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Non-Retail Licenses

Regulations for Commercial Cultivation, Manufacture, Distribution

SCC 7.128 Licensing regulations and operational requirements pertaining to non-retail commercial cannabis businesses

SCCC 13.10 Zoning regulations pertaining to non-retail commercial cannabis business activities and development

Best Management and Operational Practices Plan additional requirements applicable to all non-retail commercial cannabis businesses

These regulations work in partnership to regulate the non-retail cannabis supply chain. While SCCC 7.128 serves to establish operational restrictions and a cannabis licensing program for non-retail commercial cannabis businesses in Santa Cruz County, Amendments to SCCC 13.10 Zoning Ordinance establish zoning restrictions and land use permitting requirements for the industry. These regulations are intended to be read in tandem to determine potential cannabis business site eligibility and operational restrictions for non-retail cannabis businesses.


State Licensing Requirements

In addition to a local license, licensees MUST ALSO obtain a state license to legally operate in the State of California. For more information visit California Cannabis Portal.

Applicants for State temporary licenses with an existing business can obtain a Local Letter of Authorization (LOLA) from the County of Santa Cruz. The purpose of issuing letters of Local Authorization is to enable existing, established cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and or distribution businesses to apply to the State for a Temporary License to prevent possible disruption to their business. Applicants for a LOLA should complete a Local Authorization Letter Application, submitting the required documents requested, pay a $800.00 fee and obtain a site inspection from the Cannabis Licensing Office. No LOLA will be issued without a site inspection.


Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Frequently Asked Questions on Cannabis Licensing Process and Use Permitting. Please read these questions in detail before you contact the Cannabis Licensing Office with your questions.
See FAQs HERE


Additional Information Pertaining to Cannabis Cultivation

Cannabis Cultivation Registrants

If you did not register to commercially cultivate cannabis and you are not otherwise exempt per the requirements of SCCC 7.128.110 (B)(a) or (b), then you are not eligible for a cannabis cultivation business license at this time. Registration closed in November 2016. There is no anticipated date to reopen the registration process. If you wish to lease to a cannabis cultivation business on your property, you may consider working with a cannabis cultivation registrant to obtain licenses.


Pre-Licensing Inspections

Pre-licensing inspections were carried out through 2017 into 2018 to allow early review of prospective cannabis cultivation sites. Now, however, the Cannabis Licensing Office is busy processing non-retail cannabis business license applications. Therefore the CLO is no longer doing Pre-Licensing Inspections for prospective cultivation sites. If you wish for your site to be inspected and reviewed for a future cannabis cultivation business license, you will need to do so as a part of a Pre-Application review and site visit.

Anyone who has already had a pre-licensing inspection for their property will receive their inspection report in advance of their Pre-Application appointment.