Skip County Header
Alameda County, CA, acgov.org

Albert Lopez
Planning Director
Planning

Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act Implementation


Project Description

In 2015, the State Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law three bills (Assembly Bills 243 and 266, and Senate Bill 643) that created a licensing and regulatory framework for commercial medical cannabis, originally called the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. This new law has been amended by recent legislation including AB 21 and SB 837, and was renamed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act ("MCRSA"). The State Legislature most recently passed Senate Bill 94, which replaces MCRSA and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act ("AUMA", arising from Proposition 64) with a combined scheme for medicinal and adult use under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act ("MAUCRSA").

The County is in the process of considering revisions to the County General Ordinance Code regarding medical cannabis cultivation, dispensaries, deliveries, and the sale, distribution and dispensing of edibles. The proposed ordinances include revisions to the County's existing dispensary ordinance (Chapter 6.108 of the County General Code), the addition of a new cultivation ordinance (Chapter 6.106), and revisions to the Zoning Ordinance (Title 17). Links to documents prepared for the public meetings that have been held to date can be found below.

The County will subsequently commence consideration of adult use cannabis regulations and additional commercial activities for both medical and adult use cannabis (such as manufacturing, testing etc.) not covered by the current medical cannabis ordinances. The County will also consider fees and taxes for commercial cannabis operations.

Staff Contact

Liz McElligott
Alameda County Planning Department
224 West Winton Avenue, Suite 111
Hayward, CA 94544
Phone: (510) 670-5400
Send an email.

If you would like to be included on an email list to receive updates in relation to the County's medical cannabis ordinances, please provide your name and email address to Liz via the above email link.

Project Status

The medical cannabis ordinances have been through a lengthy public hearing process. Details and supporting documents from this process are available below.

The ordinances are scheduled for a First Reading by the Board of Supervisors on August 1st and a Second Reading on September 12th. The ordinances will come into effect 30 days after the Second Reading. In the meantime, the Board of Supervisors has approved an Interim Operations Program, which enables the Planning Department to commence the selection and permitting process.

The County will commence the process soon of soliciting applications for medical cannabis cultivation and dispensaries. This will involve a competitive selection process conducted by the Director of Planning. Each selected dispensary and cultivation operation will also need to obtain a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) prior to operation. Further information regarding these processes will be posted on this website.

What will the ordinances allow?

The key features of the draft medical cannabis ordinances as currently proposed for adoption by the Board are as follows:

Dispensaries

  • Up to 5 dispensaries in total may be permitted in unincorporated Alameda County, subject to a Request for Proposal process (RFP) and the selected candidate(s) obtaining a Cannabis Dispensary Permit pursuant to Chapter 6.108 of the County General Code and a CUP.
  • This will allow 3 new dispensaries in addition to the 2 existing dispensaries that are already in operation:
    • A maximum of 1 new dispensary in the west of the County, which must be located in the Retail Business or General Commercial zone; and
    • A maximum of 2 new dispensaries in the east of the County, which must be located in the Agricultural zone and must be at least 5 miles apart from another dispensary in the east County and 1 mile from any dispensary in an incorporated city.
  • A dispensary must not be located within 1,000 feet of any other dispensary or any school, licensed child or day care facility, public park or playground, drug recovery facility or recreation center and must not be located in a residential zone or its equivalent.

Delivery

  • Delivery operators must obtain a Cannabis Delivery Permit pursuant to Chapter 6.108 of the County General Code.
  • A Cannabis Delivery Permit can be issued to a "brick and mortar" dispensary holding a valid license or permit to dispense medical cannabis issued by a California city or county.

