Commercial Cannabis Permitting

Entitlements from number of government agencies are required in order to establish a commercial cannabis business. This page provides information on the Land Use Entitlement process.

New! Link to Complete November 19, 2019 Report to the Board on scoring and ranking of commercial cannabis proposals


Contra Costa County Issues Request for Proposals (RFP) for specified Commercial Cannabis uses

Request for Proposal (RFP) Issued Feb 14, 2019

Responses to Questions Not Fully Answered During March 8, 2019 Meeting Regarding Commercial Cannabis Requests for Proposals (RFP) (PDF)

Land Use Entitlements

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

  • Underlying Land Use - MuniCode identifies allowable land uses for Commercial Cannabis Uses. Find zoning districts for unincorporated County parcels on CCMAP.
  • Cannabis Exclusion Zones - Some areas of the counties are located in Cannabis Exclusion Overlay Zones. No Commercial Cannabis activities are allowed in these areas.Cannabis Exclusion Districts Ordinance Maps (PDF)
  • 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. An estimate of known 1,000 buffers are available on CCMAP. These sites may change over time and each application will include a search for potential buffered sites. 
  • Urban Limit Line - Some uses are not allowed outreach of the Urban Limit Line. Read more details about the location requirements on MuniCode. See if a parcel is located within the Urban Limit line on CCMAP
  • Water Requirements - Cultivation sites must be served by a water district or an irrigation district .

  Guide to using CCAMP for Commercial Cannabis research (PDF) 

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.

  • 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

Contra Costa County Business License and Commercial Cannabis Taxing information

All commercial cannabis activity are required to get a Business License.

Commercial Cannabis business are subject to cannabis business tax.

State of California Licensing Requirements

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