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 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:


The 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 in External Links below.


Workforce Diversity Program

The Workforce Diversity Program is a voluntary program for Commercial Cannabis Businesses.  Business will be able to apply for the program during the business license application process and annual business license renewal process.

  • Commercial Cannabis Businesses must meet a 50% diverse workforce requirement during the time of application of the business license or at the time of renewal.
    • To qualify, at least 50% of the business' employees must reside within the SB 535 Disadvantaged Area of the City of Stockton boundaries or reside on Kelley Drive at the time of business license application or renewal.
  • If the threshold is met, the Commercial Cannabis Business will be provided a 50% reduction of the total amount due in taxes based on estimated gross receipts provided at the time of renewal of business license.
  • Existing Commercial Cannabis Businesses will be able to participate in the voluntary program at the time of their annual business license renewal.

For questions relating to the Workforce Diversity Incentive Program, contact 209-937-8270.


Commercial Cannabis Business Tax Rates

Current Tax Rate: 5% Medical Cannabis; 10% Adult-Use Cannabis

 Approved Stockton Rate - Effective August 15, 2019:

  • Retail - 5%
  • Distribution - 1%
  • Manufacturing - 3%
  • Cultivation - 5%
  • Testing - 0%
  • Microbusiness - 5%


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 July 17, 2019 and go into effect on August 15, 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 --- 9/30/2019