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Manufacturers extract cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis plants and make products out of the extract. The types of products they make vary widely and include:

  • Food and beverages
  • Vape cartridges
  • Lotions and balms
  • Lozenges and sublingual sprays
  • Pills and tablets
  • Dab, shatter and wax

Cannabis manufacturers use techniques and processes common in other types of consumer product manufacturing. Manufacturing steps differ based on the type of manufacturing, but generally include:

  • Extraction of cannabinoids
  • Post-processing (refinement) of cannabis extract
  • Infusion of extract or plant material with other ingredients
  • Packaging and labeling cannabis products

Manufacturing licenses

You need a manufacturing license to make cannabis products in California. The type of manufacturing license you need depends on:

  • What activities you do
  • Whether you do extraction and post processing
  • What types of chemicals you use (if any)

You need a different license if you manufacture in a shared-use facility.

Good manufacturing practices

The Department of Cannabis Control’s regulations require manufacturers to follow good manufacturing practices (GMPs) when making products. GMPs help ensure products are:

  • Free of contaminants and safe for consumers
  • Produced consistently every time
  • Labeled correctly

Manufacturers must demonstrate GMPs by:

  • Maintaining a sanitary facility, equipment and utensils
  • Using written procedures and instructions
  • Documenting work
  • Protecting against contamination
  • Including controls in processes
  • Practicing personal hygiene

This self-inspection checklist is designed to help you review the conditions of your cannabis manufacturing facility in preparation for an inspection by Department of Cannabis Control staff.

Documenting manufacturing processes

Manufacturers must keep up-to-date documents with their procedures and instructions for making products.

Product quality plan

A product quality plan includes:

  • An assessment of the potential hazards in your facility and manufacturing practices
  • The preventative measures you use to mitigate risks

You must have a product quality plan for each type of product manufactured.

Master manufacturing protocols

Master manufacturing protocols are step-by-step instructions for creating your product. They are the “recipe” that staff follow to ensure they make the products the same way each time. You must have a master manufacturing protocol for each formulation.

Use the master manufacturing protocol checklist to make sure your protocols include the required information.

Batch production records

Batch production records document all the steps you take to create your product. Most manufacturers create a template that their staff can fill out when they complete each step.

Use the batch production records checklist to make sure your templates include the required information.

Packaging and labeling

Manufactured cannabis products must be:

  • Packaged to prevent product contamination
  • Labeled so consumers know what they’re buying or using


Packaging must be:

  • Child resistant
  • Tamper evident
  • Resealable (if it contains multiple servings)
  • Opaque (if it is an edible)

Use the packaging checklist to make sure your product is properly packaged. Learn more about child-resistant packaging requirements.


Cannabis product labels have two parts:

  • Primary panel – the part of the label displayed to the consumer at retail; typically found on the front or the top of the package
  • Informational panel – any other part of the label that is not the primary panel

You must list certain information on each part of the label. Use the labeling checklists to make sure your product has the required information: