Licensing for Cannabis Related Businesses
What is this service?
Under California law, approved by voters in November, 2016, all Cannabis Related Businesses (CRB) are required to obtain both a local (County) business license and a state license.
In the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo (SLO) County (outside of any of the seven incorporated cities), all cannabis related businesses must register for a County Cannabis Business License and must collect and remit the Cannabis Business Tax on a monthly basis. Businesses that are located within city limits and conducting business in the unincorporated areas (such as cannabis delivery) are also required to register for a County Cannabis Business License.
Who can use this service?
Anyone who is operating a cannabis related business such as cultivation, delivery, distribution, manufacturing, nursery, and testing or conducting these types of businesses in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County must register for a County Cannabis Business License and must remit Cannabis Business Tax (CBT).
What is the process?
Step 1: Contact County Planning and Building Department
Before a Cannabis Business License can be issued, you must receive a Land Use Authorization for your location. Visit the Cannabis Permitting Guide for cannabis information, requirements, and resources.
Step 2: Contact County Tax Collector
Once you have met all requirements with the Planning and Building Department, you must complete the Cannabis Business License application and contact [email protected] or call 805-781-5831 to schedule an appointment to begin the license process.
Step 3: Schedule an appointment for a background check
Contact the Sheriff's Office at 805-781-4575 to schedule an appointment for a background check. All operating owners are required to complete a background check.
Step 4: Final approval and license issuance
The Cannabis Business License cannot be issued until all authorizing departments have signed off for approval. If a business is operating during the license process the business must remain in compliance by remitting and reporting taxes to the Tax Collector. Once all requirements are met and approved, the Tax Collector will issue the business license.
Step 5: How do I get in compliance for reporting?
San Luis Obispo (SLO) County is a member of the California Cannabis Authority (CCA). The CCA is the monitoring agency for cannabis businesses operating in the unincorporated area of the SLO County. All cannabis businesses must remain in compliance with the Cannabis License Monitoring and Reporting Requirements.
Submit your State of California METRC API key
to the County. This allows the County access to the same data your business is required to provide to the State. This step only needs to be completed once.
Complete the monthly pricing data spreadsheet
(CSV format) and upload it to CCA at the same time you complete your monthly Cannabis Business Tax (CBT) return form (item 3, below).
Complete the monthly Cannabis Business Tax (CBT) return form and return to the Tax Collector's Office. These tax returns are due on or before the last day of the month following the reporting period. For example, taxable revenue for July must be reported on or before August 31st. Make any required tax payments to the Tax Collector.
Please contact the Tax Collector’s office at [email protected] or at (805) 781-5831 if you need assistance with CBT monitoring and reporting requirements. For technical questions about the METRC API key or the monthly spreadsheet uploads, please contact the CCA data platform at [email protected] or at (800) 462-0787.
Is there a charge for this service?
The current application business license fee is $43 for each business type (a $4 required fee for the State Disability Access program is included in the application fee and renewal fee). This fee is non-refundable. In addition, there is a California Cannabis Authority (CCA) fee of $280 per business.
When and where is this service offered?
This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays. Our office is located at 1055 Monterey, St., Suite D290, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pay cannabis business taxes with cash?
Yes, our office excepts cash payments. For large cash payments, we suggest to call ahead to schedule an appointment.
Can I report cannabis business taxes quarterly or annually?
No, at this time the Tax Collector is only accepting monthly reporting.
Why do I have to provide a METRC key to the County?
This allows the County to access the same data your business is required to provide to the State.
Why do I have to report to the California Cannabis Authority (CCA)?
On January 23, 2018, the County of San Luis Obispo became a member of the California Cannabis Authority (CCA) and designated the CCA as the required monitoring agency for cannabis businesses operating in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County.
COVID-19 Related Penalty Waiver Information
If you were unable to pay your Property Tax Bill due to impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, please see our news article for information on our COVID-19 Penalty Waiver claim process. Please complete the appropriate Waiver Request form and turn it in with your tax payment when you are able to pay no later than May 6, 2021.
Please Note: Online payments will include penalties. Please do not pay online if you intend to request a penalty waiver. You can place your waiver request by phone and, if approved, pay the amount without penalty by calling 805-781-5831. You can also send your payment and penalty waiver request by regular mail to County Tax Collector, 1055 Monterey St. Rm D-290, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408.
Please contact the Tax Collector at [email protected] or (805) 781-5831 if you have questions about your tax bill.