Medicinal Cannabis Retailers

The Request for Application (RFA) process to be considered for a Medicinal Cannabis Retailer License opened on December 21, 2017 and closed on February 28, 2018. The primary objective of the selection process is to ensure that cannabis retailers licensed to operate in Santa Monica meet high standards and to provide for an orderly process. From the RFAs received by the City, up to two Medicinal Cannabis Retailer licenses can be issued in Santa Monica. For more information, please review the information below carefully.

Selection Process and Outcome

Chapter 6.201 of the Santa Monica Municipal Code establishes a selection process with objective criteria that requires vetting of the proposed Medicinal Cannabis Retailers to operate within the allowed areas in the City. This process requires applicants to provide information regarding the businesses’ financial statements, bank records, management experience, business plan, and criminal background.

The Director of Planning and Community Development has conducted his de novo review in accordance with the Santa Monica Municipal Code and has made a final determination. Below is the Director's Final Administrative Decision, issued on December 20, 2018:

Medicinal Cannabis Final Administrative Decision Memo

State law requires that Medicinal Cannabis Retailers also obtain a state license prior to operating. Please visit the Bureau of Cannabis Control website for more information.

Medicinal Cannabis Retailers Business License and Permit Information

The two Medicinal Cannabis Retailers selected must apply for a business license and applicable permits. Prior to the issuance of a business license and applicable permits, applicants must obtain a state cannabis license and the following:

       a. Complete all development review requirements for the operating location, including approval of a Conditional Use Permit

       b. Complete a statement on a form approved by the City stating that there are no changes to the facts presented in the applicant's                         application; or, if there are changes, a statement outlining each specific change and how each change meets the City's requirements

       c. Provide Proof of:

            1. All State required Cannabis Permits

            2. Valid County Health Permit (if Required)

            3. Valid State Seller's Permit

            4. Insurance Endorsement

       d. Obtain approved Compliance Report issued by the Santa Monica Code Enforcement Division

       e. Provide copy of the final version of the security procedures accepted by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control

       f.  Provide completed Acknowledgement Form from Building Owner

       g. Pay all required fees

The following table summarizes the general business license tax, fees, and assessments for new applicants. Depending on the business activity and location, additional fees and assessments may apply.

2020 -21 Summary for New Applicants Cost

Fee/Tax Name

Fee/Tax Amount

Conditional Use Permit Application and Review Fees


Retailer Permit Application (4 inspections)*


Business License Planning Review Fee


Business License Minimum Tax (if operating as a for profit business)


State Mandated CASp Fee


*Fees are adjusted annually by a cost of living factor and take effect July 1st of each year.

When the Business License unit deems the application is complete and payment is received, the application will be routed to the appropriate City departments for review. Once the appropriate approvals are received, a business license certificate will be issued.

Please note that business license applications for Medicinal Cannabis Retailers will not be available nor will the Business License Unit accept any applications except from applicants who have been issued a Preliminary Selection Letter and Conditional Use Permit.

Forms & Additional Information

Medicinal Cannabis Retailer - Request for Application Packet

Medicinal Cannabis Retailer - Request for Application Q&A

Medicinal Cannabis Retailer - Qualified Applications List

Santa Monica Cannabis Ordinance

Santa Monica Cannabis Rules & Regulations

Frequently Asked Questions