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Marijuana Business Regulations

The El Cerrito City Council is currently considering whether or not to end the ban on marijuana-related businesses in El Cerrito and enact land use and business standards to regulate marijuana-related businesses. Sign-up to receive email notices about this topic, please sign-up for meeting notifications.

Staff Update to Council
Staff will provide an informational update to the City Council on Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Download the meeting agenda.
Community Meeting - Fall 2016
The City hosted a community meeting on September 12, 2016 to provide information and hear public feedback.
Download the presentation
Download the notes from the group exercises
Download summary of comment cards from meeting

Background on Marijuana Business Regulations
2003:  California’s Medical Marijuana Program Act established possession limits for medical marijuana, a voluntary medical marijuana ID card program at the county level, and the right of patients to cultivate marijuana collectively. The act resulted in the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.

Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries currently operate in the nearby cities of Richmond and Berkeley, as well as elsewhere in the east bay area. 

2006: The El Cerrito City Council prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries in El Cerrito.
2016: California Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, was passed by California voters, which:
• Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older.
• Imposes state taxes on sales and cultivation.
• Provides for industry licensing and establishes standards for marijuana products.
• Allows local regulation and taxation.

Under the new State law, as of November 9, 2016, it is legal for individuals to use and grow marijuana for personal use. However, the AUMA requires a state license to engage in commercial nonmedical marijuana activity and licensing authorities will not begin issuing licenses before January 1, 2018.

City can adopt business or land use regulations prohibiting or regulating commercial nonmedical marijuana businesses, which will be honored by the state. (State licensing authorities will not issue a license to a commercial nonmedical marijuana business if operation of the business violates a local ordinance of the jurisdiction in which the business will operate.)

Cities can ban the delivery of commercial nonmedical marijuana within their jurisdiction.

Cities can also ban commercial cultivation, personal outdoor cultivation, or retail sales of marijuana, however, this would make the city ineligible to receive state grant monies funded through the new state excise taxes established by AUMA.

Note: Marijuana use and cultivation remains illegal under federal law.