Cultivation

  • Up to 6 cultivation sites in total may be permitted in unincorporated Alameda County as part of a pilot program for cannabis cultivation.
  • Under the pilot program, a maximum of 4 mixed light and 2 indoor operations may be permitted:
    • 2 of the cultivation permits are available to existing dispensary operators in unincorporated Alameda County only, subject to those operators obtaining a Cannabis Cultivation Permit pursuant to Chapter 6.106 of the County General Code and a CUP; and
    • The remaining 4 cultivation permits are available to the general public, subject to an RFP process and the selected candidate(s) obtaining a Cannabis Cultivation Permit and a CUP.
  • Cultivation operations can be permitted in the Agricultural Zoning District only.
  • A cultivation operation must not be located within 1,000 feet of any school, licensed child or day care facility, public park or playground, drug recovery facility or recreation center and must not be within 50 feet from any adjacent property line or 300 feet from any residence on an adjacent property, unless waived in writing by the adjacent owner.
  • Cultivation operations will be required to comply with the County’s Performance Standards and Standard Conditions for Pilot Program Cultivation Sites which, among other things, limit the maximum cultivation area for any cultivation site to 22,000 square feet. The Performance Standards and Standard Conditions may be amended by the CDA Director during the implementation of the Pilot Program.

California Environmental Quality Act Document Now Available for Review

A Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration (NOIA) and an Initial Study/draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the proposed Medical Cannabis Ordinances were released on March 7, 2017 for a 21-day public review period which ended on March 27, 2017. Subsequently, the IS/MND was revised to include analysis of proposed amendments to the ordinances and the resolutions creating the Interim Operations Programs. The conclusion of this analysis is that the ordinance revisions and the Interim Operations Programs do not constitute a substantial revision, pursuant to Section 15073.5 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines; and, therefore, recirculation of the IS/MND for additional public review is not required. The Board of Supervisors adopted the IS/MND on July 11, 2017.

Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for Medical Cannabis Ordinance Amendments (PDF - 25kb)*

Initial Study / Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration for Medical Cannabis Ordinance Amendments (PDF - 614kb)*

Schedule of Community Meetings and Public Hearings

August 1, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Board of Supervisors - First Reading
Board of Supervisors Chambers, 5th Floor
County Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland
September 12, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Board of Supervisors - Second Reading
Board of Supervisors Chambers, 5th Floor
County Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland

Public Meetings Materials

July 11, 2017: Board of Supervisors, Planning Meeting
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary, Delivery and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 160kb)*
July 11 Attachments 1-3 (PDF - 2.7mb)*

July 10, 2017: Planning Commission
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary, Delivery and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 160kb)*
July 10 Attachments 1-4 (PDF - 2.7mb)*

June 28, 2017: Unincorporated Services Committee
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary, Delivery and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (including Attachment 1) (PDF - 220kb)*

June 27, 2017: Agricultural Advisory Committee
Revisions to proposed amendments to the County's General Ordinance Code to allow medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivation sites in agricultural areas
Staff memo (including Attachment 1) (PDF - 221kb)*

June 26, 2017: Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary, Delivery, and Cultivation Ordinance Revisions
Staff memo (including Attachment 1) (PDF - 258kb)*
Attachments 2-6 - Draft Ordinances (PDF - 2.9mb)*

June 21, 2017: Sunol Citizen's Advisory Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Ordinance Revisions
Staff memo (PDF - 258kb)*
Attachments 2-6 - Draft Ordinances (PDF - 2.8mb)*

June 5, 2017: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 208kb)*
Attachments 2-6 Draft Ordinances (PDF - 208kb)*
Proposed Resolution for Interim Cannabis Cultivation Program (PDF - 208kb)*

May 1, 2017: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 208kb)*

April 25, 2017: Board of Supervisors
Adopt Cannabis Ordinances and Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration
Staff memo (PDF - 6Mb)*

April 3, 2017: Planning Commission
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 4.8Mb)*

March 22, 2017: Unincorporated Services Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 4Mb)*

March 20, 2017: Planning Commission
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 2Mb)*

March 6, 2017: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 111kb)*

February 27, 2017: Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 3mb)*

February 21, 2017: Planning Commission
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 236kb)*

February 14, 2017: Transportation/Planning Committee
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 2mb)*

February 6, 2017: Planning Commission
Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinance
Staff memo (PDF - 3mb)*

January 12, 2017: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 673kb)*

December 8, 2016: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on the implications of Proposition 64, and the Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 192kb)*

November 15, 2016: East County Community Meeting
Presentation Slides (PDF - 1.8mb)*

November 7, 2016: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 234kb)*

October 25, 2016: Agricultural Advisory Committee
Proposed Amendments to the County's General Ordinance Code to allow a limited number of medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivation sites in agricultural areas
Staff memo (PDF - 204kb)*

