City of Santa Rosa Cannabis Program

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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 closed on April 20, 2018 for dispensaries and microbusinesses with retail.  A total of 38 Cannabis Retail applications were filed during the two week period.  See the Commercial Cannabis Application Support page for a comprehensive outline of the Cannabis Retail Application process and for additional application support tools.  

  • Applications.  A total of 38 Cannabis Retail conditional use permit applications were filed during the application period.  The complete process for these applications is described in the City’s Cannabis Retail Use Application Process Guide.  The location, status and neighborhood meeting date for each application can be accessed here:
  • Neighborhood Meetings.  A total of 30 prospective retail sites are located near residential uses and therefore require a city staff facilitated Neighborhood Meeting. Staff has completed about half of these meetings to date; the remainder are scheduled to take place through June.  Public comments and questions collected in these meetings will be integrated into the staff analysis and public review process for the project. 
  • Completeness Review.  City staff has completed its initial review of the applications to ensure that all submittal requirements are being met.  Applicants will have 21 calendar days to respond to any items deemed missing or incomplete and City staff will have 14 days to respond to the resubmittal. 
  • Overconcentration Review.  Applications deemed complete within the prescribed time period will then be evaluated for potential overconcentration. 
    • Competitive track.  If a proposed location is within 600 feet of another proposed or existing retail location, then the project will enter a competitive merit point based process.  Applications are ranked by score and the City Council’s Cannabis Policy Subcommittee will select which applications move forward in the process. 
    • Non-competitive track.  If a proposed location is not within an area of potential overconcentration, then the application will proceed with the use permit review process.
  • Conditional Use Permit Review 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.  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 e-mail alerts. 

In 2018, the City will focus on the implementation stage of the City’s Cannabis Program.  The City is in the process of developing the staff and program support tools needed to ensure that the Program is effective in its permitting, outreach and education, monitoring, taxation and enforcement. 

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