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Cultivation of CANNABIS

On February 2, 2016, the Sacramento City Council adopted Section 17.228.127 of the Sacramento City Code allowing certain non-residential properties to be used for the commercial cultivation of cannabis, with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Cultivation, as defined in Title 8 of City of Sacramento City Code means to plant, grow, harvest, dry, cure, grade or trim cannabis. Cultivation must be indoors, within a fully enclosed building and must not be visible from the public right-of-way.

On November 22, 2016, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2016-0051 which provided specific regulations for cannabis cultivation businesses. Under the ordinance, cultivation permits may be issued for three different cultivation permit types, namely:

  • Class A for indoor cultivation of no more than 5,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size; or for nurseries of any size
  • Class B for indoor cultivation of no more than 10,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size
  • Class C for indoor cultivation sites up to 22,000 sq. ft. of total canopy size

Cultivation will be allowed on a case by case basis in the following zones:

  • Agricultural (A)
  • General Commercial (C2)
  • Heavy Commercial (C4)
  • Light Industrial (M-1 and M-1S)
  • Heavy Industrial (M-2 and M-2S

Nurseries or sites that cultivate seeds, clones and immature plants only also require a cultivation CUP and a Class A Business Operating Permit regardless of the size of the site, or the number of plants.

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.


In order to operate a cultivation business in Sacramento, you need a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Division (CUP); and a Business Operating Permit (BOP) from the Office of Cannabis Management.  A CUP, or proof of application for a CUP, is required for applying for a BOP.  Applicants must also apply for Building Permits for any and all tenant improvements.  BOPs will not be issued without a Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Building Department.   

Step 1: Apply for a Conditional Use Permit

Download the Conditional Use Permit Application. A Neighborhood Responsibility Plan (NRP) Agreement is required for a cultivation CUP application.

Applications must be submitted in person at the Planning Division, 300 Richards Blvd. 3rd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95811 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. (The office is open until 4 p.m. but applications are not accepted after 3 p.m.)

Step 2: Apply for a Business Operating Permit

Once you have submitted a complete application for a Conditional Use Permit, you will receive an application file number. Once you have this number, you can submit an application for a Business Operating Permit.

You can apply for a Business Operating Permit online or download the Business Operating Permit Application and submit it in person at the Revenue Division, 915 I Street Rm 1201, Sacramento, CA 95814. Before submitting an application online, read this easy to follow Citizen Portal User Guide.  To make an appointment to make a payment, please send an email to

Please note that all interested parties are required to go through a background check and get a Live Scan fingerprint in person at the Revenue Division.

Step 3:  Apply for Building Permits and Obtain Certificate of Occupancy

  Step 3 may take place after obtaining a CUP and before applying for a BOP.  Download the Cannabis Related Occupancies - Commercial Building Permit Application Submittal Requirements for more information.

CEQA Compliance

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 by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to apply for a cultivation license.

check any potential County requirements such as:

Any engines utilized to meet power needs, including those used only on an emergency basis, must be registered or permitted with the SMAQMD (916-874-4800) and must comply with the Airborne Toxic Control Measures promulgated by the California Air Resources Board and codified in the California Code of Regulations (Airborne Toxic Control Measures). A cannabis cultivation permittee shall prevent all odors generated from the cultivation and storage of cannabis from escaping from the buildings on the cultivation site, such that the odor cannot be detected by a reasonable person of normal sensitivity outside the buildings.


Growers of medical cannabis intending to use pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, etc.) should contact the Sacramento County Agricultural Commission prior to their use, in compliance with requirements of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The commission’s contact information are as follows: Phone: 916-875-6603; Email:


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:


For information on Pesticide Regulations, please check the website of the California Department of Pesticide Regulations for pest management guidance for California cannabis growers.


Certain cannabis related processes and equipment may require a permit from the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.  These may include stationary and portable generators, cannabis extraction and equipment/surface cleaning processes, boilers, and air pollution control devices for used for cannabis grinding, milling and cutting.  For more information on the District's regulatory and permitting process, please contract the district directly for more information.