Santa Rosa is accepting medical cannabis applications for Cultivation, Distribution, Manufacturing, Testing, and Transporting businesses. Dispensary applications are not being accepted. There is no limit on how many licenses will be offered. Rather, Santa Rosa is using the availability of real estate as the method to cap the market.
To provide a status on medical marijuana businesses, the Santa Rosa Planning and Economic Development Committee published the Cannabis Permitting Update. This report tracks the number of new medical cannabis businesses in Santa Rosa. Highlights of the report includes the following items:
For those who are looking to gain entrance into the Cannabis Industry, this city is an excellent place to secure a foothold in due to their friendly approach to marijuana businesses. The City of Santa Rosa is a leader in marijuana regulations allowing for an open market – due to these factors it is likely that in years to come, they will become a hub in the marijuana industry. There are 3 steps to start your Cannabis Business in Santa Rosa.
Step 1: Find an Open Parcel that Meets Zoning Requirements
Despite low vacancy rates, Testing Labs may find opportunities to find real estate in the CO – Office Commercial Zone and Business Park. Distributors or Manufacturers can apply for permitting in the Business Park, Light Industrial Zone, or the General Industrial Zone.
Applicants should avoid the Limited Light Industrial (-LIL) Combining District for medical cannabis commercial cultivation because Santa Rosa recently adopted an urgency which imposes a temporary moratorium in this district.
Full details regarding which license types can operate in each zone be found in the Medical Cannabis Land Use Policy Chart . This contains a matrix which contains a matrix of license by zone. Applicants can also use a visual reference with the Map of Areas Zoned General Industry, Light Industry, Business Park, and Office Commercial. More details regarding zoning can be found on the city website under Commercial Cannabis Resources.
Step 2: Submit to the City a Conditional Use Permit
If you are able to find an open parcel that meets the criteria, the next steps to obtain cannabis permitting would be to file for a Conditional Use Permit. Businesses that are less than 10,000 square feet will submit for a Minor Permit with a fee of $2,511 and business that are more than 10,000 square feet will submit for a Major Permit with a fee of $10,964.
In addition to the fees, when submitting the CUP application, you must include the following:
For new construction, you must submit the following additional information:
Step 3: Apply for a Building Permit
In parallel with the CUP submission, applicants must apply for a building permit. Applicants must adhere to the regulations of the City of Santa Rosa Building and Fire Division Requirements to gain approval and pass the inspection of medical marijuana-related occupancies.
Information regarding the Building Code Requirements, Accessibility Requirements, Fire Code Requirements, Electrical Code Requirements, Mechanical Code Requirements, Plumbing Code Requirements, Energy Code Requirements, and CalGreen Code Requirements can be found in the City of Santa Rosa Building and Fire Division Requirements. Below are the General Requirements and Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Permit Specific Requirements.
The requirements in this section are related to specific permit types as outlined in the California State Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA)
Cultivation Facilities (MMRSA permit types 1-4) – Annual Fire Department Operational Permit Required
Manufacturer Facility (MMRSA permit type 6-7) – Annual Fire Department Operational Permit Required
Testing/Laboratory (MMRSA permit type 8) – Annual Fire Department Operational Permit Required
Distributor (MMRSA permit type 11) - Annual Fire Department Operational Permit Required
Type 11 Distributor facilities are to meet CBC, Chapter 3 requirements based upon Use and Occupancy Classification for a Storage Group, S, Occupancy. CBC § 311.1.
Transporter (MMRSA permit type 12)
Type 12 Transporter facilities are to meet CBC, Chapter 3 requirements based upon Use and Occupancy Classification for a Storage Group, S-1, and/or Business Group, B, Occupancy. CBC § 311.1.
The City of Santa Rosa is paving the way to become a fully regulated and open cannabis market. For those who are seeking more information, the ordinance can be found in Chapter 10-40 of the City Code and applicants can reference the Medical Cannabis FAQ’s published by the city.