Regulations for Cannabis Related Commercial Activity
County Board of Supervisors
Alameda County (/ælᵻˈmiːdə/, al-uh-ME-duh) is a county in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,510,271, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state. Its county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is included in the San Francisco Bay Area, occupying much of the East Bay region. The county was formed on March 25, 1853, from a large portion of Contra Costa County and a smaller portion of Santa Clara County.
Much of what is now considered an intensively urban region, with major cities, was developed as a trolley car suburb of San Francisco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The historical progression from Native American tribal lands to Spanish, then Mexican ranches, then to farms, ranches, and orchards, then multiple city centers and suburbs, is shared with the adjacent and closely associated Contra Costa County.
Below are links to Alameda County web resources which provide detailed information pertaining to commercial cannabis activities, permit applications, personal use, and medical cultivation.
6.106.040 – Land Use Approval
Prior to commencement of cannabis cultivation activities, a permittee must obtain a conditional use permit pursuant to Sections 17.06,040 and 17.52.585 of the Alameda County Zoning Ordinance for the operation of a cannabis cultivation site.
6.106.050 – Cannabis Cultivation Permit Application Procedures
A. Each application for a cultivation permit by a permitted cannabis retail operation in the unincorporated area of the county shall set forth or incorporate by reference the following information:
- The full name, date of birth, social security number, present address and telephone number of the applicant.
- Name and location of applicant’s permitted cannabis retail operation.
- Address of the proposed cannabis cultivation operation and the name and address of the owner(s) of the lot(s) containing the premises.
- The address to which notice of action on the application is to be mailed.
- A statement by the applicant that it has the ability to comply with all laws regulating businesses in the state of California and that it shall maintain compliance during the term of the permit.
- A statement that the applicant accepts and will comply with the standard conditions set forth in this chapter. The names of each person with an ownership interest of more than 10 percent in the proposed cultivation operation.
- Certification, under penalty of perjury, that all the information contained in the application is true and correct.
- Authorization for the county, its agents and employees to seek verification of the information contained in the application.
- The applicant’s agreement to hold harmless and indemnify the county from all costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees, that the county incurs or that is held to be the liability of the county in connection with the county’s defense of its actions in any proceeding challenging the county’s actions with respect to the permit or cultivation project.
B. The filing of an application shall be deemed complete upon the submission of an application in conformance with this section and payment of the application fees required by Section 6.106.140 and any fee schedule adopted by the County.
C. The director may establish a submission deadline for applications pursuant to this section.
D. It is unlawful to make any false statement or representation or to use or submit any false or fraudulent document(s) in any application made pursuant to this chapter
6.106.190 – Limitations
Nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed to:
- allow persons to engage in conduct that endangers others or causes a public nuisance;
- exempt cannabis cultivation operations from compliance with zoning and land use regulations, or,
- allow any activity relating to the manufacturing, distribution, or consumption of cannabis that is illegal under state or federal law.
17.52.585 – Conditional Use – Cannabis Cultivation
(A) Cannabis cultivation shall be permitted as a conditional use in the A district only if approved by the board of zoning adjustments as provided in Section 17.54.130 and pursuant to Section 17.06.040(R).
(B) A cannabis cultivation permit must be issued and any appeals finally determined in accordance with Chapter 6.106 of this code prior to the hearing on an application for a conditional use permit pursuant to this section. A conditional use permit issued pursuant to this section shall be effective only during such time as the permittee also holds a valid and effective cannabiscultivation permit pursuant to Chapter 6.106 and a valid and effective state license permitting cannabis cultivation.
