City of Sacramento

Regulations for Marijuana Related Commercial Activity

Sacramento County –> Sacramento

City Description

Sacramento (/ˌsækrəˈmɛntoʊ/; Spanish: [sakɾaˈmento]) is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. It is at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California’s expansive Central Valley. Its estimated 2014 population of 485,199 made it the sixth-largest city in California, and the 35th largest city in the United States. Sacramento is the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which includes seven counties with a 2010 population of 2,414,783. Its metropolitan area is the fourth largest in California after the Greater Los Angeles area, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area, and is the 27th largest in the United States. In 2002, the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University conducted for TIME magazine named Sacramento “America’s Most Diverse City”.




In order to operate a cultivation business in Sacramento, you need both a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Division (CUP); and a Business Operating Permit from the Revenue Division (BOP).  A CUP, or proof of application for a CUP, is required for applying for a BOP.  Applications will not be accepted until April 3, 2017.  

Sacramento passed a new medical marijuana cultivation ordinance allowing marijuana to be grown in large buildings. With the ordinance, Sacramento becomes the largest city in California to approve large-scale cultivation.

  • Potential growers will need to apply for a permit through the city in order to cultivate. The number of permits the city will issue is still being considered by the council.
  • According to the new ordinance, the buildings can be up to 22,000 square feet, which is roughly the size of four and a half NBA basketball courts.
  • The buildings must be zoned for agriculture or for commercial use and cannot be near a park or school. City leaders are still working to determine whether the buildings should be kept a minimum of 600 feet or 1,000 feet away.

Sacramento Municipal Code 8.132.030 Cultivation of medical marijuana

  • A. Prohibitions. A person owning, leasing, occupying, or having charge or possession of any premises within a residential zone or used for residential purposes, shall not cause, allow, or permit the premises to be used for the following:
    • 1. The outdoor cultivation of marijuana plants.
    • 2. The cultivation of marijuana plants, unless the person cultivating the plants is a qualified patient, primary caregiver, or person with an identification card and that
      person resides full-time on the premises where the marijuana cultivation occurs.
  • B. Indoor Cultivation. The indoor cultivation of medical marijuana in residential zones or on premises used for residential use shall be conducted only within an allowable structure and shall conform to the following minimum standards:
    • 1. Regardless of how many qualified patients, primary caregivers, or persons with identification cards are residing at the premises, the cumulative area used for cultivation on the premises shall not exceed four hundred (400) square feet.
    • 2. Indoor grow lighting systems shall:
      • a. Not exceed three thousand eight hundred (3,800) watts;
      • b. Be shielded to confine light and glare to the interior of the allowable structure;
      • c. Comply with the city building code and fire prevention code.
    • 3. Allowable structures shall have ventilation and filtration systems installed that prevent medical marijuana plant odors from exiting the interior of the structure. The ventilation and filtration system shall be approved by the building official and installed prior to commencing cultivation within the allowable structure.
    • 4. Medical marijuana cultivation shall be concealed from public view at all stages of growth and there shall be no exterior evidence of cultivation occurring at the premises from a public right-of-way or from an adjacent parcel.
    • 5. The medical marijuana cultivation shall not create offensive odors; create excessive dust, heat, noise, smoke, traffic, or other impacts that are disturbing to people of normal sensitivity residing or present on adjacent or nearby property or areas open to the public; or be hazardous due to use or storage of materials, processes, products, or wastes.
    • 6. Medical marijuana cultivation areas, whether in a detached building or inside a residence, shall not be accessible to juveniles who are not qualified patients, primary caregivers, or persons with an identification card. (Ord. 2012-045 § 2)




Regulations for marijuana manufacturing are currently being drafted and are scheduled to be submitted for City Council approval on April 4, 2017.

Sacramento Municipal Code 3.08.205 Marijuana businesses

  • A. Every person engaged in a marijuana business shall pay an annual business operations tax as follows:
    • 1. On and after July 1, 2011, four percent of each dollar of gross receipts for the reporting period.
    • 2. Notwithstanding the tax rate imposed in subsection (A)(1), the city council may, in its discretion, at any time by resolution implement any lower tax rate it deems appropriate, and may by resolution increase such tax rate from time to time, not to exceed the maximum rate established under subsection (A)(1).
  • B. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
    “Gross receipts” has the meaning as defined in Section 3.08.020, as it pertains to the marijuana business’ reporting period, and includes receipts from the sale of marijuana and from the sale of paraphernalia used for consuming marijuana and any other products, goods, or services sold or provided by the marijuana business.
    “Marijuana” or “Cannabis” has the meaning as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11018.
    “Marijuana business” means a business activity including, but not limited to, planting, cultivation, harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, processing, preparing, storing, packaging, providing, or selling wholesale and/or retail sales of marijuana. A marijuana business includes any facility, building, structure or location, whether fixed, mobile, permanent or temporary, where marijuana is made available, sold, given, distributed, or otherwise provided in accordance with Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5 and Article 2.5 of Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code (Health and Safety Code Section 11362.7 et seq.). A marijuana business includes medical marijuana “cooperatives” and “collectives” that are established as not for profit businesses.
    “Reporting period” means a year, quarter or calendar month, as determined by the administrator.
  • C. The provisions of Section 3.08.210 do not apply to any marijuana business. (Ord. 2010-020 § 5)




The only dispensaries permitted in Sacramento at this time are medical marijuana dispensaries.  There are currently 30 dispensaries operating in the City of Sacramento.  There is currently a moratorium in place for dispensaries, and no applications are being accepted at this time.  

Sacramento Municipal Code 17.228.705 Medical marijuana dispensary permit required

A medical marijuana dispensary must obtain and maintain at all times a valid medical marijuana dispensary permit as required by chapter 5.150. (Ord. 2013-0020 § 1; Ord. 2013-0007 § 1)

  • 5.150.030 Medical marijuana dispensary permit required to operate.
    • A. No person shall operate a medical marijuana dispensary unless the dispensary has a valid medical marijuana dispensary permit issued pursuant to this chapter.
    • B. Neither the obtaining of a dispensary permit nor compliance with the operating standards provided in this chapter shall excuse any violation of this code or state law. (Ord. 2010-037 § 1)

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