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Cannabis Information

COVID-19 Update: In accordance with PDF icon California Executive Order N-33-20,  the cannabis industry has been identified as essential. 

 

Hand on a calculator

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

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. 


Cannabis Production Facilities (Facilities):

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 consistent with the requirements of the 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.

Pending Applications 
The PDF icon List of Pending Facility Applications includes Facility 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 Facilities with approved Conditional Use Permits as of the first business day of the month.


Cannabis Outlets:

 

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 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.

Pending Applications
The PDF icon List of Pending Cannabis Outlet applications includes Cannabis 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 Outlets with approved Conditional Use Permits as of the first business day of the month.


 

Cannabis 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 Cannabis Outlets with a valid Conditional Use Permit. 
  • PDF icon Curbside pickups are temporarily allowed for Outlets
  • Sale and distribution of cannabis and cannabis by-products at special events are prohibited.
  • 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. 

November 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.

November 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. 

February 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. 

September 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 November 17, 2017, in areas of the City of San Diego outside of the Coastal Overlay Zone, and on February 8, 2018 in areas located within the Coastal Overlay Zone. 

Cannabis Production Facilities with an approved Zoning Use Certificate and a Business Tax Certificate issued before January 31, 2017, are allowed to operate until October 17, 2019.


Ordinances:



Background Checks and Operating Permit:

  • The Outlet/Facility 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 State of California Cannabis requirements and regulations, please refer to the following agencies:

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