(C) Cannabis cultivation uses approved pursuant to this section shall meet the criteria established by Sections 17.06.040(R), 17.54.130, 17.54.140 and any criteria established for the district. In addition, no conditional use permit for cannabis cultivation shall issue unless the following additional findings are made by the board of zoning adjustments based on sufficient evidence:
- The applicant has demonstrated an ability to provide effective security for the cannabis cultivation site and to provide a safe environment for people working at the site;
- Theft and diversion of cannabis cultivated on the premises is prevented;
- Artificial light shall not escape structures used for cannabis cultivation (e.g. greenhouses) at a level that is visible from neighboring properties between sunset and sunrise. Lighting that is visible from the exterior of the cannabis cultivation area is prohibited, except such lighting as is reasonably utilized for the security of the premises;
- Any direct or sky-reflected glare or heat shall not be perceptible at any point outside of the cannabis cultivation site;
- Noise or vibration, other than that related to transportation activities and temporary construction work, shall not be discernible without instruments at any lot line of the site;
- Odorous gases or odorous matter shall not be emitted in quantities such as to be perceptible outside of the cannabis cultivation site;
- The discharge into any public sewer, private sewage disposal system or stream or into the ground shall not occur except in accordance with the standards approved by the State Department of Health, of any materials of such nature or temperature as to contaminate any water supply, interfere with bacterial processes and sewage treatment, or in any way cause the emission of dangerous or offensive elements;
- Any dust, dirt or particulate matter shall not be discharged into the air from any activity or from any products stored on the site; and
- The areas of the site to be actively used for cannabis cultivation activities are set back as follows:
- At least fifty (50) feet from any property line shared with an adjacent property with different ownership, unless waived in writing by the adjacent owner;
- At least three hundred (300) feet from any residence on an adjacent property with different ownership, unless waived in writing by the adjacent owner; and
- At least one thousand (1,000) feet from any school for pre-K to 12th grade students, licensed child or day care facility, public park or playground, drug or alcohol recovery facility or public recreation center.
(D) The planning director may establish additional performance standards and standard conditions providing detailed guidance for applicants and permittees. Permittees shall be required to comply with the performance standards and any conditions of approval applicable to a permit issued pursuant to this chapter.
6.106.030 – General Requirements and Terms
(A) It is unlawful for any person to conduct, engage in or allow to be conducted or engaged in, cannabis cultivation in the unincorporated portion of the County of Alameda, unless such cannabis cultivation operation has been granted a legally effective permit issued under this chapter. Notwithstanding the above, the permits issued under this chapter do not provide any protection or immunity for any person from state or federal laws, or from prosecution pursuant to any applicable state or federal laws. The owner, managing partner, corporate officer and/or any other person with primary responsibility for a medical cannabis operation shall maintain such operation in conformity with the terms of this chapter and with the terms of all permits issued pursuant to this chapter.
(B) The county shall have in effect no more than ten cannabis cultivation permits. Two of the ten permits may be issued in accordance with Sections 6.106.050 through 6.106.060. The remaining available permits must be selected pursuant to Sections 6.106.070 through 6.106.110 herein. The permits shall be issued for indoor cannabis cultivation or mixed-light cultivation only.
(C) Each cannabis cultivation permit shall expire two years after the date of its issuance or upon the expiration date established by the director, whichever is earlier.
(D) The fact that an applicant possesses other types of state or local permits or licenses shall not exempt the applicant from obtaining a cannabis cultivation permit under this chapter.
(E) A permittee may cultivate cannabis during the term of the permit only. A permittee shall have no right to cultivate cannabis before or after the expiration of the permit.
(F) Each cannabis cultivation site shall comply with all requirements in the Alameda County General Plan, including Measure D (Save Agriculture and Open Space Lands), any applicable specific plans, and Title 17 of the Alameda County General Ordinance Code.
(G) More than one premises may be located on a single lot. A separate permit must be issued for each premises on a single lot. Each premises shall only be occupied by one permittee unless otherwise authorized by applicable state laws regulations and county permit(s).
(H) The director may adopt such forms and procedures as are necessary to implement this chapter.
( Ord. No. 2018-17 , § 2, 5-8-18)
6.106.160 – Prohibited Operations
A permittee shall not conduct any manufacturing of cannabis on the premises. A permittee shall not sell, dispense or deliver cannabis to retail customers from the premises unless separately permitted by a cannabis retail operator or delivery permit pursuant to Chapter 6.108 of this code.
( Ord. No. 2018-17 , § 2, 5-8-18)
6.108.035 General Permit Requirements and Terms
A. It shall be unlawful for any person, including a legally permitted cannabis retail operator, to conduct, engage in or allow to be conducted or engaged in the delivery of cannabis or cannabis products in the unincorporated portion of Alameda County, unless such person has been granted a legally effective delivery operator permit issued under this chapter. Notwithstanding the above, the permits issued under this chapter do not provide any protection or immunity for any person from state or federal laws, or from prosecution pursuant to any applicable state or federal laws.
