City of Santa Rosa Cannabis Program

On December 19, 2017, the City Council unanimously adopted the City’s Comprehensive Cannabis Ordinance. The regulations address the locational and operational requirements for personal cannabis cultivation and commercial cannabis businesses, covering allowances for both medical and adult use. The ordinance goes into effect on January 19, 2018. For more information on the new regulations go to the Comprehensive Cannabis Policy Page.

Non-retail applications:

The City is accepting land use applications for non-retail cannabis businesses. Applications for adult use and/or volatile manufacturing (Type 7) will be accepted on or after January 19, 2018.

Retail applications:  

The City's Cannabis Retail Application Period for dispensaries and microbusinesses with retail closed on April 20, 2018. A total of 38 Cannabis Retail applications were filed during the two-week period in accordance with the City’s Cannabis Retail Use Application Process Guide.  The site address, application status, and planner contact for each application can be accessed here:

Neighborhood Meetings. A total of 30 prospective retail sites are located near residential uses and therefore required a City staff-facilitated Neighborhood Meeting. Public comments and questions collected in these meetings will be integrated into the staff analysis and public review process for the project. As of June 25, 2018, all 30 neighborhood meetings were completed by City staff.

Overconcentration Review. In addition to completeness review, applications were also evaluated for potential overconcentration and placed in a review track accordingly

    • Competitive track. If a proposed location is within 600 feet of another proposed or existing retail location, the application enters into a competitive, merit, point-based process. Applications are scored individually against merit-based criteria by a city staff review team, resulting in a staff recommendation to select the application with the highest-ranked average score. Staff findings and applicant proposals are presented to the City Council's Cannabis Policy Subcommittee who then select which applications move forward to the conditional use permit review process. Twenty-one applications representing seven areas of potential overconcentration were identified for this track. To date, the Council Subcommittee has completed its review of three Concentration Areas, selecting five applications to move forward. The Subcomittee will meet again on October 25 to conduct their review of two more Areas and is expected to complete the last two Areas by mid-November.
    • Non-competitive track. If a proposed location is not within an area of potential overconcentration, the application proceeds through the Conditional Use Permit process. Sixteen applications were identified for this track, and comprehensive City staff review began in July. Applications of this type typically take 60 to 90 days to process, but due to peak workloads, the first public hearings are expected to begin in October.
Conditional Use Permit & Public Hearing Process. This process involves public noticing, staff analysis, issue identification and resolution, preparation of a Department recommendation and a public hearing with the City’s Planning Commission. On October 25, 2018, at 4 p.m., the Planning Commission will conduct a study session on Cannabis Retail in preparation of the next four to six months in which the series of retail hearings will take place. An action by the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council. In addition to public noticing, any interested person may monitor the progress of an application through Permit Santa Rosa and by signing up for email alerts.

Acceptance of New Applications. The Council Policy Subcommittee unanimously decided that it will next discuss the timing for accepting new applications at its meeting on January 31, 2019. Until an acceptance date is determined, the City is not accepting new retail applications.
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Email Updates

  1. Cannabis Contacts

    1. Planning Inquiries - Permits
      Phone: 707-543-3200

    2. Jennifer Dewitt - Cannabis Tax

      Phone: 707-543-3153
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Cannabis Permitting Activity Update

Tracks number and concentration of new medical cannabis businesses in Santa Rosa, and the impacts to other industries that occupy similar zoning.  CLICK HERE FOR JULY 2018 UPDATE.

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