Bureau of Cannabis Control Releases New Branded Merchandise FAQ Sheet

The Bureau of Cannabis Control recently released a new FAQ sheet about branded merchandise, and it contains important information for licensees to incorporate into their compliance review processes. For those who may not know, “branded merchandise” includes “clothing, hats, pencils, keychains, mugs, water bottles, beverage glasses, notepads, lanyards, or cannabis accessories with the name or logo of a state licensed cannabis business” on them. Branded merchandise does NOT include items containing cannabis or any items that are considered “food” as defined by the California Health and Safety Code. 

Branded merchandise can be sold by licensees only AFTER the merchandise has been approved by the Bureau of Cannabis Control. To get branded merchandise approved by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, licensees should email requests for branded merchandise approval to the Bureau’s general email address (BCC@dca.ca.gov). All requests need to contain the following phrase in the email subject line – “Request for Branded Merchandise Approval”. 

The body of the email must include the following information: 

  1. The licensee’s name and license number;
  2. A description of each branded merchandise item to be approved for sale; and
  3. A picture of each branded merchandise item to be approved for sale. 

One thing to remember is that while a licensed distributor may distribute their own and other licensee’s branded merchandise, a licensed retailer may only sell its own branded merchandise to retail customers. Retailers are not authorized to sell the branded merchandise of other licensees. 

Additionally, because branded merchandise is considered marketing and advertising, the marketing and advertising requirements found in MAUCRSA and the Bureau’s regulations must be followed.

We strongly suggest that you contact a licensed attorney to review any and all branded merchandise before it is manufactured to ensure it meets all regulatory requirements. To schedule a consultation with regulatory counsel, please contact Rogoway Law Group today.

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