Adult-use & Medical Cannabis Program
The City of San Rafael's Cannabis licensing portal is now open! The licensing portal will be opened for 3 weeks, closing Friday, August 2, 2019, end of business day 5 PM (PST). The licenses available in this round include:
- Cannabis Testing Labs (State License Type 8): 4 licenses
- Infused Product Manufacturing MIPs (State License Type N): 3 licenses
- Distribution (State License Type 11): 2 licenses
Depending on the volume of applications received, future timetables will be created to determine the amount of time needed to review and score applications, conduct interviews and Live Scan background checks. For more information, please review our 2019 Cannabis Licensing Applicant Guide.
Cannabis Gross Receipts Tax Rates
The San Rafael Cannabis Gross Receipts Business Tax went live November 2018. Current cannabis business tax rates:
- Cannabis Testing Labs (State License Type 8): 1%
- Infused Product Manufacturing MIPs (State License Type N): 3%
- Non-storefront Delivery (State License Type 9): 4%
- Distribution (State License Type 11): 1%
Here is a quick snapshot of our backstory:
- 01/17/17: Council study session, forms Medical Cannabis ad-hoc Subcommittee
- 09/18/17: Council reviews medical cannabis pilot program concept
- 12/04/17: Council creates business & professions code: what’s allowed, what’s prohibited
- 01/16/18: Council adopts resolution outlining license amounts and process framework
- 02/13/18: Planning Commission previews cannabis zoning recommendations
- 03/05/18: Council reviews zoning recommendations and cannabis industry tax
- 03/19/18: Council's 2nd reading zoning amendments; Impartial analysis cannabis industry tax
- 05/21/18: Council approves amending the pilot program to add (2) medical distribution licenses (State License Type: 11)
- 07/02/18: Council approves amending the pilot program to add (1) additional medical distribution license and (1) additional delivery license
- 03/04/19: Council approves amending medical cannabis policy to allow existing licensees to serve the adult-use market, revise available license totals.
New cannabis businesses
New businesses must:
- get a City of San Rafael cannabis operator license
- be located in a space that conforms with local zoning regulations and state law
- get a license from the State of California
You can find the zoning designation of any property in San Rafael by visiting www.cityofsanrafael.org/zoning and entering the address. The zoning regulations allow the three types of cannabis uses established by pilot program in in certain zoning districts. See Exhibit A of the Attachment 1 in the zoning recommendations staff report to find what zoning districts the uses are allowed
The California Cannabis Portal has information on State of California cannabis business licensing.
Permit and licensing fees
We are also preparing for the June 5, 2018, election for the San Rafael Cannabis Industry Tax .
Questions for license holders
If you have been granted a license and are interested in the next steps in the process to get your business up and running, please refer to our FAQ for Cannabis Related Businesses for additional information on the development review process.
Many of these steps can be peformed indepentently of one another and are not necessarily sequential, but all steps must be performed after being awared a license in order to conduct business within the City of San Rafael. A master checklist is included on the last page to track your progress.
Note that for each step in the process, the responsible division or department tasked with that review will have the most accurate information available and their contact information is included with the FAQ.
- California Cannabis Portal
- California State Legislation and Regulations
- California Department of Fee and Tax Administration Tax Guide
Cannabis for medical use
If you use cannabis to treat a medical condition, nothing will change regarding where you can buy and use cannabis. In 2018, some cannabis retailers may sell cannabis for adult use as well as medical use, but you will still be able to buy medical cannabis at the same stores.
Using cannabis in San Rafael
You cannot smoke, eat, vape, or otherwise use cannabis:
- in public places, like parks and sidewalks
- near schools or anywhere children are present (you can’t even possess cannabis at places like day care centers)
- inside most buildings, like workplaces, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, and the common areas of multi-unit housing
- at outdoor public events like music festivals, street fairs and parades
Generally, you can’t smoke or vape cannabis in places where you can’t smoke tobacco.
Amount you can buy or carry
Adults can purchase and possess up to 1 ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis. You can have up to 6 cannabis plants in your home, if the property owner allows.
You can only purchase adult-use cannabis from licensed retailers. It is illegal to buy cannabis from establishments or individuals who are not licensed to sell cannabis. Let’s Talk Cannabis has more information on what’s legal for adult-use cannabis in California.
Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and you can be arrested, fined, and have your license suspended.
You cannot drive or ride in a vehicle with an open container of cannabis. Cannabis must be sealed or kept in the trunk.
You must lock up cannabis products away of children and pets.
While a fatal overdose from the use of cannabis is unlikely, smoking or eating high concentrations of THC can affect your judgment, perception, and coordination, and may lead to injuries.
Cannabis at work
Employers can still:
- have a drug and alcohol free workplace
- require drug tests for employees
- turn you down for a job because you use cannabis
- fire you, demote you, or take other action against you for using cannabis
Growing cannabis-personal use
You can plant, harvest, dry, and process up to 6 cannabis plants in your private residence, or on the grounds of your residence, in a secured and enclosed accessory structure (greenhouse) that cannot be seen from public view, or is accessible to the public.
California has more information on what’s legal for adult-use cannabis consumers. All commercial cultivation of cannabis is prohibited in San Rafael city limits.
California’s Let’s Talk Cannabis page on responsible use suggests precautions to take when using cannabis.
California Department of Public Health has more information on what’s legal for growing, buying and giving away adult-use cannabis.