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San Bernardino: Application Process for Commercial Cannabis Business Permits

City of San Bernardino California

Application Window to apply ends June 25, 2018

San Bernardino, CA – Since April 25, the City has accepted applications for 17 available permits to open commercial cannabis businesses. This followed the March 7, 2018 City Council approval of San Bernardino Municipal Code Chapter 5.10 for Commercial Cannabis Activity, an ordinance that allows commercial cannabis permits for businesses that agree to regulation and adhere to local and state laws. Applications will be accepted through June 25, 2018 and permits will be awarded based on a merit system that was requested by the community. The merit system evaluates location and proposed plans for overall business operations, neighborhood compatibility, safety, and security.

Once the 17 permits are awarded, businesses will be required to hold a valid commercial cannabis business permit from the City, a valid state cannabis license and follow all applicable state and local laws. The decision to allow 17 commercial permits was based on the formula of allowing one business per 12,500 City residents.

Please click here to view the timeline that details the road to cannabis legalization in the City of San Bernardino.

“California residents voted for legal cannabis use and sales, and the City is taking steps to ensure that it is done responsibly and in the best interest of all residents,” said Mayor R. Carey Davis. “San Bernardino joins many California cities and states nationwide that are navigating the difficult process of developing and implementing ordinances for what is still considered a federally controlled substance. Our objective is to ensure safe and effective regulations for our community.”

The merit system was developed based upon community input gathered during the public outreach process that the City conducted. In addition to proper state licensing, applicants must demonstrate that the business complies with best management practices within the industry.

Since the passing of Proposition 64, many illegal dispensaries have chosen to operate without proper licensing. To date, more than 40 illegal dispensaries have been closed by the City of San Bernardino Police Department.

“Several illegal operations have been associated with crimes like robberies, illegal firearms and even homicide,” said Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. “The ordinances approved by the City were created to allow cannabis activities and at the same time, keep our community safe. Closing illegal dispensaries helps protect the residents of San Bernardino by creating a unified standard for businesses and centralized method of managing cannabis in the City.”

Additional cannabis-related ordinances include the approval of Municipal Code Chapter 8.97 that allows smoking cannabis in private places and Municipal Code Chapter 8.99 that allows personal indoor cultivation of six plants or less for adult-use and medicinal cannabis.

For more information about cannabis ordinances or the permit process in the City of San Bernardino, please contact Stephanie Sanchez, at, (909) 384-5357.

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