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The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month


Adult-use & Medical Cannabis Program

Welcome to San Rafael's Cannabis Program!  The City of San Rafael is responsible for issuing a limited amount of commercial cannabis licenses, writing local cannabis regulations, and overseeing Measure G - Cannabis Business Tax  collection within San Rafael city limits.

New cannabis businesses must:

  • get a City of San Rafael cannabis operator license, licenses are limited and tied to a competitive merit based application review process.
  • be located in a space that conforms with local zoning regulations and state law.
  • get a license from the State of California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC).

You can find the zoning designation of any property in San Rafael by visiting and entering the address. The zoning regulations allow cannabis uses industrial zoning districts.

To review the Cannabis Business Operator License (CBOL) program resolution click here.

Cannabis Gross Receipts Tax Rates

The San Rafael Cannabis Gross Receipts Business Tax rates are as followed:

  • Cannabis Testing Labs (State License Type 8): 1%  (license allotment: 4)
  • Manufacturing (State License Type 6) and/or Infused Product Manufacturing MIPs (State License Type N): 3% (license allotment: 10)
  • Non-storefront  Delivery (State License Type 9): 2% (license allotment: 8)
  • Distribution (State License Type 11): 1% (license allotment: 4)

Permit and licensing fees

California licensing fees are on the California Cannabis Portal.

More information on:  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 performed independently of one another and are not necessarily sequential, but all steps must be performed after being awarded 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.

Further information 


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.

California’s Let’s Talk Cannabis brochure on medicinal use cannabis has more information on getting a card.

San Rafael Licensed Delivery (alphabetical order)

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.

Responsible Use

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.

More information

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.

National Academies of Science and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have more information on health and cannabis use, including research on:

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