Studying from The First Wave Half 3: Seven Fundamental Questions About Native Hashish Ordinances & Actual Property


Half Considered one of this sequence took a have a look at how the regulated cannabis market can solely be understood in relation to the earlier medical market in addition to the continued “conventional” market. Half Two of the sequence describes how regulation defines vertical integration in California cannabis.

If you’re contemplating getting concerned in California cannabis, think about the next sentence in ten-foot-tall letters made out of just lately ignited $20 payments:

Earlier than you set any cash down on property, rigorously look at the native cannabis ordinance and tax charges. 

This text is written within the type of recommendation to a beginner cannabis entrepreneur in California, however it can focus on points which are additionally of significance to traders, in addition to (to numerous levels) cannabis entrepreneurs in different states.

Listed here are seven primary questions that you want to ask about native laws (so as, aside from Quantity 7).

1. What’s Your Jurisdiction?

Should you’re in metropolis limits, it’s the town. Should you’re outdoors metropolis limits, it’s the county.

2. Does the Jurisdiction Permit Hashish Actions?

If the reply is sure, go to the following query. If the reply isn’t any, choose one other jurisdiction.

3. The place Does the Jurisdiction Permit Hashish Actions?

A zoning ordinance will restrict the place you may arrange store. The limitation will in all probability differ by license kind.

4. How Does the Native Ordinance Have an effect on Facility Prices?

The quick reply is: in some ways. Your native ordinance is a Pandora’s field of authorized necessities, particularly facility-related necessities.1 Learn your native cannabis ordinance very rigorously.

Typically talking, the cannabis ordinance will set out two forms of necessities – these which are particular to cannabis and those who apply typically to any enterprise.

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Appears to be like nice however . . . the place are the sprinklers? Does it want a seismic improve? How about ground drains?
Photograph by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Hashish-specific necessities:

  • Sometimes incorporate state cannabis legal guidelines by reference.
  • Have vital overlaps with state cannabis legal guidelines. For instance, the state requires commercial-grade locks and safety cameras all over the place cannabis could also be discovered on a given premises. Native ordinances typically embrace comparable necessities – remember that you will have to adjust to a mixed customary that satisfies each state and native necessities.2
  • Fluctuate tremendously in keeping with kind of exercise. For instance, producers might want to adjust to Well being & Security Code necessities that may have a significant influence on development prices.
  • Fluctuate tremendously by jurisdiction in relation to fairness applications.
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Basic necessities:

  • Embody by reference constructing and hearth codes, which might require very costly enhancements. Word that this implies your facility can be inspected by the constructing division and the fireplace division.
  • Can embrace something from People with Disabilities Act (ADA) necessities to city-specific necessities, reminiscent of Design Tips.
  • Might be zealously enforced since you’re a cannabis enterprise.

5. What’s the Enforcement Coverage?

It could be that your native jurisdiction will provide you with momentary native authorization after assembly some, however not all, of the necessities. For instance, you could possibly start operations when you’ve supplied your metropolis or county along with your cannabis allow utility, a zoning clearance and a enterprise allow. On this jurisdiction, you’d be capable to carry your constructing as much as code someday after you start operations.

Alternatively, your native jurisdiction might require you to fulfill each requirement – from cannabis-specific safety necessities to basic constructing code and ADA necessities – earlier than you may start operations. Relying on the kind of cannabis enterprise (and facility situation), this may be inconsequential. Or it would imply that you’ll have to pay greater than a yr’s value of lease (or mortgage) earlier than you can begin making a living.

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6. Can You Select a Facility That Saves You Time and Cash?

In fact, you received’t need to spend a lot time or cash bringing your facility as much as code if it’s already as much as code. How probably it’s that you can find such a facility varies wildly in keeping with the kind of cannabis exercise in query. Basically:

  • Service-side actions (supply retail, storefront retail, distribution) are in lots of respects just like their non-cannabis counterparts. From a amenities standpoint, the main variations come from safety necessities. So, it might be doable to save lots of money and time by selecting a facility that’s already as much as code for the same use.
  • Manufacturing actions are trickier, since you will have food-grade amenities and gear. You could possibly get monetary savings by establishing store in a business kitchen.
  • Extraction with unstable solvents is a particular (and significantly costly) case, since it’s inherently harmful and requires particular amenities.
  • Out of doors cultivation could also be comparatively unproblematic if it has an applicable water supply.
  • Indoor cultivation is dear due to climate-control and lighting necessities. Buildings doubtlessly appropriate for large-scale indoor grows often include vital issues. Former warehouses will sometimes require main energy upgrades, whereas former factories might have inconvenient structure and/or hidden poisonous waste. In all instances, inside reconstruction is more likely to be obligatory, and can set off all types of constructing and hearth code necessities.
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7. What Are the Native Hashish Taxes?

Hashish tax charges could also be determinative. For instance, Oakland imposes a 6.5% gross receipts tax on producers which have gross receipts of lower than $5M, and 9.5% on producers which have gross receipts over $5M. Compared, Santa Rosa solely imposes a 1% gross receipts tax on producers.

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Native cannabis ordinances and taxes could make or break your small business, so you want to perceive them earlier than you decide to a location. The seven primary questions listed above are designed to get you began.

This text is the opinion of the writer and isn’t supposed to be authorized or different recommendation.


  1. For instance, see Half II of the Metropolis of Oakland’s Administrative Laws and Efficiency Requirements, and The Metropolis of Los Angeles’s Guidelines and Laws for Hashish Procedures No. 3 (A)(14).
  2. For instance, evaluate 16 CCR § 5044 (“Video Surveillance System”) with The Metropolis of Los Angeles’s Guidelines and Laws for Hashish Procedures No. 10 (A)(7).


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