Cannabis Business Permits

The City of Stockton is accepting applications for commercial cannabis businesses.


Applications – Delivery, Non-Volatile Manufacturer, and Testing Lab

There is no limit on the number of permits for Delivery, Non-Volatile Manufacturer, and Testing Lab businesses. Interested parties may apply beginning April 4, 2019. 


Applications – Retail Storefront, Cultivation, Volatile Manufacturer, and Microbusiness

The City will be issuing two new permits on an annual basis, using a lottery system, for each of these business types:

  • Retail Storefront (dispensary)
  • Cultivation
  • Volatile Manufacturer
  • Microbusiness

Applications for these permits will be accepted for General Pool and Equity Pool each year. Four of the annual permits issued – one per business type – will be reserved for an Equity Applicant. See “Equity Program” below. 

  • Application period for 2019 has now closed.


Application and Permitting Process

Each applicant is responsible for reviewing the Stockton Municipal Code and submitting a complete application compliant with all laws and regulations.


To start a cannabis business in Stockton, the City requires these permits:

  • Land Use Permit
  • Business License
    • Required for all businesses within the City of Stockton
    • Issued by Administrative Services Department, Business Licensing Division
  • Operators Permit
    • Required for the business operator
    • Issued and approved by Stockton Police Department



The current Annual Fee Schedule for FY 2018-19 has been amended with updated fees for Commercial Cannabis Businesses.


Equity Program

The City will issue half of the permits for Retail Storefront (dispensary), Cultivation, Volatile Manufacturer, and Microbusiness to Equity applicants. To qualify as an Equity Applicant:

  • Greater than 50% of ownership must be a Stockton resident AND meet ONE of these criteria:
    • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
    • Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)
    • Live in one of Stockton, California Opportunity Zones
    • Live in an SB 535 Disadvantaged Area 
    • Live in a HUD-designated Area
  • Links to websites for these organizations can be found under External Links below.


Timeline for General Pool and Equity Applicants

  • Application Period for General & Equity Applicants
    • April 5 – May 31, 2019
  • Applicant Informational Workshop
  • Application Review Period
    • June 1 – June 14, 2019
  • Eligibility Notification
  • Random Lottery Selection
    • June 28, 2019: 10 a.m., Civic Auditorium, North Hall, 525 N. Center St.
  • Notification of Selected Applicants 
    • July 5, 2019
  • 2019 Lottery Winners


Stockton Municipal Code Sections for Commercial Cannabis Businesses

There are several sections within the Stockton Municipal Code on Commercial Cannabis Businesses. 

  • SMC Title 5 - Chapter 5.98, 5.99, and 5.100
  • Development Code Title 16 - Chapter 16.20, Section 16.20.020; Chapter 16.64, Section 16.64.040; Chapter 16.80, Section 16.80.195; and Chapter 16.240, Section 16.240.020

The most recent changes were approved on March 5, 2019: City Council Video


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

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

California Opportunity Zones

HUD (Housing and Urban Development)

Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA)

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

National Cannabis Industry Association

SB 535 Disadvantaged Communities

Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 7/16/2019