On Thursday, the state's Bureau of Cannabis Control approved its first wave of businesses applying for licenses.
The bureau, operated through the Department of Consumer Affairs, issues licenses for cannabis testing labs, distributors, retailers and micro-businesses.
Altogether, nine companies received a total of 20 licenses from the BCC on Thursday. None of those, however, go into effect until Jan. 1, when adult-use cannabis becomes legal in the state.
"It's sort of a monumental occasion, what we've been working for for the greater part of the past two years," Alex Traverso, Bureau of Cannabis Control assistant chief of communications, said. "There were just a ton of people that were excited to be able to finally push that button and say, 'Okay, your license is issued.'"
Traverso told ABC10 News the bureau has received 200 license applications since it began taking them late last week. Altogether, 1,900 people have registered with the BCC's online portal for cannabis business license applications.
The nine businesses granted licenses Thursday are 530 CANNABIS, of Shasta Lake; Buddy's Cannabis, of San Jose; Golden State Sciences, of King City; HERBL Distribution Solutions
Hueneme Patient Consumer Coop, of Port Hueneme; KindPeoples, of Santa Cruz; Pure CA, LLC, or Lynwood; Torrey Holistics, of San Diego and a business listed as Yes, which received the state's sole cannabis laboratory testing license Thursday.
"They're ready to do business. They're happy to be in state regulation, so I think we're all excited about that," Traverso said.
Regulation, he said, is good for everybody.
"It gives people the peace of mind when they go out to a dispensary that they're buying safe cannabis, so it's cannabis that's gone through a testing process. There are standards associated with it," he said. "If you're buying edibles, you're not getting, like, on giant brick of a brownie, it's actually dosed so it's scored so there's actual measurable doses, so you don't have people who are maybe consuming too much."
Aside from the public safety component, he said, "from the state standard as well, like the industry is regulated, taxed."
Other types of cannabis businesses receive their state license from one of two other departments. One of them is also issuing licenses now, like the BCC; the other is waiting for Jan. 1 to do so.
The Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch of the state's Department of Public Health licenses manufacturers of cannabis products, such as edibles. A spokesperson told ABC10 that as of Thursday, the CDPH has received 55 requests for temporary licenses for manufactured cannabis and has issued 8 temporary licenses with an effective date of Jan. 1.
"These numbers are changing daily as we work with manufacturers and local jurisdictions to finalize the license applications," the CDPH spokesperson said.
The California Department of Agriculture's CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Program licenses cannabis cultivators and administers the Track-and-Trace system. A note on the CalCannabis website says "currently we are not issuing state cannabis cultivation licenses. We will begin issuing licenses on January 1, 2018."
A tweet from CalCannabis Thursday announced the CDPH licensing program held its final cannabis cultivation licensing workshop of 2017, "where we review the state’s applications for cannabis farmers."
In addition to applying for a license with one of these three departments, cannabis entrepreneurs must also first register their companies with the California Secretary of State's office and apply for a local permit.