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THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR JULY 1 - 31, 2019 IS NOW OPEN. (Note: we are not accepting applications for retail storefront operations at this time)

Cannabis Business Operator Permit Application Form

Word Version

PDF Version


Other Documents:

Cannabis Ordinance (Municipal Code Chapter 9.10 and Chapter 17.99)

Cannabis Business Tax (Municipal Code Chapter 5.10)

Allowed Zones for Cannabis Businesses

Cannabis Business Zones (CBZ) Overlay Area Maps

Cannabis Fee Schedule

Evaluation Criteria

For Cannabis Delivery Businesses operating within the city you must complete a Business License and Cannabis Tax Certificate. For more information look to the FAQ.

 For more information, contact Charlene Rosales, Economic Development Manager, at (805) 781-7164.


THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019: Contingent Operator Permits Issued to Five Cannabis Businesses 

Commercial cannabis regulations were adopted by the City of San Luis Obispo in late 2018, with the first application period for Cannabis Business Operator Permits open from January 7-29, 2019. During that time, the City received a total of twelve applications. Applications were scored according to merit-based criteria including community benefit, experience, equity and labor, messaging, medical retail commitment, property control and financial investment to ensure the best operators were selected for the City. The scoring was completed by a staff panel from several City departments including Administration, Code Enforcement, Community Development, Fire and Police. In addition, the scoring was proctored by a third-party consulting firm to ensure consistent application of the review criteria and was reviewed and approved by the City Manager.

The City has issued contingent operator permits for five of the applicants: three retail storefronts, one delivery service (non-storefront) and one microbusiness (non-storefront). Official Cannabis Business Operator Permits will be issued in place of contingent operator permits provided all applicants pass the required, comprehensive background checks. Additionally, the contingent operator permit for one retail storefront and one non-storefront is subject to their ability to identify alternative eligible locations.

The City will officially announce the businesses selected at the conclusion of the background check process. Those businesses will then need to obtain a use permit for the property where their business is located and any building permits required for the necessary tenant improvements through the City’s Community Development Department. The City will continue to keep the community and businesses informed throughout the process. Currently, background checks are still in progress.


On November 6, 2018, the residents of SLO voted to adopt the Cannabis Tax Measure (Measure F-18).

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. The current gross receipts tax is 6%.

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.



California Cannabis Portal 

Licensing Authorities


City of San Luis Obispo Police Department - Cannabis Regulations Unit  

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.  





California Office of Traffic Safety

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