Cannabis Regulations & Permitting

Commercial Cannabis Operator’s Permit (CCOP) Application Window Currently Suspended

At the City Council meeting on January 10, 2023, the City Council directed staff to schedule a future agenda item to discuss potential changes to the City’s Commercial Cannabis Regulations.  That item was scheduled for January 24, 2023. Click here to view the Letter that was sent to Interested Parties on January 13, 2023.

In response to the City Council’s request for reconsideration of the adopted commercial cannabis operations program, staff suspended the application period that was scheduled to end on January 17, 2023.  No CCOP applications were submitted. The City is not accepting any CCOP applications or fees at this time. 

January 24, 2023, Meeting - City Council Direction

The City Council reviewed the cannabis regulations and agreed to adopt the following Ordinance amendments. 

  • Reduce the total number of allowed businesses from a maximum of four to a maximum of two, with one being for distribution use only, and the second being retail and/or distribution; and
  • Remove the downtown (Central Business District) and The Shops at Tanforan from permitted locations for commercial cannabis operations.

Below is a sensitive use map which shows the changes that the City Council will be considering. Please note that the map is subject to change at any time:

Cannabis Sensitive Use Map for webpage_revised 1.31.23

Next Steps in the Ordinance Amendment Process

Below are the steps in the update to the Commercial Cannabis regulations:

  • The Planning Commission will consider and make a recommendation on ordinance amendments to the City Council at a future Planning Commission meeting (tentatively February 21, 2023).
  • The City Council will consider the Planning Commission recommendation and amended ordinance at a future hearing, likely in the first quarter of 2023.
  • If the City Council adopts ordinance amendments, the changes to the existing ordinance will not become effective until 30 days after adoption of the ordinance.
  • Once any ordinance amendments become effective, a new 45-day CCOP application window will be opened and notification given to those on our interest list.

If you would like to be notified of hearings regarding this process or if you would like to receive additional information, please email cannabis@sanbruno.ca.gov 

Previous History of Commercial Cannabis Regulations

At their September 27, 2022 meeting, the San Bruno City Council introduced an ordinance to partially repeal the prohibition of cannabis businesses and enact regulations that will allow up to 3 cannabis retail businesses and 1 distribution business. The ordinance was adopted on October 11, 2022 and is currently in effect.
 
The process to develop regulations for cannabis businesses was set in motion when the San Bruno City Council included the development of such regulations as a part of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Strategic Initiatives. The City hired a consultant to lead the process and work on the effort started shortly thereafter.  On February 8, 2022, the City Council held a Study Session to consider options for commercial cannabis operations in the city. At the conclusion of the Study Session, City Council directed staff to proceed with preparation of draft Municipal Code amendments and related procedures that would provide for up to 3 commercial cannabis operations, consisting of any combination of cannabis retailers in zoning districts in the San Bruno downtown area, along portions of San Bruno Avenue and El Camino Real, and at The Shops at Tanforan, and for distribution uses in the M-1 (light industrial) Zone north of Interstate I-380.

As shown on the map, commercial cannabis uses cannot be located within 600 feet of what would be considered to be sensitive use such as schools and parks. The sensitive use map is provided as a courtesy, and it is up to prospective applicants to verify possible sensitive uses near a proposed business location.

Below are links to information.
Date Staff Reports and Material
October 11, 2022
City Council Public Hearing Adoption Ordinance & Procedures
Staff Report (Pg. 128)
September 27, 2022
City Council Public Hearing
August 16, 2022
Planning Commission
Staff Report (Pg. 9)
July 19, 2022
Planning Commission 
Staff Report (Pg. 7)
February 8, 2022
City Council Study Session
Staff Report (Pg. 3)

Review Process After Submittal

CCOP applications will be reviewed by a team of staff from different City Departments and Divisions, including Planning, Building, Public Works Engineering, Fire, and Police. The applications will be assigned a “Pass” or “Fail” status by the team based on factors such as a proposed business plan, community benefits, neighborhood compatibility, safety and hazardous materials plan, security plan, successful background checks and odor control plan. 

