Cannabis Rules in SLO County

Special Note: This information is fluid and may change. Please contact each local jurisdiction for the most updated regulations and information. 

Every local government in California can have different rules and regulations for commercial cannabis activities in the areas they govern. SLO County is no different. As a result, the rules can vary depending on where you are located.

This page is meant to provide the public with information about the different regulations in each local incorporated city governed by a City Council, as well as the unincorporated areas of SLO County governed by the Board of Supervisors.

 

cannabis plants

 

 

Unincorporated Areas in SLO County

The County Board of Supervisors sets cannabis-related policies and serves as the legislative arm for the unincorporated areas of the County, which are outlined on this page. Those areas include:

Adelaide, Cholame, Lake Nacimiento, Oak Shores, San Miguel, Shandon, Whitley Gardens, Baywood Park, California Men’s Colony, Cal Poly State University , Cambria, Cayucos, Cuesta-by-the-Sea, Cuesta College, Harmony, Los Osos, San Simeon, Avila Beach, Country Club, Edna-Los Ranchos, Edna Valley , Rolling Hills Estate, Shell Beach, Squire Canyon, Sunset Palisades, Black Lake Canyon, Callendar-Garrett, Cuyama, Halcyon, Huasna-Lopez, Los Berros, Nipomo, Nipomo Mesa, Oceano, Palo Mesa, California Valley, Creston, Garden Farms, Pozo, Santa Margarita

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants, grown indoors, per dwelling unit, for personal use, are exempt from obtaining a land use permit.  Six cannabis plants, grown indoors, per site, by a caregiver are exempt from obtaining a land use permit. Caregivers are required to obtain a County business license. No outdoor personal or caregiver cultivation is allowed.

Cannabis Dispensaries: Cannabis dispensaries are limited to delivery-only dispensaries (mobile deliveries) requiring a Type 9 State license. Dispensaries with storefronts open to the public, requiring a Type 10 State license, are prohibited. Dispensaries may be permitted in the Agriculture (AG), Commercial Service (CS), Industrial (IND), Residential Rural (RR), and Rural Lands (RL) land use categories subject to a land use permit. Dispensaries in the AG, RL, and RR land use categories are limited to only those products grown or manufactured onsite.

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Commercial cannabis cultivation may be permitted in the Agriculture (AG), Rural Lands (RL), Residential Rural (RR), and Industrial (IND) land use categories, with certain restrictions including minimum site size and setback requirements. For the first year, only those applicants who have an approved cooperative/collective registration under Ordinance 3334 can apply for a land use permit for commercial cannabis cultivation.

On AG zoned sites between 10 and 25 acres, up to two outdoor operations per site are permitted. On AG zoned sites greater than 25 acres, three outdoor operations per site are permitted. Outdoor cultivation on RL zoned sites is limited to one operation per site.  All indoor cultivation is limited to 22,000 square-feet per site. This can be achieved by one operation or multiple operations. An operation is limited in size to a single State license. A cultivator may transfer their operation to another property, but must obtain a new land use permit.

Cannabis Nurseries. Commercial cannabis nurseries may be permitted in the Agriculture (AG), Rural Lands (RL), Residential Rural (RR), and Industrial (IND) land use categories. There is no limit to the number of permitted nurseries in the County.

Cannabis Manufacturing. Non-volatile cannabis manufacturing facilities may be permitted in the Commercial Service (CS) and Industrial (IND) land use categories, and in the Agriculture (AG) land use category with cannabis grown onsite. Manufacturing of cannabis utilizing volatile methods is prohibited (Type 7 State licenses). Manufacturing facilities are prohibited from manufacturing cannabis edible products that resemble people, animals, insects, or fruit.

Cannabis Testing Facilities. Cannabis testing facilities may be permitted in the Commercial Service (CS) and Industrial (IND) land use categories.

Cannabis Distribution Facilities. Cannabis distribution facilities may be permitted in the Commercial Service (CS) and Industrial (IND) land use categories. This land use type applies to applicants seeking standalone warehouse-type facilities to operate as a third-party distributor.  

Separation from Sensitive Uses. All permitted cannabis activities are required to be separated at least six-hundred (600) feet from any pre-school, elementary school, junior high school, high school, library, park, playground, recreation or youth center, licensed drug or alcohol recovery facility, or licensed sober living facility. Distance shall be measured from the nearest point of the property line of the site that contains the cultivation to the nearest point of the property line of the enumerated use, using a direct straight-line measurement. Cultivation and nurseries are required to be separated one-thousand (1,000) feet from the above uses, but can request a modification.

Water. A 1:1 water offset is required for cannabis cultivation and cannabis nurseries in areas with a Groundwater Basin at Level of Severity, unless a higher offset is required by CEQA review through the land use permit process. The water offset scan be achieved through a County-approved water conservation program for the respective basins. Cannabis activities cannot use trucked-in water as a source of water for the activity.

Air Pollution Control District. The Air Pollution Control District (APCD) has determined that all cannabis processing facilities are subject to permitting requirements and must complete and submit an application for an Authority to Construct (ATC) prior to operation. The APCD's Cannabis Manufacturing/Processing Application can be found on the APCD website along with other application requirements.

Contact:  
For general information, please call (805) 781-5011.

For land-use questions, please call the County Planning and Building Department at (805) 781-5600.

For business licensing and taxation questions, please call the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office at (805) 781-5831.

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

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Incorporated Areas in SLO County

Each incorporated city has different sets of rules in regards to cannabis. Each local city government's cannabis rules are subject to change. To view the most recent cannabis ordinances within the cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo, please refer to their respective webpages.

