Accela launches government licensing SaaS applications for cannabis and short-term rentals

Pre-built, configurable, out-of-the-box solutions provide local and state governments an easy way to adapt to complicated emerging regulatory challenges

San Ramon, CA Accela, the leading provider of cloud-based productivity solutions for government, today announced the availability of turnkey licensing and regulatory products for cannabis and short-term rentals (i.e. Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway). The Accela Civic Application for Cannabis Regulation and the Accela Civic Application for Short-Term Rental Registration are the first product offerings in Accela’s new Civic Applications suite that will provide governments customizable, easy-to-implement solutions that solve new and evolving regulatory challenges.

“We are seeing local and state governments experience a tough time navigating new innovations and industries driven by regulatory and technological change,” said Ed Daihl, CEO of Accela. “Our new, scalable SaaS applications provide governments with robust solutions to two major challenges they face today in a much faster time-to-deployment and lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions. While remarkably robust out-of-the-box, the applications are also highly flexible and configurable to meet unique agency needs.”

Accela is the industry expert in licensing, permitting and regulatory solutions, and has been leading best practices in the cannabis market for years. Following California voter approval of recreational cannabis, Accela’s technology was selected by the State of California in February 2017 as the platform for a custom licensing solution delivered in less than one year. The California go-live demonstrated Accela’s ability to provide comprehensive, agile SaaS solutions for evolving regulatory challenges. Prior to the California go-live, Accela worked with the City and County of Denver to develop a recreational cannabis permitting solution in 2012. At the time of the go-live, Denver was the first major recreational cannabis market in the country bringing five departments, each with their own distinct roles to play, together with data to improve and safeguard the county’s oversight. Having learned from previous cannabis implementations, Accela built the Cannabis Application to provide governments a more readily accessible solution to this new regulatory challenge.

“The City and County of Denver takes a collaborative approach to the management of marijuana, which includes multiple city agencies working together and using technology to smartly address marijuana regulation, enforcement and education. Our mission is to tackle the continually changing issues that have resulted from this new industry always protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare,” said Bia Campbell, spokesperson for the City and County of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses.

With the country increasingly going “green”, Accela continues to provide innovative and flexible solutions to governments as their needs evolve. Eight states already have recreational cannabis on the books and at least twelve more are considering cannabis legalization in 2018. Local government leaders are looking at how to navigate these uncharted green waters and the incredible amount of technological challenges from regulating other new markets, such as short-term rentals (STR).

The Accela Civic Application for Short-Term Rental Licensing was built following learnings from custom-built licensing implementations in Denver and Dubai which allowed the cities to become the first in the world to offer streamlined and customer friendly online STR registration. Both cities experienced increased rates of registration and growing tax revenue after providing hosts a modern method of complying with local law and regulations. The new STR Application provides governments a solution that allows hosts to register easily, governments to issue licenses quickly, and tax revenue to be captured efficiently.

“We want to make sure that any visitor to our city gets an exceptional experience and that everyone who offers their home as a short-term rental registers properly,” said Ahmad Khalifa AlFalasi, CEO of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. “A natural way to do this is to digitize the data and simplify the process of complying with local law ordinances.”

“We are excited to offer a short-term rental solution that will improve the experience for hosts and the city alike,” said Ed Daihl, CEO of Accela. “We look forward to working with governments of all sizes to solve regulatory and licensing challenges and prepare them for whatever regulatory issues come next.”

Today’s announcement follows the creation of the Accela Center of Expertise (ACE), a newly formed team of industry leaders with expertise in new and complex markets who will focus on policy, innovation and knowledge-share around regulatory trends. ACE experts work to help government leaders navigate complicated licensing and permitting challenges and prepare communities for meeting tomorrow’s challenges. As Accela customers, governments are aligned with the industry’s top subject-matter experts, leading them through the process of securing the right technology for their needs and following them through every phase of the journey.

To learn more about Accela’s Civic Applications and their work on new regulatory areas, please visit:

About Accela

Accela provides a market-leading platform of SaaS solutions that empower local governments to improve efficiency, increase engagement and deliver transparency to strengthen communities around the world. From asset, land and legislative management to licensing, finance, environmental health and more, our solutions serve more than 2,000 communities worldwide, including more than 80% of America’s largest cities. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with offices in New York, Portland, Salt Lake City, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Dubai, Dublin and Melbourne. For more information, visit