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California State Board of Pharmacy

Pharmacy/Nonresident Pharmacy License

The licensure of a pharmacy is a critical process. The board is authorized to issue a pharmacy license to an individual, a firm, association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, state government agency or political subdivision.  There are some exceptions to who can own a pharmacy.  The board actively regulates these sites.

A nonresident pharmacy that ships, mails or delivers prescription medications to California residents must hold a current and valid license in the resident state, and also hold a nonresident pharmacy license issued by the board. The pharmacy must maintain an 800 number for consumer access to a pharmacist, must comply with patient-centered prescription labeling requirements (to include interpreter services and translation of directions of use, as specified), and the pharmacy must comply with requirements to report to CURES the dispensing of Schedule II controlled substances.  A pharmacist practicing in a nonresident pharmacy is not required to hold a California pharmacist license.  The nonresident pharmacy must have a pharmacist-in-charge who is responsible for ensuring that the pharmacy complies with all California requirements for medications dispensed or shipped to California patients.

The board performs a thorough investigation of every application for a pharmacy permit, which includes criminal background checks for beneficial owners, review of financial reporting for the site and owners, thorough documentation of all owners (whether or not they actively participate in the pharmacy’s daily activities), etc.  The pharmacy is required to meet security, sanitation and record keeping requirements and must have an area for confidential patient consultation.

Every pharmacy must have a pharmacist-in-charge who is responsible for the day to day operations (Business and Professions Code section 4054).


Community Pharmacy/Nonresident Pharmacy License Requirements



The board may require additional documentation to confirm or substantiate the ownership structure reported at any time during the application process.


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