B. The owner, managing partner, officer of a corporation or such other person who shall be primarily responsible for the operation of a proposed cannabis delivery operation shall apply for a permit under this chapter. If such a permit is granted, the owner, managing partner, corporate officer, and any person with primary responsibility for the operation of the retail operator shall ensure the operation is maintained in conformity with the terms of this chapter and of the permit.
C. The fact that an applicant possesses other types of state or county permits or licenses shall not exempt the applicant from obtaining a delivery operator permit under this chapter, nor shall the terms and conditions of any other such permit or license modify the requirements of a permit granted under this chapter.
D. A cannabis delivery operator permit shall be issued only to a “brick and mortar” retail operation holding a valid license or permit for the retail sale of cannabis issued by the State of California and by the local jurisdiction in which the retail operation is located. Mobile retail operators that do not have a permanent physical “brick and mortar” retail location are not eligible for and shall not be issued a delivery operator permit.
E. A delivery operator permit shall automatically expire, be suspended or revoked when the permittee’s retail operator license or permit expires, is suspended or revoked. The expiration, suspension or revocation of a delivery operator permit will not automatically affect the status of the delivery operator permittee’s retail operator permit.
6.108.125 Standard Conditions for Cannabis Delivery Operations
A. Throughout the term of the cannabis delivery operator permit, each permittee shall not violate this chapter and shall comply with the following standard conditions:
- It is unlawful to deliver, distribute, provide or allow to be provided cannabis to any person except those persons who are 21 years of age or older or who are primary caregivers, qualified patients or persons with an identification card, as defined by California Health and Safety Code section 11362.7. All deliveries that do not comply with provisions of Sections 26000, et seq., of the Business and Professions Code applicable to operations, associated state regulations, and the terms of the permit and this chapter are prohibited. It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to ensure that a good faith effort is made to verify the validity of any proof of age, identification card or the written recommendation from a licensed physician provided to the delivery operator.
- All employees of a delivery operator delivering cannabis or cannabis products shall carry a copy of the retail operator’s current retail operator license or permit and the retail operator’s current delivery operator permit authorizing those services with them during deliveries and the employee’s government-issued identification, and shall present that license, permit and identification upon request to state and local law enforcement, employees of regulatory authorities, and other state and local agencies enforcing this chapter.
- During any delivery, the permittee shall maintain a copy of the delivery request and shall make it available upon request of the director or law enforcement officers. The delivery request documentation shall comply with state and federal law regarding the protection of confidential medical information, if any.
- The qualified patient, person with an identification card or primary caregiver requesting the delivery shall maintain a copy of the delivery request and shall make it available, upon request, to the director or law enforcement officers. 5. No deliveries shall be made between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. or between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on any day.
- It is unlawful to employ a person who is less than 21 years of age to engage in the delivery of cannabis.
- It shall be unlawful for any delivery operation to provide medical cannabis to any person under the age of eighteen (18) unless that person is a qualified patient or a primary caregiver with a valid identification card in accordance with California Health and Safety Code section 11362.7 or has a verifiable written recommendation from a licensed physician for medical cannabis.
- Each permittee shall maintain a current registry of persons, including, but not limited to, employees, contractors and volunteers, who are regularly engaged in delivery operations. The registry shall be provided to the director at any time upon request. The registry shall include the name, current residential address, telephone number, date of birth and the height, weight and color of eyes and hair of each such person. Every person listed as owner, manager, supervisor or employee must submit fingerprints and other necessary information for a background check to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and be photographed for identification purposes. In addition, any new employees, independent contractors, other persons and/or volunteers to be regularly engaged in the 21 delivery operation must submit their information to the Sheriff’s office within five days prior to their employment.
- It is unlawful to employ a person who has been convicted of a felony within the past three years to engage in the delivery of cannabis. A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere.
- Delivery vehicles shall not include signage or markings that identify the vehicle as a cannabis delivery vehicle.
- Delivery operators shall provide adequate security for their delivery personnel and vehicles, to ensure the safety of persons and to protect the vehicle operators from theft.
- The delivery operator permittee will satisfy the release of liability and county indemnification requirements in subdivision E and F of Section 6.108.120.
- A retail operator shall cooperate with county agencies’ efforts to monitor the retail operator’s compliance with this applicable ordinances and with all conditions of permits issued pursuant to this Code. The county may assess fees for monitoring permittee’s compliance.