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Marijuana/Cannabis Information

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The City of San Diego has adopted local laws authorizing marijuana/cannabis businesses within the City limits. 

As mandated by the passage of The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Prop 64) on Nov. 8, 2016, San Diego Municipal Code regulations and ordinances now outline the City’s definition and requirements for marijuana/cannabis businesses, including marijuana outlets, marijuana production facilities and testing facilities


Marijuana Production Facilities (MPF):

These facilities include operations involving:

  • Agricultural raising, harvesting and processing of marijuana;
  • Wholesale distribution and storage of marijuana and marijuana products; and/or
  • Production of goods from marijuana and marijuana products consistent with the requirements of the California departments of Food and Agriculture, Consumer Affairs and Public Health.

Restrictions

  • MPFs are limited to a maximum of 40 Citywide.
  • Retail sales and testing are prohibited. 
  • Must be located:
    • 1,000 feet from resource- or population-based city parks, churches, childcare centers, playgrounds, libraries, minor-oriented facilities, residential care facilities and schools; and
    • 100 feet from residential zones.
  • There are no separation requirements from other MPFs or Marijuana Outlets.

Permit Process
A PDF icon Conditional Use Permit is required in accordance with a PDF icon Process Three decision by the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer’s decision  is appealable to the Planning Commission. For more details, including a summary of the MPF permitting process, and links to helpful information, refer to PDF icon Information Bulletin 171.

Pending Applications 
The PDF icon List of Pending MPF Applications list includes MPF Conditional Use Permit applications that have been deemed complete and are currently in review as of the first business day of the month. For more detailed information, search for the status of each project

Permitted Locations
This map identifies the addresses of Marijuana Production Facilities with approved Conditional Use Permits as of the first business day of the month.


Marijuana Outlets:

(Previously known as Medical Marijuana Consumer Cooperatives)

Marijuana Outlets are establishments (retail, medicinal or combination) operating with a Conditional Use Permit where marijuana, marijuana products and marijuana accessories are sold to the public. 

Restrictions

  • Marijuana Outlets are limited a maximum of four per Council District and 36 citywide. 
  • Must be located:
    • 1,000 feet from resource- or population-based city parks, other marijuana outlets, churches, childcare centers, playgrounds, libraries, minor-oriented facilities, residential care facilities and schools; and
    • 100 feet from residential zones.

Permit Process
A PDF icon Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required in accordance with a PDF icon Process Three decision by the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer’s decision is appealable to the Planning Commission. For more details, including a summary of the Marijuana Outlet permitting process, and links to helpful information, refer to PDF icon Information Bulletin 170.

Pending Applications
The PDF icon List of Pending Marijuana Outlet applications by Council District (previously MMCCs) includes Marijuana Outlet Conditional Use Permit applications that have been deemed complete and are currently in review as of the first business day of the month. For more detailed information, search for the status of each project.

Permitted Locations
This map identifies the addresses of Marijuana Outlets (previously MMCCs) with approved Conditional Use Permits as of the first business day of the month.


Medical Marijuana Consumer Cooperatives (MMCC):

MMCCs are facilities that sell medical marijuana to qualified patients or primary caregivers. These were the first facilities allowed to sell only medical marijuana within the City. This use has been replaced with the marijuana outlet use.

The 15 previously approved MMCCs are allowed to operate as marijuana outlets for the remaining term of the CUP without need for amendment pursuant to PDF icon Ordinance No. O-20793 and would allow the sale of retail marijuana upon obtaining the required State license.  


Marijuana Testing Facilities:

Testing for scientific research (including cannabis testing) that leads to the development of new product and processes is allowed as an Industrial Use. Testing Labs are permitted in limited commercial and industrial zones. Because these types of uses are allowed by right in specified zones and do not require the issuance of a development permit, these applications are not specifically tracked. 


General Restrictions:

  • Deliveries are permitted as an accessory use only from Marijuana Outlets with a valid Conditional Use Permit. 
  • Sale and distribution of marijuana and marijuana by-products at special events are prohibited.
  • Outdoor growing of personal residential marijuana is prohibited.
  • No smoking in public places or on the business premises is allowed.

Legislative Timeline:

March 25, 2014 - The City adopts PDF icon Ordinance No. O-20356, which implements zoning regulations for MMCCs

Nov. 8, 2016 - San Diego voters pass PDF icon Measure N, Non-Medical Cannabis Tax, which imposed a gross receipts tax on non-medical cannabis businesses that operate or provide services within the City. The tax applies to non-medical cannabis business activities, including but not limited to transporting, manufacturing, cultivating, packaging or retail sales. Businesses are initially taxed at a rate of 5 percent of monthly gross receipts and will increase to 8 percent on July 1, 2019. This increase cannot exceed 15 percent of gross receipts. Learn more at the Cannabis Business Tax web page.

Nov. 9, 2016 - PDF icon Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act becomes law and allows for recreational cannabis sales in California by Jan. 2018. 

Feb. 22, 2017 - The City adopts PDF icon Ordinance No. O-20793, which replaces the MMCC use with a new retail sales use category, Marijuana Outlet. It became effective in areas of the City of San Diego outside of the Coastal Overlay Zone on April 12, 2017 and within the Coastal Overlay Zone on Oct. 12, 2017. 

Sep. 11, 2017 - PDF icon Ordinance No. O-20859 iis introduced, to regulate the marijuana industry relative to commercial cultivation, distribution and storage, and production of medical and recreational marijuana and marijuana products, and to allow testing labs. It became effective Nov. 17, 2017 in areas of the City of San Diego outside of the Coastal Overlay Zone, and on Feb. 8, 2018 in areas located within the Coastal Overlay Zone. 


Ordinances:

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