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History of Cannabis Policy Project

The City of Stockton is undergoing an evaluation process to adopt changes to the Stockton Municipal Code (SMC) following voter approval of ballot Measures P and Q in the November 8, 2016, General Election. Changes were adopted as proposed.


On June 27, 2017, the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 94, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, establishing a single system of administration for cannabis laws in California. 


On November 7, 2017, City Council adopted ordinance 2017-11-07-1502 for changes to the City’s medical cannabis businesses permitting program. This included banning nonmedical cannabis businesses. Adoption of the ordinance:

  • addressed items referred by Council for reconsideration,
  • implemented a ban on additional medical and other cannabis businesses,
  • placed a ban on outdoor personal cultivation, and
  • placed certain restrictions on indoor cultivation.


In April 2018, the City began a policy project to analyze current cannabis regulatory policy and to provide recommendations to Council in a phased approach on cultivation, retail (dispensary & delivery), testing, manufacturing, distribution and equity. The City’s goal is to be transparent and equitable throughout the process. 


On September 18, 2018, City Council adopted ordinance 2018-18-1502 that allows medical cannabis dispensaries to sell adult-use cannabis and for medical cultivation businesses to grow adult-use cannabis.

  • Allowable dispensaries within City limits: Increased from 4 to 5 dispensaries
  • Allowable cultivation operator’s permits: Remains at 4 citywide


The project is in its final phase with community meetings in October 2018.

  • Cannabis Ordinance Meeting Findings - Presented to Planning Commission
  • Final recommendations will be presented to the Planning Commission in February 2019 and to City Council at a future date.


Stockton Municipal Code for Medical Cannabis Businesses

SMC Chapter 5.100 Medical Cannabis Businesses


SMC Chapter 5.98 Medical Cannabis Business License Tax


Cannabis Business Use Permits

The City is accepting applications for Cannabis Business Use Permits for dispensary (retail storefront) and cultivation sites. 

  • Each applicant is responsible for reviewing the SMC and submitting an application compliant with all regulations.
  • Applications that meet all Use Permit requirements will be considered by the Planning Commission. 
  • Qualified applicants are referred to the Stockton Police Department to evaluate the applicant(s) qualifications for Operators Permit(s).  
  • No other business types are currently allowed within the City’s limits.



Maps identify areas of the City that may meet zoning requirements for cannabis dispensaries and cultivation sites. All restrictions as specified in the City's ordinances will apply; these are approvals for the Commission Use Permit.

  • Cannabis businesses must also obtain an Operator’s permit prior to beginning operations. 
  • Cannabis Businesses - All permits approved and pending


To learn more, please contact the Community Development Department Planning Division.

To submit a Use Permit Use Permit Application in-person, please visit the Permit Center.


External Links

Bureau of Cannabis Control California

California Cannabis Industry Association

California Department of Food & Agriculture - CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing

California Department of Public Health - Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch

National Cannabis Industry Association 


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 1/30/2019