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The City currently is NOT accepting Cannabis Commercial Business Operator Permit applications at this time. Please keep checking back to this website for updates.


On October 16, 2018 the City Council reviewed the Cannabis Operator Permit Draft Evaluation Criteria and provided comments to staff. As a result of these comments, as well as public feedback, the Evaluation Criteria is being revised and will be reviewed on November 27, 2018 by Council.

In addition, some aspects of the application process have also been revised. Below is a list of the changes:

  • Multiple applications (e.g. stacking) on one site will not be allowed.
  • Enforcement of representations (i.e. employee compensation, local control, charitable giving, etc.) made as part of the application for Cannabis Operator Permit will be enforced through conditions of approval of the operator permit and tied to any land use permit issued to that operator.


Cannabis Ordinance (Municipal Code Chapter 9.10 and Chapter 17.99)
Allowed Zones for Cannabis Businesses
Cannabis Business Zones (CBZ) Overlay Area Maps
Draft Evaluation Criteria
10-16-2018 City Council comments regarding the Draft Evaluation Criteria


The San Luis Obispo City Council will hold a Meeting, Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 990 Palm Street. The City Council will review the draft fee schedule and the revised Evaluation Criteria for Commercial Cannabis Business Operator Permits.


On June 5, 2018, the City Council of the City of San Luis Obispo approved by a 5 – 0 vote to put the proposed Cannabis Business Tax Measure of the ballot for the November 6, 2018 Municipal Election.  To learn more about the proposed Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance, City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis and Arguments in Favor of the Measure, please visit the City Clerk's Municipal Elections page or check out the Cannabis Business Tax Fact Sheet.

What is the Cannabis Business Tax (Measure F-18)?

The proposed general-purpose tax would include a combination of the two most common tax structures implemented throughout the State:

  • Gross receipts tax of up to 10%; and
  • Cultivation tax of up to $10 per canopy square foot

Gross receipts, or excise taxes, are assessed at every stage of cannabis production within the City including testing, retail sales, distribution and manufacturing. Cultivation taxes are based on the size of the canopy or license issued by the State.

How will the money from the tax be spent?

The general-purpose tax would go to the General Fund and could be used for any City project, service or operation, as directed by the City Council.  The proposed business tax could raise approximately $1.5M annually and would be in effect until ended by voters.

How will the cannabis industry be regulated in the City?

The specific locations of cannabis businesses within the City is still under review. Staff is proposing Overlay Areas that will be presented to the Planning Commission and the City Council for feedback from the public and advisory bodies with final review being made by the City Council. The public will be notified about upcoming meetings and hearings.

What happens if Measure F-18 is not passed?

No land use or operator permits will be issued, and no commercial cannabis business operations will be allowed in the City unless and until voters approve a cannabis revenue measure. Measure F-18 is a general tax and must be passed by a majority vote.


On May 15, 2018, the City Council adopted an ordinance amending the City's Municipal Code which establishes regulations for commercial cannabis businesses and personal cultivation. The ordinance became effective on June 14, 2018. However, as provided for in the ordinance, no land use or operator permits shall be issued, and no commercial cannabis business operations shall be allowed in the City unless and until the voters of the City approve a cannabis revenue measure.


Licensing Authorities


California Department of Public Health

 The CDPH is committed to providing facts to make safe and informed choices. CDPH is working to increase awareness about cannabis and how it affects bodies, minds and health by sharing science based information. (




DUI doesn’t mean just booze.  Just like drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs is a crime – even if your impairment is due to prescribed medications, illicit drugs, over-the-counter medications or marijuana – medical or recreational. The legal and monetary consequences are the same – up to $10,000 in fines, fees and insurance costs, restricted licensing, days off work to go to court, a criminal record and more. Watch the California Office of Traffic Safety’s ad on Driving Under the Influence: