Potential Cannabis Regulations

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In response to new State law allowing the recreational use of cannabis, the City of Redwood City is currently in the process of evaluating City regulations regarding the cultivation, storage, distribution, delivery, sale, taxation and smoking of recreational and medical cannabis. In June, the City Council met to discuss different regulatory options available to the City. The City Council meeting staff report is available here. Go here to view the City Council meeting discussion.

A community survey was developed to help inform the City Council as it weighs different regulatory options. We appreciate your participation and thank you in advance for your feedback. To access the survey, go here.


Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA)

In 2015, the California State Legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. MCRSA established a state licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, distribution and sale of medical cannabis and requires applicants to have a City permit in order to obtain a state license to engage in the medical cannabis business.

Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)

On November 8, 2016, statewide voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

  • AUMA legalizes recreational cannabis use by adults age 21 and over, authorizes cultivation of up to six plants per housing unit for personal consumption, and establishes a new state licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, distribution, sale and taxation of recreational cannabis.
  • AUMA provisions legalizing recreational cannabis businesses will not be operational until the State begins issuing licenses on January 1, 2018.  
  • State law does not require applicants to have a City permit in order obtain a state license to engage in recreational cannabis business.
  • A state license can be issued unless prohibited by a City ordinance.
  • City jurisdictions that wish to regulate or prohibit recreational cannabis businesses should do so before the State begins issuing licenses, either by enacting a recreational cannabis ordinance or by amending an existing medical cannabis ordinance to include recreational cannabis within its scope. 


Presently, Redwood City’s only regulation addressing cannabis-related activity is to prohibit medical cannabis distribution facilities in all zoning districts of the City.  Delivery of medical cannabis is allowed, and is not subject to City business license obligations or any City taxes.

In June, the City Council met to discuss potential recreational cannabis related regulations. If the City does not take some action, under State law, beginning January 1, 2018, the sale, cultivation, processing/manufacturing, storage, distribution, and delivery of recreational cannabis would be legal within the City limits.

Based on the City Council’s June Study Session discussion, the following cannabis-related regulations and allowed activities are expected to be considered further by the City Council later this fall following a community survey and outreach:

  • Ban commercial cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and processing
  • Ban outdoor personal cannabis cultivation
  • Ban cannabis retail store front sales
  • Allow recreation and medical cannabis delivery that is sealed, cash free (credit card only purchases), and fully tracked under State of California regulations
  • Apply business license fees to cannabis deliveries and consider applying excise or sales taxes to cannabis sales

Have more questions? Click on the Frequently Asked Questions button below for more details. 

Interested in providing feedback? Click on the Community Survey button below to take the survey!


Frequently Asked Questions


Community Survey


Helpful Links

June 26, 2017 City Council Meeting Staff Report

June 26, 2017 City Council Meeting Presentation

California Bureau of Medical Cannabis

California Cannabis Portal