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Regulations for cannabis testing labs can be found under Title 17 and Title 5 of the Sacramento City Code.  To operate a testing lab in the City of Sacramento, you need:


a) in a zone which allows cannabis uses:

  • General Commercial (C2)
  • Heavy Commercial (C4)
  • Light Industrial (M-1, M-1S)
  • Heavy Industrial (M-2, M-2S)
  • Manufacturing Industrial Park (MIP)
  • Manufacturing Research Development (MRD)


b) with an approved Zoning Investigation (Under Title 17, testing is a by-right activity and does not require a Conditional Use Permit)

c) with a Certificate of Occupancy specific to the cannabis activity

Under State law, cannabis businesses require a 600-ft radius buffer zone from schools. The Sacramento City Code requires a 600-ft buffer from neighborhood and community parks. Applications with proposed sites that are within the 600-ft of neighborhood and community parks will be reviewed by the Planning and Design Commission.

View these maps to see where these zones are located in the city. To check if your property is within these zones, enter the address in the Zoning & Property Details field.

To check if a property has a CUP, click here.


Step 1: Business Operating Permit  – Office of Cannabis Management

Testing labs are exempt from obtaining a CUP. When you submit an application for a BOP for a testing lab, your application will be routed for a zoning review by the Planning Division.  

Due to Covid-19, the OCM counters are currently closed.  All applications must be submitted through the OCM online portal.  View the BOP Approval Process here.

Documents Required for Application:

  • Information on Proposed Location
  • Business structure (filing with Sec. of State)
  • Business Plan
  • Security Plan
  • Floor plan/Site Plan
  • Odor Control Plan
  • Financial documents
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Community Relations Plan
  • Business Operating Tax (BOT) Certificate
  • Business Operating Permit Fee *
  • Owners Statement of Consent
  • Business-Type-Specific Requirements
  • Background Check (Live Scan) for all interested parties. For delivery operations, drivers are considered as interested parties and required to pass a background check.

*Waived for CORE applicants

To pay for your application, please schedule a payment appointment here

Step 2:  Building Permits/ Tenant Improvements and Certificate of Occupancy – Building Department         

The Building Department's public counters are open by appointment only.   All building department applications must be submitted online.  Please visit the Building Department online portal and select appropriate service you need.  For more information on building permit requirements, please click here


Step 3:  State License – Department of Cannabis Control

Applying for your State license may also take place before Step 3.  However, it is best to take your tenant improvement schedule into consideration to make sure that you have a valid (unexpired) State license as you go into the BOP final review step and/or start operating your cannabis business.

Step 4: The Final Review – Office of Cannabis Management

After the CofO is issued, contact OCM to schedule a BOP walk-thru ( A walk-thru will not be scheduled until the premises has been issued its CofO).  Walk-thrus are conducted by the Sacramento Police Department, Code Enforcement and OCM on Wednesdays only.  To help you prepare, please refer to this walk-thru checklist  to ensure that requirements are in place and ready for evaluation. The checklist also contains information on what to expect after your walk-thru. 

During this time, your BOP application goes into final review and you will be required to provide updated information for your application including Certificate of Insurance, interested parties, and any associated background checks. If there are no corrections from the walk-thru and all application documents have been updated, the BOP will be issued.



If the City has determined that the project is exempt from CEQA review, applicants can obtain from their planner a completed Notice of Exemption (NOE).  The NOE must be filed with these agencies: 1)  Sacramento County Clerk,  and 2) the State Office of Planning and Research (OPR).  The 2019 fee for the County Clerk filing is $40.00.  There is no fee for filing with OPR.  The applicant must file the notice of exemption in order to obtain a date-stamped copy of the NOE required for a State license.


Existing State statute requires any business in Sacramento County that handles or generates certain quantities of hazardous waste to register with and obtain a permit from the Sacramento County Environmental Department. More information can be found at: