City of Santa Rosa Cannabis Program

City of Santa Rosa Cannabis Program Updates:

In March 2020, City staff made an official zoning code interpretation as to what land use classifications and permit regulations apply for industrial hemp supply chain uses and the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD products.

 On July 23, 2019 the Council considered, on consent, a resolution to extend the City’s initial Cannabis Industry Tax Rates until the Council takes future action to change the rates.  In other words, the resolution did not result in any increases or decreases in the industry tax rates currently in effect. 

On June 6, 2017, Santa Rosa voters passed a measure authorizing an ordinance establishing Cannabis Industry Tax Rates.  The initial tax rates were set by resolution and went into effect 10 days after the City Clerk certified the election results.  The resolution, however, stated that rates shall be set “…for a term of two years beginning the day the Ordinance goes into effect,” instead of a “minimum of two years” as written in the Ordinance.  The initial rates have been in effect for two years. 


The initial rates established by Resolution RES-2017-035, which have been in effect for two years, are as follows:


  1. Cultivation Initial Rate: 2% of gross receipts or $5.00 per square foot of cannabis cultivation area, at the taxpayer’s election
  2. Manufacturing Initial Rate: 1% of gross receipts
  3. Distribution Initial Rate: 0% (instead subject to standard city business tax under Santa Rosa City Code Chapter 6-04)
  4. Dispensaries: 3% of gross receipts (recreational only and only after state and local regulations are in place)

The resolution before the Council on July 23rd will merely extend the initial rates approved in Resolution RES-2017-035 until the Council takes future action to change the rates.   

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.

Dual licensing required:

Commercial cannabis business operators must obtain both local authorization and a state license prior to conducting operations. In addition to land-use approval, through either a zoning clearance or a use permit, applicants are also required to secure a building permit and obtain a certificate of occupancy prior to conducting operations and prior to obtaining an annual state license.

Non-retail applications:

The City is accepting zoning clearance land use applications for non-retail adult use and medical cannabis businesses. See the Commercial Cannabis Applications Support page for assistance.

Retail applications:

Acceptance of New Applications. On April 4, 2019, the Council Policy Subcommittee voted to update the Conditional Use Permit process for all new Retail Cannabis applications.
On June 3, 2019, the City began accepting Conditional Use Permit applications for new Cannabis Retail on a first come, first served, first complete basis. With this change, the Cannabis Retail Use Application Process Guide has been updated as well.
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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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