Licensing for Cannabis Related Businesses

What is the process?

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Complete the monthly pricing data spreadsheet template for Retail (CSV format), Cultivation (CSV format), or Distribution (CSV format) and upload it to CCA at the same time you complete your monthly Cannabis Business Tax (CBT) return form (item 3, below). CSV submissions require cannabis businesses to complete the appropriate form and transmit via email to CCA on a Monthly basis. Use the appropriate CSV form for your business type and follow the instructions for each cell included in the templates above. Attach the completed CSV file to the email you send to [email protected]. This report may be available to be exported directly from the point of sale vendor.
  3. 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.


Who is eligible?

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).

Is there a charge for this service?

The current application business license fee is $44 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 Cannabis Tax Compliance fee of $3,918 per license.

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.


There is a separate process for renewing an existing Cannabis Business License. 

Yes, our office accepts cash payments. For large cash payments, we suggest to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

No, at this time the Tax Collector is only accepting monthly reporting.

This allows the County to access the same data your business is required to provide to the State.

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.