Those CCOP applications achieving a “pass” rating would be cleared to proceed to the second step, consisting of City Council review and selection of up to three retail businesses and up to one distribution business. Or, after the initial filing window, an application window will be opened at the discretion of the city whenever there are fewer than three retail and one distribution business. 

Those businesses approved by the City Council would then proceed to the third step, formally filing a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for a specific location. Staff will provide CUP application materials to the selected operator(s). The CUP application will be processed on a time and materials basis, with an initial application deposit of $10,000. CUP applications will be reviewed by staff and presented to the Planning Commission for consideration at a noticed public hearing. CUP applications will then be reviewed at a public hearing by the City Council. With CUP approval, the third and final step would be for staff to formally issue the CCOP to those applicants who have obtained their CUP approvals.  

Additionally, State licenses are required for all commercial cannabis operations. There are many types of licenses, though the most likely licenses applicable to San Bruno cannabis businesses would be for Type 10A (Retailer) and Type 11 (Distributor). Licenses are issued by the state for a period of one year and can be renewed annually. Type A licenses prohibit sales of commercial cannabis products to persons under the age of 21 and do not allow persons under 21 to be on licensed premises.


 
The following table summarizes the key proposed commercial cannabis land use regulations proposed in the Zoning Code. Please note that the CCOP requirements are subject to change at any time.

 

Cannabis Retailers
 (Storefront Dispensaries)

Cannabis Distribution Facilities

Qualifying Locations,

by Zoning District

In TCP areas in C-B-D, MXR, TOD1, 

TOD2 and P-D Zones

In M-1 Zone north of San Bruno Avenue

Operator's Permit

and CUP Required

Yes

Yes

State License Required

Yes

Yes

Age Restrictions

(21 or older)

Yes

Yes

Separations Required

600 feet from:

Youth Centers, K-12 Schools and Day Care
 operations; 
parks (excepting pocket parks)

600 feet from:

Youth Centers, K-12 Schools and Day Care

 operations; parks (excepting pocket parks)

Suggested Maximum

Number of Cannabis Uses

Up to 3 cannabis retailers (and/or cannabis 

distribution facilities)

Up to 1 cannabis distribution facilities

Operational Criteria:

 

 

           Hours of Operation

Per CUP conditions

Per CUP conditions

           Employee Training

Required with CUP

Required with CUP

           Odor Control Plan

Required with CUP

Required with CUP

           Security Plan

Required with CUP

Required with CUP

           Security systems

Required with CUP

Required with CUP

           Parking and Loading

As required by CUP

As required by CUP

 Hazardous Materials Plan

N/A

Required with CUP

Storage of product and disposal

of unused cannabis

Limited with CUP

Limited with CUP

Signage

Per City Sign Code

No outside signs

On-site consumption

Not allowed

Not allowed

Delivery/transport plans 

and/or routes

Plan required with CUP

Plan required with CUP

GIS for delivery vehicles

N/A

Required

Insurance

Required

Required

Security Provisions for Commercial Cannabis Operations

A commercial cannabis operation will be required to implement sufficient security measures to deter and prevent the unauthorized entrance into areas containing cannabis or cannabis products and to deter and prevent the theft of cannabis or cannabis products at the commercial cannabis operation. The specific security measures are required to be identified in the operations plan, which is subject to review and approval by the City, including the Police Department. Compliance with the operations plan will always be required during operation as a condition of approval of the CUP. Security provision requirements are included in the Zoning Code Section 12.300.100 “Security” 

Annual Review

Cannabis businesses are required to undergo an annual review of their business operations.   The filing fee for the annual review is $2,745.

Taxes

In November 2020, San Bruno voters approved a ballot measure imposing up to a 10% tax on the gross revenues of any commercial cannabis activity that the city ultimately allows. The tax will apply in addition to the general business license tax imposed by the city. The City Council has set the initial tax rate at 5%. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Planning Division records all questions received each week. Responses to the questions can be viewed here: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) list.