Cannabis Regulations

Update 4/1/20 (revised timeline)

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) related to public gatherings, the tentative timeline for Concord’s cannabis regulations has been impacted. The agenda item previously planned for March 24, 2020 is tentatively rescheduled for April 28, 2020. At this time, future cannabis meeting dates (after 4/28) have not been finalized. Please check back for updates and thank you very much for your patience.

Future meetings will likely be conducted remotely in the near-term, with public comment provided via email. For more information on remote public meeting procedures, please visit: 

For more information on Concord’s COVID-19 response generally, please visit:


Following is the tentative schedule for developing potential cannabis regulations:

Tentative Date
February 5, 2020 (completed)Planning Commission meeting

(Development Code recommendation to Council
February 24, 2020 (completed)Policy Development & Internal Operations (PD&IO) Council Committee Special Meeting - agenda

(Consideration of RFP criteria and procedures)
April 28, 2020 (tentatively scheduled

City Council meeting

 (1st reading of Revised Cannabis Ordinance and Updated Development Code Ordinance)
May, 2020 (date yet to be finalized)

City Council meeting

 (2nd reading of both Ordinances)
May, 2020 (date yet to be finalized)

City Council meeting

(Review PD&IO Committee Recommendations for the RFP process)
June, 2020 (date yet to be finalized)

Ordinances effective

RFP for retail uses issued shortly thereafter.

COUNCIL Committee MEETING SUMMARY, February 24, 2020

On February 24, 2020, the City Council Committee on Policy Development & Internal Operations (PD&IO) considered the process and criteria for reviewing and approving cannabis retailer license applications to form a recommendation to the City Council. The Committee provided detailed direction regarding aspects of the selection process and recommendations to the full Council for consideration at the March 24, 2020 City Council meeting (see linked annotated agenda below).

PD&IO Annotated Agenda, 2.24.2020

Planning Commission Meeting FEBRUARY 5, 2020

On February 5, 2020 the Planning Commission voted 4:0 (ayes: Laub, Mercurio, Barbour, Mizutani, absent: Weinmann) to adopt Resolution 20-01 PC, recommending City Council amend the Concord Development Code with text amendments to the land use tables (18.30-18.60), Commercial Cannabis Overlay District (18.110), Signs (18.180), Development Agreements (18.460),and General Terms (18.20), relating to commercial cannabis regulation. The recommended amendments to the Development Code are based on Council’s direction at the November 5, 2019 Council meeting. These regulations will be considered by the Council on March 24, 2020.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes, February 5, 2020

Cannabis Regulations Council Meeting Summary, November 5, 2019

On November 5, 2019 the City Council considered an Ordinance amending Concord Municipal Code Chapter 5.80 (Cannabis Ordinance) to:

  • Add adult-use City Cannabis Licenses for manufacturing and distribution;
  • Increase the maximum number of City Cannabis Licenses for manufacturing;
  • Allow City Cannabis Licenses for medicinal and adult-use retail (storefront and non-storefront);
  • Allow City Cannabis Licenses for microbusinesses

The Ordinance was not introduced at the meeting, but a majority of the Council supported changes to the City’s cannabis regulations for consideration for adoption in the first quarter of 2020.

The table below includes a summary of the changes directed by Council to be incorporated into an ordinance for their consideration: 

License Type*# of Licenses Currently Allowable# of Licenses Recomm-ended
In Overlay DistrictRFP RequiredComm. Benefit Agree./Develop. Agree. Required?
Testing Laboratory2No limitYesNoYes
Retail Non-StorefrontNone3YesYesYes
Retail StorefrontNone3No, only allowable in downtown districts (DMX, WMX).YesYes
Distribution (Type 13)Only with manufacturingOnly in conjunction with a license type listed above (except for testing laboratory)Dependent on primary licenseNoN/A. Only required for primary license
Distribution (Type 11)None2 stand-alone distributor licensesYesNoYes
DeliveryNo limitNo limitN/ANoN/A

*Adult-use and medicinal license types would be allowable for all of the above.

Cannabis Zoning Districts Map Opens in new window

This map shows both the Overlay District and the proposed zoning districts for storefront retail locations.

Pursuant to Concord’s cannabis regulations and state law, no cannabis license can be issued if located within 600-feet of a sensitive use. Sensitive uses include the following:

• A public or private school that provides instruction from kindergarten to grade 12.

• A large family day care, home or child day care center, preschool, or nursery school.

• A youth community center, which is defined as a public or private facility that is primarily used to host recreational or social activities for minors, including, but not limited to, private youth membership organizations or clubs, social service teenage club facilities, video arcades, or similar amusement park facilities.

The Council also directed staff to research the following issues for future consideration:

  • Update and map the list of sensitive uses to include uses that may be new or missing
  • Provide additional information regarding the stand-alone distribution license type
  • Provide information regarding how the City could potentially ban the sale of vaping products at retail cannabis businesses (storefront, non-storefront, and microbusinesses)
  • Provide details on retail cannabis regulations in neighboring Contra Costa County jurisdictions
  • Develop criteria for a merit-based Request for Proposal (RFP) process for consideration by the Council Committee on Policy Development & Internal Operations (PD&IO) for recommendation to the full Council

Historical Information

On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which made adult-use (recreational) cannabis use legal. This Act was in addition to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, and other previously approved State laws related to medicinal cannabis use. As a result, the State is developing regulations related to both medicinal and adult-use cannabis, and the State began issuing cannabis licenses on January 2, 2018. 


To determine what regulations should be developed here in the City of Concord and to preserve local control, the City Council engaged with the community and directed staff to evaluate cannabis-related activities. In order for the Council and the community to decide the type of uses appropriate here in Concord, and where, the City Council directed staff to prepare a ban on various uses. This ban would be in effect until cannabis-related activities can be evaluated and regulations developed that are consistent with the community’s desires. The City Council adopted the ban at its meeting on November 14, 2017.


On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the AUMA, which legalized adult (recreational) cannabis use.

Effective November 9, 2016, the AUMA makes it legal for persons 21 years or older to:

  • Possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process up to six living cannabis plants per legal dwelling unit for personal use;
  • Possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, give away without compensation to persons 21 years or older 28.5 grams of cannabis or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis;
  • Smoke or ingest cannabis or cannabis products


The AUMA created a State regulatory and licensing system governing the commercial cultivation, testing, and distribution of adult-use cannabis, and the manufacturing of adult-use cannabis products.The AUMA permits local jurisdictions to regulate and/or ban adult-use marijuana, related to the following:

  • Cultivation
  • Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Micro-businesses
  • Retail stores (both storefront and non-storefront)
  • Testing laboratories


Consistent with State law, currently the City of Concord allows only the following uses:

  • Delivery of medicinal and adult-use cannabis from licensed cannabis retail businesses located outside of Concord (No City Cannabis License required, but City business license required);
  • Indoor cultivation of up to six cannabis plants per dwelling unit for personal use (medicinal and adult use) (No City Cannabis License required);
  • Medicinal and adult-use cannabis testing facilities;
  • Medicinal cannabis distributors (Two licenses granted; no further licenses currently available); and
  • Medicinal cannabis manufacturers (Two licenses granted; no further licenses currently available).


Permitted cannabis businesses require a City Cannabis License (PDF), land use approval, State Cannabis License, and City Business License. Once completed, call the Police Department Code Enforcement Division at (925) 671-3075 and schedule an appointment to submit the license application.


The City contracted with Godbe Research to conduct a statistically-valid survey related to various cannabis uses to better understand the community’s support or opposition to the types of uses and where they may be permitted. The survey results will assist the City Council and staff in developing policies, based on feedback that is representative of Concord’s demographics. The survey was conducted in late August 2017. The survey results (PDF) were presented to the public and the City Council at the October 24, 2017 City Council Meeting.

Between June 20 and July 19, 2019, the City issued a 10-question survey on potential commercial cannabis retail (storefront and non-storefront) and microbusinesses (small-scale cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, and/or retail) regulations. The City will consider the survey results when developing proposed regulations that will be presented to the City Council according to the schedule below.

Meetings / Topic

The City Council, Planning Commission, and Council Committee on Policy Development & Internal Operations have conducted meetings to consider policy direction related to cannabis uses. View the agenda and meetings for this topic, meeting videos and annotated agendas (action minutes) are also available.


Please contact the project manager: 

   Coleman Frick, Senior Planner

You can also email the Cannabis Planning email account.