If you were looking for the hub of legal California extracts processing, you’d find it in Los Angeles and the bay area’s Alameda County, according to numbers from CalCannabis, a division of the Department of Agriculture which oversees cannabis cultivation licensing.
The Department of Public Health has issued 711 cannabis manufacturing (extraction) licenses as of April 25, as reported by the VC Star. The actual number of licensed facilities is only about half that number, however, as most facilities require more than license to operate.
County by county, Los Angeles ranks at the top of the state for licensed manufacturing with 120 sites, Alameda comes in a hair behind with 119, and the LA outer suburb area of Riverside County comes in third with 102 facilities. The city of Los Angeles has not yet begun to license manufacturing so all those legit facilities are in areas such as Maywood and Lynwood.
Only 112 licenses statewide allow for the use of volatile solvents like butane to make recreational cannabis product. 142 licenses allow for the same process to produce medical marijuana products. Many facilities have both licenses.
It’s worth noting that this does not necessarily indicate where most of the state’s cannabis extracts are made. CalCannabis’s data only accounts for white market companies. According to their numbers, the highest concentration of cannabis cultivation is in Santa Barbara, but that is because that is where the most licenses have been taken out by a relatively few number of companies.
Santa Barbara County has 799 cultivation licenses, but many of these are taken out by the same growers because there is no limit on the number of small grow licenses one individual can acquire. A “medium” grower (someone who uses between 10,001 and 22,000 square feet), on the other hand, can only have one license.
As of last week, CalCannabis has issued 3,490 temporary licenses for marijuana cultivation, but Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association trade group, estimates there are about 50,000 cannabis cultivation sites statewide. That means only 6 percent of grows are licensed. But it could be even less. Among some in the industry, white market growers are known as the “one percent.”