What is the purpose of the California Cannabis Authority? 
The California Cannabis Authority is a Joint Powers Authority established to develop and manage a statewide data platform. The platform will assist counties that are regulating commercial cannabis activity by consolidating data from different channels into one resource to help local governments ensure maximum regulatory and tax compliance. In addition, the platform will help to facilitate banking services to the cannabis industry by providing necessary information to financial institutions to help them fulfill necessary compliance requirements.

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What is a Joint Powers Authority? Why create a JPA?
Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs) are legally created public entities that allow two or more public agencies to jointly exercise common powers. Forming a JPA provides a creative approach to the delivery of public services, and also permits public agencies with the means to provide services more efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. The California Cannabis Authority (CCA) is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) created by contract between counties with cannabis regulatory and taxing authority. California’s medical and adult-use cannabis laws allow local governments to determine how best to regulate cannabis within their jurisdictions. Not all counties will choose to regulate commercial cannabis activity, and some counties may choose to ban this type of activity within their jurisdictions. For counties that are actively regulating and/or taxing commercial cannabis activity, a separate public entity will help efficiently and cost-effectively deliver additional information services to help fulfill their specific needs.

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Who will govern CCA?
CCA’s Board of Directors will be made up of one representative from each county that joins the organization. In addition, the day-to-day business of CCA will be directed by an Executive Committee consisting of five members from the Board of Directors. Cities and other public entities will be allowed to participate in the JPA and access data, but will not be part of the authority’s governance structure.  Financial institutions will have access to CCA data by contract.

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Who can access the data and how?
While counties make up the governing structure of CCA, other public entities including cities and state agencies can participate and access data through a separate agreement. The database will be a cloud-based system. Member counties and participants will be able to access the database on the internet with a secure log-in connection through the CCA website.

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How will financial institutions access data?
CCA will work with interested financial institutions and their prospective cannabis clients to provide accurate and cost-effective licensing and compliance information that ensures that the revenue generated from the client’s commercial cannabis activity is from fully licensed and compliant activities. Consent from prospective cannabis clients must be obtained before information is shared with financial institutions that might wish to bank them.

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What type of privacy requirements does the CCA follow? Is CCA subject to public records requests?
CCA will operate under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the state licensing agencies to ensure that all information that is confidential and not subject to the Public Records Act under Proposition 64 remains so. The data platform also adheres to all federal security standards, including the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FRAMP) process to conduct security assessments, authorizations and continuous monitoring of cloud services.

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What are the requirements of joining CCA?
Member counties will be required to adopt the Joint Powers Agreement via their Board of Supervisors, and appoint one member and an alternate to CCA’s Board of Directors. In addition, member counties and participating cities must require their cannabis licensees to provide CCA with point-of-sales information. This information will be collected directly by CCA.

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How will data be collected?
CCA’s data platform will connect directly to other data systems, and also connect to licensees’ payment/point-of-sales systems. The preferred method is an Application Programming Interface (API), but there are other methods that the system can employ as well.  Through an API connection, a “key” is provided by the licensee and is input into the CCA system. Once the connection is established and verified (all done by the platform), no further human interaction is necessary.  Data will be pulled on a real-time 24-hour basis and input into the CCA data platform.

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How will CCA be funded?
The Board of Directors of CCA adopted a financing structure that includes a fee to be paid by each member county and participating entity that is based upon total sales within the jurisdiction. The fee is 0.35%, or 35 basis points of total sales within the jurisdiction. This amount will be commensurate with the amount of data generated, and therefore equitable to each member or participant’s costs to the JPA. It is the decision of the member county or participating entity to determine what resource source the fee will come from.

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How will CCA interface with the state’s track and trace program? Is this a duplicative system?
The data platform will be designed to start where the state’s Track and Trace (Tat) systems stop. TaT systems are built to track anything entered by an end user. TaT methodology requires user input and relies on the end user’s ability to enter, or scan data correctly into the TaT system. This is where the CCA platform adds significant value. The CCA platform isn’t constrained to just data from one source, and it isn’t built to “track”, but is built to analyze and evaluate. The platform looks for anomalies with individual data sources and also looks at how those sources interact with one another, giving a more complete picture and a higher degree of confidence that what is being reported and what is occurring are truly one in the same. When they are not the same, the platform creates an alert. The speed at which the alert is delivered is key for investigation and enforcement actions to correct bad behaviors and catch bad actors quickly and more efficiently.

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Which counties have joined CCA?
San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Humboldt and Mendocino County are members of CCA. The President of the organization is Supervisor Estelle Fennell from Humboldt County. The Secretary is Mary Zeeb, Monterey County Treasurer Tax Collector, and Jim Erb, San Luis Obispo Treasurer Tax Collector/Auditor Controller is the Treasurer of CCA.

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