 

 

City of Arroyo Grande

Last Updated: 12/28/18

These are the rules within Arroyo Grande city limits. 

Cannabis Dispensaries: Dispensaries with storefronts open to the public are prohibited. Cannabis deliveries by State-licensed operations may occur, but the City no longer has a local permit requirement for those operations.

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Commercial cannabis cultivation, indoor and outdoor, is prohibited.

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants total, grown indoors, per dwelling unit, for personal use, are permitted. Outdoor personal cultivation is prohibited.

Cannabis Activities: Cannabis testing facilities are prohibited. Cannabis manufacturing facilities are prohibited.

Contact: Matthew Downing, [email protected], 805-473-5424

For more information:  

https://www.arroyogrande.org/Search?searchPhrase=cannabis&pageNumber=1&perPage=10&departmentId=-1

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City of Atascadero

Last Updated: 12/10/18

These are the rules within Atascadero city limits. 

Cannabis Dispensaries: Dispensaries with storefronts open to the public are prohibited. Deliveries of recreational and medical cannabis are permitted when the dispensary is located outside of City limits.

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Commercial cannabis cultivation, indoor and outdoor, is prohibited.

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants total, per dwelling unit, for personal use, are permitted. Outdoor and indoor personal cultivation is permitted.

Cannabis Activities: Cannabis testing facilities are permitted. Cannabis manufacturing facilities are prohibited.

Contact: Phil Dunsmore, [email protected]; 805-461-5000

For more information: https://www.atascadero.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=88&Itemid=1506

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City of Grover Beach

Last Updated: 12/11/18

These are the rules within Grover Beach city limits. 

Cannabis Dispensaries: Up to four retailers (dispensaries) are permitted, whether they are open to the public or only deliver from their facility.

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Outdoor commercial cannabis cultivation is prohibited. Indoor commercial cannabis cultivation is permitted.

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants total, grown indoors, per dwelling unit, for personal use, are permitted. Outdoor personal cultivation is prohibited.

Cannabis Activities: Cannabis testing facilities are permitted. Volatile manufacturing facilities are permitted.

Contact:, Janet Reese, [email protected]; 805-473-4520

For more information: https://www.grover.org/index.aspx?NID=333

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City of Morro Bay

Last Updated: 12/11/18

These are the rules within Morro Bay city limits. 

Cannabis Dispensaries: Up to two medical dispensaries with storefronts open to the public are permitted. Recreational dispensaries with storefronts open to the public are prohibited. Delivery dispensaries are limited to medical only dispensaries (mobile deliveries).

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Commercial cannabis cultivation, indoor and outdoor, is prohibited.

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants total, per dwelling unit, for personal use, are permitted. Up to two outdoor cannabis plants, for personal use, are permitted.

Cannabis Activities: Cannabis testing facilities are prohibited. Cannabis manufacturing facilities are prohibited.

Contact: Scot Graham, [email protected]; 805-772-6291

For more information: http://www.morrobayca.gov/Search?searchPhrase=cannabis

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City of Paso Robles

Last Updated: 02/18/18

These are the rules within Paso Robles city limits. 

Cannabis Dispensaries: Dispensaries with storefronts open to the public are prohibited. Delivery dispensaries are limited to medical only dispensaries (mobile deliveries).

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Commercial cannabis cultivation, indoor and outdoor, is prohibited.

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants total, grown indoors, per dwelling unit, for personal use, are permitted. Outdoor personal cultivation is prohibited.

Cannabis Activities: Cannabis testing facilities are prohibited. Cannabis manufacturing facilities are prohibited.

Contact: Darren Nash, [email protected]; 805-237-3970 

For more information:  http://www.prcity.com/DocumentCenter/View/12067/2018-City-Council-Ordinance---1052-PDF

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City of Pismo Beach

Last Updated: 02/18/18

These are the rules within Pismo Beach city limits. 

Cannabis Dispensaries: Dispensaries with storefronts open to the public are prohibited. Delivery dispensaries are limited to medical only dispensaries (mobile deliveries).

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Commercial cannabis cultivation, indoor and outdoor, is prohibited.

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants total, grown indoors, per dwelling unit, for personal use, are permitted. Outdoor personal cultivation is prohibited.

Cannabis Activities: Cannabis testing facilities are prohibited. Cannabis manufacturing facilities are prohibited.

Contact: The Planning Division, [email protected]; 805-773-4658

For more information: http://www.pismobeach.org/Search?searchPhrase=cannabis

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City of San Luis Obispo

Last Updated: 12/5/18

These are the rules within San Luis Obispo city limits. 

On November 27, 2018, the City Council approved the fee structure, application criteria, and zoning regulations to allow for cannabis businesses to operate in the City. In order to choose the most qualified operators, the City Council and staff established an application and approval process for individuals or groups wishing to operate cannabis businesses in the City. Those interested in opening a business can submit an application between January 7 to 29, 2019 and will be ranked with a points system. Notification of approved operator permits will begin in February. Once an operator permit is issued, a land use permit for specific business sites will also be required. 

Cannabis Dispensaries: Limit of three retail storefront permits.

Commercial Cannabis Cultivation: Capped at 70,000 square feet, with no one business being larger than 10,000 square feet.

Personal Cannabis Cultivation: Six cannabis plants total, either grown indoors, outdoors or both, for personal use, are permitted.

Cannabis Activities: There is no limitation on permits for manufacturing, distribution, testing and non-storefront retail (delivery only).

Contact: Rachel Cohen, [email protected],  805-781-7574

For more information: http://www.slocity.org/cannabis

 

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