Commercial Cannabis Permitting

Entitlements from number of government agencies are required in order to establish a commercial cannabis business. 

Land Use Entitlements

Use our web map to see if your site is eligible to apply for a commercial cannabis use

** NOTE: The web map is intended for preliminary investigation only and prospective applicants should consult with the Department to ensure they understand the zoning properly. In particular, buffered sites change over time and changes may not be reflected on the map. **

Establishing a Commercial Cannabis Use depends on a number of factors.

  • Underlying Land Use - The land use matrix outlines allowable commercial cannabis uses based on zoning district
  • Cannabis Exclusion Zones - Some areas of the counties are located in Cannabis Exclusion Overlay Zones. No Commercial Cannabis activities are allowed in these areas
  • Proximity to buffered sites - Commercial cannabis uses must be at least 1,000 feet from a school, child care center, and youth center. Additionally, there must be at least 500 feet between Commercial Retail locations. Note, if a parcel is even partially within a buffer area, it is ineligible for any commercial cannabis uses. 
  • Water Requirements - Cultivation sites must be served by a water district or an irrigation district .

Request for Proposal (RFP) Permits
The following cannabis uses require  a land use permit and the number of permits are capped. A Request For Proposals will be used to determine the application pool for the limited number of land use permits. Learn more about the Request for Proposal Process here (PDF).

  • Commercial Cultivation - Maximum of 10 during the initial three-years
  • Retail Storefront - Maximum of 4 during the initial two-years
  • Manufacturing without associated Cultivation in an agricultural district - Maximum of 2 during initial three-years

Standard Land Use Permit Process
The following cannabis uses are allowed with the approval of a land use permit. Find Land Use Entitlement Process information here

  • Delivery-Only Retail
  • Manufacturing - in Agricultural District, must be associated with a cultivation permit except for the two capped non-cultivation manufacturing permits 
  • Distribution Center
  • Testing

Contra Costa County Health Services Cannabis Permit

All commercial cannabis activity in the unincorporated area of the county, including the delivery of cannabis or cannabis products must obtain and maintain a commercial cannabis health permit. Click here for more information.

State of California Licensing Requirements

All Commercial cannabis activity in the State of California must have a State License. Click here for more information