California Zoning & Permits for Marijuana Businesses


In order to successfully establish and run a medical marijuana dispensary, you have to know the regulations, of which there are many. Our team of experienced San Diego cannabis law attorneys is here to help you navigate the policies and procedures associated with starting a marijuana business in California. As you’re getting started, there are a couple of things you need to think about:

Zoning Regulations for Medical Marijuana Businesses

If you are a medical marijuana business owner, finding the right location isn’t just a matter of affordable rent and proximity to your target market. Cannabis business owners must adhere to strict zoning regulations in San Diego. The city only allows four medical marijuana dispensaries for each city council district. If the city already has four dispensaries in each district, you may have to move to a new city or wait until another one closes down to start your business.

Zoning regulations in California also require your medical marijuana business to be situated no less than 100 feet away from a residential zoning district. Your business must also be more than 1,000 feet away from all of the following:

  • Schools (private schools included)
  • Religious centers such as mosques, churches, etc.
  • Day care centers
  •  Public facilities
    • Parks
    • Libraries
    • Youth & Recreational facilities
  • Nursing homes or other residential care

Establishing a cannabis business typically starts with applying for a conditional use permit from the city government. When this happens, citizens and business owners in the vicinity of the proposed location for your marijuana business will be allowed to speak at a public hearing regarding whether or not they believe your dispensary would be a positive addition to the community.

California zoning restrictions also require you to close your business from the hours of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and meet certain standards of security, including appropriate lighting, locks, etc.

Safety Permits for Your Cannabis Business

If you are trying to establish your medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego, the city will require you to get a public safety permit, which you can only do once you have received a zoning permit. For more information on obtaining a public safety permit, call our team of experienced cannabis business lawyers at Purdy & Bailey, LLP. We know the laws inside and out and we are ready to help you get your cannabis business off the ground.

Call today at (858) 360-7080 or send us your information for a complimentary evaluation.

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