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San Jose Cannabis Business Application Process

General Information

The Division of Cannabis Regulation (“DCR”) is using a 3-Phase application process to register new cannabis businesses.  Registration for new cannabis businesses is only open to the following business categories:

  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Testing

The City is not accepting applications at this time for opening a dispensary or cultivation location.

 

Application Overview:

The three phases are (for more details regarding each phase go to the Specific Instructions section) as follows:

  1. Phase 1 – General Business Information
    1. Contains general information about your business
    2. Initial Application Processing Fee of $3,103
    3. Staff will review your application
    4. All owners need to complete a criminal background investigation
  2. Phase 2 – Site Identification and Zoning Code Verification Certificate (“ZCVC”) for your location
    1. Identify a site
    2. Obtain a ZCVC for your location (documents your location is compliant with San José’s land-use ordinance at the time it is issued)
    3. ZCVC Application Fee of $2,358
  3. Phase 3 – Additional Business Information
    1. Contains additional specific information about your business, including site details and various required operations plans for your business
    2. Inspections for building code and operational compliance
    3. Application review and inspection time is covered in the Initial Application Fee paid in Phase 1; however, additional time could be billed at the hourly rate if necessary
    4. All managers and employees will need to complete a criminal background investigation
    5. After passing all reviews and inspections you may be issued a Notice of Completed Registration (“NOCR”)

When you receive a NOCR, you may then open your business and begin operations.

You do not need to have a property identified before submitting your Phase 1 application.  If you need assistance in finding a compliant location, you may contact the Office of Economic Development at (408) 535-8181 or http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=194.  

 

Before You Apply

Know where you can locate: Read Title 20 of the San José Municipal Code, specifically all references to cannabis and your business type.

Know our ordinance and regulations: Read Chapter 6.88 of the San José Municipal Code and the City Manager Regulations for Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis.

All land use, operating ordinances and regulations can be found here.

The DCR uses SharePoint for application and document submission.  Do not email applications or documents to the DCR.  To use SharePoint, you will need a Microsoft email account.  This could be:

  • A Microsoft live ID account;
  • Another Office 365 account;
  • An Outlook or Hotmail account;
    • A free Outlook or Hotmail account may be obtained at outlook.live.com

DCR forms are in fillable PDF format; you will need a PDF program to fill them out.

 

Specific Instructions

To register a new cannabis manufacturing business, cannabis distribution business or cannabis testing laboratory, do the following:

  • PHASE 1
    • Call the Division of Cannabis Regulation (“DCR”) at (408) 537-1420
      • Ask for the cannabis business applications to be emailed to you or download the application from the website
      • If leaving a voicemail message, please provide the following information:
        • Full Name
        • Contact Phone Number
        • Name of your business
        • Type of business (manufacturer, distributor, or testing lab)
        • Your Microsoft email account
      • Staff will set up a SharePoint account and library for your business; you will be notified via the Microsoft email account you provided
      • Upload the completed Phase 1 application and all supporting documents to your SharePoint library
        • You do not need to notify us when you submit a document; SharePoint will notify DCR staff each time a document is uploaded
      • Staff will send you an invoice for the Initial Application Processing Fee ($3,103)
      • After the fee has been paid, staff will review your application and contact you if more information is needed
        • During review, all owners must complete the required background investigation
          • Instructions will be provided after the DCR receives your Phase 1 application and payment of the Initial Application Processing Fee
          • There are fingerprint and background investigation fees totaling $290 per person for new applicants
        • While your Phase 1 application is under review, you may begin work on Phase 2.
    • PHASE 2
      • Identify a compliant location. 
      • From the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (“PBCE”) website, download the ZCVC Application
      • Upload the completed ZCVC Application to your SharePoint library
      • You will be sent an invoice for the ZCVC Application Fee ($2,358)
      • After the fee has been paid, your ZCVC will be reviewed
        • If a ZCVC is denied for your location, you may identify another location and submit a new ZCVC application
        • Each ZCVC application submission requires payment of a separate ZCVC Application Fee
      • If a ZCVC is issued for your location, upload it to your SharePoint library.  You may submit the completed Phase 3 application at the same time.
    • PHASE 3
      • Upload the completed Phase 3 application and all supporting documents to your SharePoint library
      • Staff will review your application and contact you if more information is needed
      • Schedule a Special Tenant Improvement (“STI”) appointment with the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (“PBCE”). 
        • Additional information can be found here: https://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=5824
        • At the STI appointment, you propose all construction work needed for your premises and location
        • PBCE will identify any required building permits for your project
        • After approval from PBCE, you may begin construction
      • During construction:
    • Keep DCR Staff informed about the status of your construction
        • After construction is complete, all permits have been signed off, and the location has a Certificate of Occupancy, contact the DCR to schedule an inspection
          • DCR and Code Enforcement Staff will inspect your location for operational compliance with San José Municipal Code Chapter 6.88 and other building codes
          • Fire Department Staff may inspect the location at this time, or they may make their own appointment
      • Prior to operating your business, all managers and employees must complete the required background investigation
        • Instructions will be provided
        • There are fingerprint and background investigation fees totaling $290 per person for new applicants
        • Plan ahead as the process may take several weeks
      • If your business passes all required inspections, the business will be issued a Notice of Completed Registration (“NOCR”) and you may begin operations.

OUR MISSION: Create safe places to live, work, and learn through community partnerships. The Department maintains
a commitment to the following values: Integrity, Courage, Excellence, Service, Diversity, Innovation, and Respect.