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Cannabis Information

  Cannabis Updates | Dec. 2022

 

State of California Department of Cannabis Control Adopts Comprehensive Regulatory Changes
The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) recently announced that it has adopted a consolidated regulatory package that streamlines and simplifies cannabis regulations, eases burdens for licensees, and enhances consumer protections. These regulations, which reflect community and industry input, are now in effect. View the PDF icon full text of the regulations.

 

Equity Grant Application

Cannabis business Division staff will submit a grant application to the State of California to help support the development of the cannabis equity program. The Type II grant requests up to $5M in grant funds to help develop a robust equity applicant grant program. The grant is due on Dec. 14, 2022. Learn more about the grant.

 

Cannabis Social Equity and Economic Development (SEED) Task Force Update

With the adoption of the City’s Cannabis Equity Assessment, the City will be forming a 15-member ad hoc task force to implement recommendation #1 found in Chapter 6 of the assessment. More details will be available later this month on the timing of the task force.

 

Nov. 9 Cannabis Operator Stakeholder Meeting

Thank you to everyone who participated as part of the California Department of Cannabis Control and City of San Diego Cannabis Business Division cannabis operator stakeholder meeting that was held on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Listen to the meeting recording. DCC staff are currently working on responses to questions posed at the meeting, which will be posted once City staff receives them.


Cannabis Equity Program

Cannabis Equity Assessment Approved!

The final Cannabis Equity Assessment was unanimously adopted by the San Diego City Council on Oct. 11, 2022. View the PDF icon full report with attachments or PDF icon without attachments.

Fresh Start Program

Do you need assistance with the expungement of your record? The County Defender’s Office offers assistance to those residents who need their criminal records expunged and sealed. From reducing felony convictions to misdemeanors to dismissing/expunging your criminal record to getting Certificates of Rehabilitation, the County of San Diego Office of the Public Defender is pleased to help you with your Fresh Start! Please go to the Fresh Start website to learn more about this free program. 

Cannabis Equity Resources

Cannabis Production Facilities

Regulated by San Diego Municipal Code PDF icon §141.1004, these facilities include operations involving::

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

Restrictions

  • Facilities 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 Facilities or Cannabis 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 Facility permitting process, and links to helpful information, refer to PDF icon Information Bulletin 171.

Permitted Locations
This map identifies Cannabis Production Facilities' addresses with approved Conditional Use Permit numbers, associated discretionary project numbers, and approval dates.

Cannabis Outlets

Regulated by San Diego Municipal Code PDF icon §141.0504, 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. 

Restrictions

  • Outlets are limited to a maximum of four per Council District, 36 citywide. 
  • Must be located:
    • 1,000 feet from resource- or population-based city parks, other 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 Outlet permitting process, and links to helpful information, refer to PDF icon Information Bulletin 170.

Permitted Locations
This map identifies the addresses of Cannabis Outlets with approved Conditional Use Permit numbers, associated discretionary project numbers, and approval dates.

Cannabis Testing Facilities

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. 

General Restrictions

  • Deliveries are permitted as an accessory use only from Cannabis Outlets with a valid Conditional Use Permit. 
  • Sale and distribution of cannabis and cannabis by-products at special events are prohibited.
  • The outdoor growing of personal residential cannabis is prohibited.
  • No smoking in public places or on 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 January 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, 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 - PDF icon 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. 

Cannabis Code Updates

Background Checks and Operating Permit

  • Cannabis Outlets and Cannabis Production Facilities with approved Conditional Use Permits must comply with SDMC SectionPDF icon Chapter 4, Article 2, Division 15, the regulating CUP, and all applicable City, County, State and Federal Regulations. Applicant Instructions can be found PDF icon here. To initiate this compliance process, please email DSDCannabis@sandiego.gov.

State Resources

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 searching for a licensed business, please refer to the California Department of Cannabis Control.