Adult-Use Commercial Cannabis Portal

Revised: April 10, 2018

On November 9, 2017, the City Council approved Ordinance NS-2929, creating Chapter 40 (Commercial Cannabis) of the Santa Ana Municipal Code that allows adult-use commercial cannabis retail businesses. To view a copy of the ordinance, please click the link in the "Resources" section at right. The new ordinance went into effect on Monday, December 11, 2017. In addition, the City Council approved administrative amendments to the existing medicinal cannabis ordinance (Chapters 18 and 21).

The new ordinance allows up to 30 adult-use commercial cannabis retail locations; co-location with medicinal licenses is permitted. No other type of commercial cannabis business activity is permitted, including manufacturing, distribution, cultivation, testing, or microbusiness.

How will the new commercial cannabis retail businesses be selected?

Details on the selection process and the applications required are found in the new adult-use commercial cannabis ordinance. Please view the ordinance in the "Resources" section on the right-hand side of this page.

When can I download an application, and when will the City begin accepting applications?

The City posted the Phase I (Registration Application) packet on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. The 30-day application window began on that date and ended on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

The City held an information session for "newcomer" applicants on January 17, 2018 to discuss the new ordinance, the Phase I application process, and to answer questions from attendees. The PowerPoint presentation from the information session is available in the "Resources" section at right. A separate Phase 2information session for individuals who submitted Phase 1 applications will be held on March 26, 2018. Information on the Phase 2 information session will be supplied directly to Phase 1 applicants.

Following a review of the commercial cannabis ordinances, the following clarifications on buffer distances measurements apply to commercial cannabis retail stores:

  • The entire building in which the commercial cannabis retail store is/will be located must be outside of the 1,000-foot buffer zones from schools, parks and existing residential zones.
  • The 1,000-foot distance is not measured from the property line of the sensitive land use to the property line of the building in which the commercial cannabis retail store is proposed.
  • The 500-foot distance requirement between commercial cannabis retail stores is measured between main entrances of the commercial cannabis retail stores.

Non-Retail Commercial Cannabis Businesses

New! - The City Council approved an ordinance allowing commercial cannabis testing laboratories on March 20, 2018. The ordinance may be viewed by visiting and accessing the March 20, 2018 City Council meeting Agenda packet. The Non-Retail Phase 1/Registration Application and the Regulatory Safety Permit (RSP) application packet for testing laboratories may be accessed under the Applications section in the gray information bar at right.

Questions / Interest List

For questions about the City's Commercial Cannabis Ordinances or to sign up to receive future updates, please send an e-mail to: Please include your contact information, including your name, phone number, and e-mail address in the e-mail message.

For medicinal cannabis information and inquiries, please visit: