Cannabis in SLO County

For Cannabis-Related Businesses

Important Links and Information: 

Appointments are strongly encouraged to submit a completed land use permit application. ‚ÄčTo schedule an application submittal appointment, please call Candace Wood at (805) 788-2959

Contact Us

For general information: (805) 781-5011

For land-use questions: County Planner Brandi Cummings, (805) 781-5600 

For business licensing and taxation questions: Principal Financial Analyst Justin Cooley, (805) 781-5040 

For agriculture resources, pest management, pesticide use information and weights & measures: Please call (805) 781-5910 for assistance

PLEASE NOTE: the Proposed Ordinance applies to the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. If you reside within the boundaries of a city, please contact that city for their regulations regarding cannabis.

Complete the form below to request a pre-application meeting with Department of Planning & Building staff. Applicable fees must be paid no later than one week prior to the scheduled meeting date.

Request for Pre-Application Meeting
Enter the applicant's name
( ) -
Enter the applicant's telephone number
Enter the applicant's email address
Enter the applicant's mailing address
Enter agent's name if applicable
( ) -
Enter agent's telephone number if applicable
Enter agent's email address if applicable
Enter all applicable Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs) for the proposed project site
Enter the land use category or categories for the proposed project site area if known
Enter the proposed project site area in acres if known
Enter the address for the proposed project site if known
Enter the cross streets for the proposed project site if applicable
Enter a brief description of the proposed project
Any any concerns or questions regarding the proposed project
Existing Agriculture:

Are there any existing agricultural uses on the proposed project site?
If there are any existing agricultural uses on the proposed project site, please describe
Previous Meeting:

Has a previous pre-application meeting been scheduled for the proposed project?
If a previous pre-application meeting has been scheduled for the proposed project, please describe
Enter the names of staff members requested to attend the pre-application meeting if known
Other Agencies:

Select any additional departments/agencies that should attend the pre-application meeting

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the rules different between unincorporated areas of SLO County and the incorporated cities (Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo)?

Yes. Each jurisdiction has its own rules. So, while commercial storefront retailers are allowed in Grover Beach, they are not allowed in the unincorporated areas of SLO County. The County is working with the cities to develop a quick reference for the rules in each jurisdiction.

Can I sell homegrown cannabis plants or products to others?

Not without a County and State license. Proposition 64 does not allow the sale of homegrown cannabis, whether whole plant, clippings, clones, or any product derived from any part of the plant without proper licenses.

Can I smoke or consume cannabis in public places?

No. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016 (AUMA), AKA Proposition 64, prohibits smoking or consumption of medical and recreational cannabis in public places or in places where smoking tobacco is prohibited. Places where you cannot smoke include restaurants, theaters, hallways and lobbies of apartment buildings and hotels, on the street, in schools, amusement parks, public parks and places of business usually open to the general public. Additionally, consumption or smoking of cannabis is prohibited within 1,000 feet of a school or youth area while children present, except on private residential property provided smoking is not detectable by children. Cannabis smoking is also prohibited in your car.

Do I need a state license to grow cannabis for personal use?

No. However, all personal grows must be done indoors and only six plants are allowed to be grown per residence (not per person at the residence). Your six plant count includes all immature (not flowering) and mature (flowering) plants. All plants and harvested cannabis in excess of one (1) ounce must be kept within the person’s private residence, in a locked space, that is not visible from a public place.

How much cannabis can I buy for recreation use?

Under Proposition 64, adults 21 years and older can possess, transport, or purchase up to one (1) ounce of cannabis and up to eight (8) grams of cannabis concentrates.

What am I legally allowed to do with cannabis in California?

Personal recreational use: Adults 21 years or above are currently able to use recreational cannabis within a private residence and grow cannabis indoors (up to 6 plants) for personal use. Cannabis use is still prohibited in public and areas where smoking tobacco is prohibited.


Commercial cannabis activities require a license from the State Bureau of Cannabis Control, which began accepting applications in January 1, 2018. A license from both the County and the State is required before any commercial cultivation, testing, distribution, manufacturing, or sales are allowed.

What are the current County regulations regarding cannabis?

The Board of Supervisors adopted regulations for cannabis activities in SLO County on November 27, 2017 and began accepting inland land use applications January 2, 2018.

I am new to cultivating cannabis in SLO County. How do I get a license?

The County is only accepting cultivation land use license applications from a limited number of cultivators that registered with the County by November 18, 2016. Until the County has worked with those applicants, no new land use applications for cultivation will be accepted.

If you are looking to grow 6 plants or less for personal consumption, no license is required.  However, all personal cultivation must be done indoors and the 6 plant limit includes both immature (nonflowering) and mature (flowering) plants.  A maximum of 6 plants is allowed per dwelling (not per person in the dwelling).

Where can I buy cannabis in SLO County?

Commercial cannabis retailers can obtain permits and licenses to deliver cannabis from the unincorporated areas of the County.  Storefront retailers, a store where you can walk into a store and view or purchase cannabis are not allowed in the unincorporated areas of the County. 

Note that there may be incorporated cities, such as Grover Beach, that allow storefront retailers.

Will a permit or license be required to grow, sell, or process cannabis?

Yes. Commercial cannabis businesses need a land use permit and a business license from the County before operations can begin. Businesses also need to obtain proper State licenses.

If you are looking to grow 6 plants or less for personal consumption, no license is required. However, all personal cultivation must be done indoors and the 6 plant limit includes both immature (nonflowering) and mature (flowering) plants. A maximum of 6 plants is allowed per dwelling (not per person in the dwelling).

Where can I find more information on the adopted ordinances?