October 24, 2016: Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council
Consideration of Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 169kb)*
Attachments 1-4 Medical Cannabis Ordinances (PDF - 209kb)*

October 3, 2016: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 147kb)*

September 28, 2016: Unincorporated Services Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 193kb)*
Attachments 1-4 Medical Cannabis Ordinances (PDF - 829kb)*

September 21, 2016: Sunol Citizens Advisory Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 169kb)*
Sunol Attachments 1-4 (PDF - 1.9mb)*

September 19, 2016: Planning Commission
Presentation and Discussion of Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinance
Staff memo (PDF - 175kb)*
Attachments 1-4 (PDF - 798kb)*
Map West County (PDF - 1.1mb)*
Map East County (PDF - 1.6mb)*
Presentation (PDF - 123kb)*

September 12, 2016: Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council
Presentation and Discussion of Proposed Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 114kb)*
Attachments 1-4 (PDF - 798kb)*
Map West County (PDF - 1.1mb)*
Map East County (PDF - 1.6mb)*

September 7, 2016: Transportation/Planning Committee
Update on Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Cultivation Ordinances
Staff memo (PDF - 123kb)*
Attachments 1-4 (PDF - 836kb)*
Map West County (PDF - 1mb)*
Map East County (PDF - 1mb)*

July 26, 2016: Agricultural Advisory Committee
Proposed Amendments to the County's General Ordinance Code to allow a limited number of medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivation sites in agricultural areas to implement the State Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act
Presentation Slides (PDF - 1mb)*

July 18, 2016: Board Transportation/Planning Committee
Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act Ordinance and Process Update
Staff Memo (PDF - 109kb)*

June 29, 2016: Unincorporated Services Committee
Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Presentation of Upcoming Legislation
Presentation Slides (PDF - 703kb)*

June 23, 2016: Board Transportation/Planning Committee
Overview and Staff Analysis on the Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Delivery and Cultivation Draft Ordinance
Staff Memo (PDF - 150kb)*
Draft Ordinance (PDF - 274kb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1 West County - 600' Buffer (PDF - 1.7mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1 West County - 1000' Buffer (PDF - 1.8mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1A - 600' Buffer (PDF - 2.7mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1A - 1000' Buffer (PDF - 2.8mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1B - 600' Buffer (PDF - 2.3mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1B - 1000' Buffer (PDF - 2.3mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1C - 600' Buffer (PDF - 2.2mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1C - 1000' Buffer (PDF - 2.2mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1D - 600' Buffer (PDF - 2.5mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 1D - 1000' Buffer (PDF - 2.6mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 2 East County - 600' Buffer (PDF - 1.6mb)*
Medical Marijuana Map 2 East County- 1000' Buffer (PDF - 1.6mb)*

June 20, 2016: Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council
Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Process Update
Presentation Slides (PDF - 1.5mb)*

May 2, 2016: Board Transportation/Planning Committee
Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act Process Update
Presentation Slides (PDF - 130kb)*

April 13, 2016: Board Transportation/Planning Committee
Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act Process Update
Presentation Slides (PDF - 466kb)*

January 26, 2016: Board of Supervisors
Second reading and adoption of an Ordinance adding Chapter 6.106 to the General Ordinance Code, related to the prohibition of medical cannabis cultivation and delivery in unincorporated Alameda County
Board Letter (PDF - 1.3mb)*

January 21, 2016: Board Transportation/Planning Committee
Update of Recent State Legislative Developments in California Medical Marijuana Law and Alameda County Efforts
Presentation Slides (PDF - 186kb)*

January 12, 2016: Board of Supervisors
First reading and adoption of an Ordinance adding Chapter 6.106 to the General Ordinance Code, related to the prohibition of medical marijuana cultivation and delivery in unincorporated Alameda County
Board Letter (PDF - 5mb)*

December 10, 2015: Board Transportation/Planning Committee
Overview of Recent Developments in California Medical Marijuana Law
Presentation Slides (PDF - 363kb)*

Links & Resources


* Portable Document Format (PDF) file requires the free Adobe Reader.

Alameda County sealAlameda County © 2016 • All Rights Reserved • Legal / DisclaimersAccessibility