell cannabis goods on-web site can be a terrific advertising and marketing occasion providing you the capability to attain your shoppers in a totally diverse way.  Nevertheless, ahead of you are permitted to have such an occasion, you need to navigate an comprehensive, and from time to time burdensome, course of action that varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If you want assistance in navigating the different specifications, we recommend you get in touch with a legal counsel who can assistance you maneuver the different legal and permitting specifications. 



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