City of Santa Rosa

Regulations for Marijuana Related Commercial Activity

Sonoma County –> Santa Rosa

City Description

Santa Rosa is a city in and the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. Its estimated 2014 population was 174,170. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California’s North Coast, Wine Country and the North Bay; the fifth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont; and the 28th most populous city in California.



On March 15, 2016, the Santa Rosa City Council adopted an interim ordinance to allow Commercial Cultivation of Medical Cannabis. The ordinance can be found in Chapter 20-46 of the City Code. Per the ordinance cultivation may be allowed, subject to a Minor or Major Conditional Use Permit (depending on size) in specific zoning districts. 

Division 4 Standards for Specific Land Uses Chapter 20-46 MEDICAL CANNABIS CULTIVATION 20-46.030 Commercial Cultivation of Medical Cannabis

  • A. Commercial Cultivation of Medical Cannabis shall be allowed to occur with a Conditional Use Permit or Minor Use Permit, as set forth below, in the following Zoning Districts: Light Industrial (IL), General Industrial (IG), and Limited Light Industrial (LIL) Zoning Districts.
    • 1. Commercial cultivation operations up to 10,000 square feet in size shall be allowed with a Minor Use Permit. For the duration of this interim ordinance, all applications for a Minor Use Permit under this section shall be referred to the Planning Commission for hearing and decision pursuant to Section 20-50.020(A)(1).
    • 2. Commercial cultivation operations over 10,000 square feet in size shall be allowed only with a Conditional Use Permit.
  • B. No Conditional Use Permit or Minor Use Permit for commercial cultivation of medical cannabis shall be granted unless the review authority first makes all of the required findings set forth in Section 20-52.050 (Conditional Use Permits and Minor Conditional Use Permits).
  • C. Cultivation of Medical Cannabis for non-commercial, persona purposes by a Qualified Patient or Primary Caregiver, subject to the limitation, and requirements of subsection (g) of Health and Safety Code, Section 11362.777, is not a prohibited use in any City land use district.
  • D. Commercial Cultivation operators issued a Conditional Use Permit or Minor Use Permit pursuant to this interim ordinance shall be required to comply with such additional operational conditions or performance measures adopted by subsequent ordinance(s) of the City to comprehensively regulate medical cannabis.
  • E. Commercial Cultivation operators shall also be required to obtain a state license and shall comply with any applicable state licensing requirements, such as operational standards and locational criteria. (Ord. 4060 § 2, 2016)



Division 4 Standards for Specific Land Uses Chapter 20-46 MEDICAL CANNABIS CULTIVATION

  • F. “Commercial Cultivation of Medical Cannabis” shall mean any activity involving the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, or trimming of cannabis for medical use, including nurseries, that is intended to be transported, processed, manufactured, distributed, dispensed, delivered, or sold in accordance with the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) for use by medical cannabis patients in California pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215), found at Section 11362.5 of the Health and Safety Code. (Ord. 4060 § 2, 2016)

Non-volatile manufacturing is a permitted use in Business Parks, Light Industrial, and General Industrial; however zoning clearance is required.



In 2005, the City of Santa Rosa adopted its initial regulations for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries. The ordinance can be found in Chapter 10-40 of the City Code and can be accessed at

Per the ordinance, the City Manager may grant up to two dispensaries within the first 6 months of the ordinance’s effective date. Following this, the City Manager may consider additional applications.

To date, there are two approved dispensaries and both are in operation.

The City Manager is not considering new applications at this time.

The issue of dispensaries will be addressed as part of the City’s comprehensive medical cannabis policy effort that is currently underway.

CannaBusiness Law has established prominence as a cutting edge leader and pioneer in providing the highest quality legal expertise in the Cannabis industry.

Contact CannaBusiness Law Today To Provide Expert Assistance In Compliance With Cannabis Licensing, Permitting and the Application Process Relating To Commercial Activity.