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We're writing regulations and finishing up the permit application now. We'll send links by email to all businesses who can apply.

This part of the application is based on location. You will need to submit an application for every address at which you are seeking cannabis permits.

You will need a Cannabis Business Permit for each activity, even if you have more than one activity at one address. Microbusinesses are the only exception to this rule, with 4 activities at one location.

You will need to pay $2,000 per permit after you submit your application (we'll email you further instructions). Equity Applicants don't need to pay the Office of Cannabis fees for this year.

Equity Applicants are responsible for submitting their applications, regardless of whether or not they have a partnership with an incubator.

All fields with an * must be done before you can submit your application for a Cannabis Business Permit.

If you are seeking a storefront retail permit, review the Final Regulations on the 600 Foot Rule to better understand what happens if your application is not complete when you submit it.

You can only apply for a Cannabis Business Permit online. The Office of Cannabis will not accept applications or any other documents directly from applicants.

1. Set up your business

Equity Applicant businesses

If you are applying as a verified Equity Applicant, you must be one of the following:

  • sole owner
  • own 40% of the business and be the CEO
  • own at least 51% of the business
  • a board member of a non-profit cannabis business where the majority of the board also qualify as equity applicants
  • an individual with a membership interest in a cannabis business formed as a cooperative

You must upload a description of how you meet the ownership requirements of the Equity Program. You must also upload any other material agreements in place for the existing ownership structure and operation of the business. These documents could include, but are not limited to: *

Equity Incubator businesses

If you are applying as an Equity Incubator, you must upload your Equity Incubator Agreement. This agreement must meet the Equity Incubator Agreement requirements for your application to be considered complete: *

2. Find a location

3. Get authorization to operate at your location

4. Owners

An owner means any of the following:

  • a person or business entity with an ownership interest of 20% or more of the business applying for the permit
  • the chief executive officer or function equivalent of a non-profit or other entity
  • members of the board of directors of a nonprofit
  • any individual or business entity participating in the direction, control, or management of the cannabis business applying for the permit

A business entity means any firm, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation, limited liability company, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, or any other entity, or other group or combination acting as a unit.

Owners information

For all owners defined above we need:

Owner's conviction history*

You will need to tell the Office of Cannabis about any arrests or convictions that any of the owners have.

If any owners have relevant arrests or convictions, we would like:

You could include:

Owners who are business entities*

If your business is owned by another company or companies, we need:

5. Background check for all owners*

To apply for a Cannabis Business Permit, all owners will need to get a background check with LiveScan. You can get background checks after you submit your application.

Every owner must:

Live Scan will send us your background check information. The Office of Cannabis will not accept background checks directly from applicants.

6. Permit type*

A Cannabis Business Permit allows you to do one type of business at one location unless you have a microbusiness. You need to tell us what type of business you will be running. Changing this later could complicate and severely delay your approvals, and could require you to submit a new application to the Office of Cannabis.

7. Activity*

In the Cannabis Business Application (part 1), you need to let us know what will happen at the location where you are seeking a permit. You must pay for each permit, and you need a permit for each activity. Equity applicants won’t pay for their permits this year, but will pay for renewals in future years.

You can apply for a Cannabis Business Permit to be a:

  • cultivator or grower (indoor)
  • distributor
  • manufacturer (volatile or non-volatile)
  • retailer (medical and adult use)
  • delivery only retailer (medical and adult use)
  • medicinal cannabis retailer (medical only)
  • testing laboratory
  • microbusiness


A microbusiness gets 1 permit for 1 location to conduct 4 activities: cultivation (less than 10,000 square feet), manufacturing (non-volatile only), distribution, and retail.

8. State license*

To make sure your property is zoned for the right activity, we need to know what state permit you are applying for. We’ve pulled a list of California license types. But you should check the California Cannabis Portal for more information.

9. Adult use vs medical use*

San Francisco is permitting retail medicinal use only or combined medicinal and adult use. That means if you want to sell adult use cannabis in San Francisco, you will be required to sell medicinal cannabis as a condition of your permit.