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The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has provided a means for regulating the medical cannabis industry in a manner which balances the needs of patients and their caregivers while promoting the health, safety and welfare of residents and businesses within the unincorporated territory of Santa Cruz County. The Cannabis Licensing Office was developed to implement the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), which was approved by the State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in 2015 (see Assembly Bills 243 and 266, and Senate Bill 643) and create a licensing and regulatory framework for medical cannabis.

Thank you in advance for your support and patience as we work together to pioneer this new area of law.


Community Meeting for Cannabis Environmental Review Study

The County of Santa Cruz is interested in comments on what will be studied during the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) process for the proposed licensing program for cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. We encourage your participation at a public discussion regarding the preparation of the EIR, environmental issues and alternatives to be studied and any related issues on February 27, 2017 at the Simpkins Family Swim Center, 979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz from 4:30 until 7:00 pm. A link to the draft Environmental Impact Review is available here: Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Commercial Cannabis Regulations and Licensing Program for Cultivation and Manufacturing



Congratulations to all of those who successfully registered for cannabis cultivation. You should have received an email providing you with a registration number. Please keep this email with your other registration information for future reference. This email was sent to the email account which you used to sign up during the registration process. If you think you registered but did not receive a confirmation email, please be sure to check your spam filter first. If you still do not find such an email, please contact and provide her with your registration email address and a phone number so she can double check the database and contact you with any problems.

For those non-anonymous registrants, you will be receiving your registration verification letter/certificate in February. In addition, the voluntary Pre-licensing inspections will start in February. You will receive an email from Daniel Peterson, the Cannabis Licensing Manager, to schedule those inspections with him or his staff. An additional form may be required and the cost for this service will be $2,500 (payable by money order, cashier’s check or certified check to the County of Santa Cruz). You will receive priority for licensing once that process begins. Pre-licensing inspections are not open to anonymous registrants.

The proposed ordinance is currently undergoing environmental review and it will be approximately eight months before that process is complete. Licenses may be issued once the environmental review process has finished and the Board passes the final ordinance. It is expected that will happen in the fall of 2017.

Please also note that if you are conducting any commercial sales of your cannabis or cannabis products you MUST be paying your 7% tax on gross sales as of November 9, 2016. Failure to pay taxes could result in your being disqualified from obtaining a license in the future. Information on the Cannabis Business Tax and forms are available by clicking here: It is advisable to keep a copy of your paid tax form(s) and include your registration email and/or number on the form for future reference.