As mandated by the passage of The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Cannabis Act (Prop 64) on Nov. 8, 2016, San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) regulations and ordinances now outline the City’s definition and requirements for cannabis businesses, including Cannabis Outlets, Cannabis Production Facilities and testing facilities. The City of San Diego has adopted local laws authorizing cannabis businesses within the City limits.
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The City of San Diego’s Cannabis Equity Program will be designed to lower barriers to cannabis licensing for those hardest hit by the War on Drugs to promote equitable access and ownership opportunities. The Cannabis Equity Program will be developed and implemented in the following phases:
In 2021, the City received a $75,000 GO-Biz grant from the State of California to conduct a cannabis equity assessment to support and promote equitable ownership and employment opportunities in the legal cannabis industry in communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition or criminalization. The Cannabis Business Division and the City’s Department of Race and Equity are leading the effort to implement the equity assessment.
These facilities include operations involving:
A Conditional Use Permit is required in accordance with a 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 Facility permitting process, and links to helpful information, refer to Information Bulletin 171.
This map identifies Cannabis Production Facilities' addresses with approved Conditional Use Permit numbers, associated discretionary project numbers, and dates of approval.
Cannabis Outlets are establishments (retail, medicinal or combination) operating with a Conditional Use Permit where cannabis, cannabis products and cannabis accessories are sold to the public.
A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required in accordance with a 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 Outlet permitting process, and links to helpful information, refer to Information Bulletin 170.
This map identifies the addresses of Cannabis Outlets with approved Conditional Use Permit numbers, associated discretionary project numbers, and dates of approval.
Testing for scientific research (including cannabis testing) that leads to the development of new products 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.
March 25, 2014 - The City adopts Ordinance No. O-20356, which implements zoning regulations for MMCCs.
Nov. 8, 2016 - San Diego voters pass 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 - Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act becomes law and allows for recreational cannabis sales in California by January 2018.
Feb. 22, 2017 - The City adopts Ordinance No. O-20793, which replaces the MMCC use with a new retail sales use category, Cannabis 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.
Sept. 11, 2017 - Ordinance No. O-20859 is introduced to regulate the cannabis industry relative to commercial cultivation, manufacturing, storage and distribution of medical and recreational cannabis and cannabis products and to allow by-right cannabis testing labs. It became effective on 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.
12th Update, Phase 3: O-21221
12th Update, Phase 2: O-21163
Cannabis Outlets and Cannabis Production Facilities with approved Conditional Use Permits must comply with SDMC Section Chapter 4, Article 2, Division 15, the regulating CUP, and all applicable City, County, State and Federal Regulations. Applicant Instructions can be found here. To initiate this compliance process, please email DSDCannabis@sandiego.gov.
Any other permits or licenses required by law must be obtained from the appropriate agency. For information regarding State of California Cannabis requirements and regulations, running a cannabis business in California, or to search for a licensed business, please refer to the California Department of Cannabis Control.