County of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County
Cannabis Licensing

Non-Retail Licensing

To evaluate a specific parcel for eligibility including a preliminary assessment of potential resource issues please enter the Camino Guide.
To apply for a non-retail cannabis business license please enter the Licensing Portal. You must have a completed pre-application and in some cases a Use Permit prior to applying for a license.

The non-retail cannabis businesses within the unincorporated County are regulated by three (3) different sections within the County Code. Chapter 7.128 serves to establish operational restrictions and a cannabis licensing program. Amendments to Chapter 13.10 establish zoning and land use permitting restrictions and amendments to Chapter 16.01 relate to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Additional requirements are included in the Best Management and Operational Practices Plan. These regulations work in tandem to determine eligibility and operational restrictions for non-retail cannabis businesses.

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED WITH POTENTIAL ILLEGAL CANNABIS ACTIVITY PLEASE FILL OUT A COMPLAINT FORM BY CLICKING HERE, calling the department at 831-454-3883 or stop by during our office hours monday through Thursday 8am to noon.

Quick Guide

Non-Retail Guide for Cannabis Businesses. Provides information on zoning, minimum parcel size, maximum canopy size and other basic requirements.

FAQs (Read these before contacting the Licensing Office)

Non-Retail Cannabis Business FAQs

Phase 1 Pre-Application. Pre-application reviews are the first step in your application process to allow staff to assess the basic eligibility of your cannabis business. Pre-application reviews are conducted by appointment only.

Please review the application document and if you'd like to move formawrd please email Samuel LoForti for an appointment and to receive additional required materials.