Medical Cannabis


On March 15, 2016, the Santa Rosa City Council adopted an interim ordinance to allow Commercial Cultivation of Medical Cannabis. The ordinance can be found in Chapter 20-46 of the City Code. Per the ordinance cultivation may be allowed, subject to a Minor or Major Conditional Use Permit (depending on size) in specific zoning districts.

Support Uses

 On August 2, 2016, the Santa Rosa City Council directed the Zoning Administrator to issue a Zoning Code Interpretation to address the support uses that connect a licensed cultivator with a licensed dispensary. The Interpretation was issued the following day, and became effective immediately. The interpretation will remain in effect until such time as it is replaced by Council Ordinance as part of the comprehensive policy effort currently underway.


In 2005, the City of Santa Rosa adopted its initial regulations for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries. The ordinance can be found in Chapter 10-40 of the City Code. The City is not considering new applications at this time. The issue of dispensaries will be addressed as part of the City's comprehensive medical cannabis policy effort that is currently underway.

Comprehensive Cannabis Policy Development

The City Council listed development of a comprehensive Medical Cannabis Policy as one of the top 5 goals in the last goal setting process. The City has been working on developing this policy over the past year using the City Council Cannabis Policy Subcommittee. The policy will be multi-faceted in addressing all aspects of the industry and provide guidance to those looking to do business in Santa Rosa. The current schedule for policy adoption (subject to change):
  • Draft Policy Development – Underway
  • Review with Council Cannabis Policy Subcommittee – February 16, 2017
  • Public Meetings to get input – Multiple dates in April 2017
  • Review feedback on Draft Policy with Council Cannabis Policy Subcommittee – April 27, 2017
  • Planning Commission Review – May 25, 2017
  • City Council Approval and Adoption – July 18, 2017

Cannabis Business Tax

The Santa Rosa City Council has unanimously voted to submit to the voters on June 6, 2017 an ordinance that would authorize the City to impose a business tax on the Cannabis Industry.   Details on the proposed tax and initial rates are below.