California Cannabis Business Loans

Bespoke Financial helps address the funding needs for Cannabis businesses in California with financing services specifically tailored to their needs. Grow your Cannabis businesses in California with Bespoke Financial.


Ready to get started with your California cannabis business loan? We’ve made it easy to apply, and you’ll receive an answer within 7 days.


number one

Can I borrow from a bank in California?

It’s highly unlikely that your cannabis business will be able to borrow money from a bank in California. While the sale of cannabis may be legal at the state level in California, the substance is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the FDA, making it illegal on the federal level. That means that most financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and credit card companies, can’t work with you on either lending or banking services. That’s where Bespoke Financial comes in.

Can I borrow from a bank in California?
How can I obtain financing for my cannabis business in California?
Number two

How can I obtain financing for my cannabis business in California?

The first option would be with us at Bespoke! 

Beyond that, there are rumors abound about credit unions in California that are willing to work with cannabis businesses, but there are currently only five credit unions that are willing to work with cannabis clients. These credit unions are not accepting new customers, have lengthy wait lists, and try to keep their identities by operating anonymously and refusing to publicize their willingness to work with cannabis businesses. Even if you are one of the lucky few businesses able to find a place to keep your cash, these institutions do not offer loans or other financing options. 

With the cannabis business booming in the state of California, a variety of businesses have sprung up around providing financing for cannabis-related businesses, including hedge funds and investors specifically focusing on cannabis financing. Commercial lenders like Bespoke Financial can help you obtain cannabis business financing in California. Bespoke Financial was the first commercial lender working exclusively with cannabis businesses, so you’ll never have to worry about whether or not your loan and your business are in compliance with state and federal regulations surrounding your money.

number three

What should I watch out for when it comes to financing in California?

When desperate times call for desperate measures and cannabis business owners can’t find legitimate financing options, they sometimes find themselves scrambling for cash. Unfortunately, predatory lenders are well aware of the financing challenges facing cannabis business owners, so they’ve popped up everywhere in states that have legalized marijuana, like California. When working with predatory lenders, it’s not uncommon for cannabis business owners to report being charged interest rates of 40 to 50 percent on their loans, while legitimate loans offer interest rates as low as the single digits for qualified business owners. Cannabis businesses also can’t legally accept credit cards through their business because credit companies are subjected to federal banking regulations, so scam artists also will sometimes target business owners by pretending to offer a “legitimate” way to use credit card sales in their business. Unfortunately, at the present time, there’s simply no such thing. One good way to determine if a lender is predatory or legitimate is to ask about the documentation required to receive financing through them. Legitimate lenders will want to minimize the risk to their business, so they will require extensive documentation before providing you with financing. If an offer seems too good to be true – for example, they don’t require a background check on everyone in your business, don’t ask for banking statements, don’t run your credit, and don’t demand financial reports – it almost certainly is. Don’t worry, though; legitimate lenders do exist, especially in states like California that legalized cannabis so early on. The answer is Bespoke Financial.

What should I watch out for when it comes to financing in California?
What do I need to know about running my business in California?
Number four

What do I need to know about running my business in California?

Besides the difficulties in obtaining financing when running a cannabis business in California, one thing to keep in mind is that your customers will not be able to use credit or debit cards to pay for your products due to the federal regulations applied to banks regarding handling funds connected to cannabis. Your customers will need to pay in cash or use one of the other emerging options, such as paying through phone apps designed for this purpose, so it’s important to make sure that you provide your customers with a way to get cash if they arrive unprepared, such as by installing an ATM. Additionally, cannabis businesses must be prepared to securely handle, transport, and store large amounts of cash since most financial institutions will not accept cash deposits.

Number five

How do I get licensed for a cannabis business in California?

You’ll definitely need financing In order to participate in the cannabis industry in California, but you’ll also need a license. California cannabis licenses are issued by three different licensing authorities depending on the type of license being issued: the Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Food and and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, and California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. The Bureau of Cannabis Control issues commercial licenses for medical and adult use cannabis to retailers, distributors, testing labs, microbusinesses, and temporary cannabis events. The CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing authority licenses cultivators of medicinal and adult-use cannabis and implements a track-and-trace system to record the movement of cannabis through the distribution chain. The CDPH’s Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch regulates and licenses the manufacturers of cannabis-infused edibles for medical and recreational use.

California has a unique system when it comes to determining the cost of a cannabis business license. Rather than charging a flat fee that varies based on the type of license applied for, California requires applicants to estimate the gross revenue for the 12-month license period. Applicants then refer to a chart that identifies tiers that correspond to revenue amounts for individual license types in order to determine the cost of their licensing fee. Fees range from $500 to $300,000 depending on the purpose of the license and the size of the company, so there is a tremendous range of fees.

In order to apply for a license, you must be 21 years of age or older, but you are not required to be a resident of the state of California; any financial partners or employees associated with your business must also be at least 21 years of age. While California does not strictly prohibit those with a criminal record from applying for a commercial cannabis license, your application stands a greater chance of being approved if you and your business partners have clean records. However, applications are considered on a case by case basis. Make sure to check the local regulations on cannabis, as counties in California are able to opt-out of legalization and some prohibit the growth, sale, and use of cannabis. The state of California will not grant licenses to businesses applying for operation in counties or municipalities that have banned the distribution or commercial sale of cannabis. Licenses are not granted to businesses that cannot demonstrate that they understand how to comply with local and state regulations, so you’ll need a well-rounded team of business managers, financial personnel, horticulturists, and more on your side. In order to get all of the pieces in place, you’re going to need financing.

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