Marijuana in the Unincorporated County

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UPDATE 4/25/17:  On Tuesday April 25, 2017, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance (SCC-1609) to amend the Sacramento County Code related to marijuana and public nuisances. Read the amendment (item # 21), including final Action Summary.

UPDATE 4/11/17:  On Tuesday April 11, the Board of Supervisors adopted a Zoning Code ordinance related to commercial marijuana activities and personal marijuana cultivation. The Board also introduced an ordinance related to marijuana and public nuisances, amending the Sacramento County Code.

The Sacramento County Code amendments have been continued to April 25, 2017 for the second reading and adoption.

Questions and comments about the proposed ordinances can be directed to
marijuana.ordinance@saccounty.net.

Information about County Board of Supervisor Meetings.

UPDATE 3/27/17:  On Monday March 27, the County Planning Commission considered the proposed Zoning Code amendments related to commercial marijuana activities and personal marijuana cultivation and, although the Sacramento County Code does not fall within the purview of the Planning Commission, they were advised on content associated with companion County Code amendments. After hearing staff’s presentation and public testimony, the Planning Commission recommended approval (4 Yes – 0 No, 1 absent) of the proposed amendments to the Zoning Code. In addition, the Commissioners spoke in favor of a commercial medical marijuana framework within Sacramento County and asked that the Board of Supervisors revisit the proposed Zoning Code and County Code Amendments once state regulations are in place and there is more clarity about the potential for enforcement from the Federal level.

UPDATE 3/17/17: Read the Planning Commission’s staff report package for the Marijuana Ordinance, to be considered at their March 27 hearing.

UPDATE 3/8/17: On Monday, March 27, Sacramento County planners will request the County Planning Commission consider a Marijuana Ordinance related to commercial marijuana activities and personal marijuana cultivation.

The proposed ordinance will amend the Zoning Code to prohibit all commercial marijuana businesses and activities, and includes provisions for personal cultivation of up to nine marijuana plants when grown inside a private residence by persons 21 years of age or older, consistent with the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). All outdoor marijuana cultivation will be banned.

Questions and comments about the proposed ordinance can be directed to marijuana.ordinance@saccounty.net. Comments and questions will be forwarded to the hearing bodies and may be posted online. Names and other identifying information will not be included on the public postings

Read the March 8 press release. More information will be posted to this page when it becomes available. Receive email updates about marijuana in the Unincorporated County.

Proposition 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or AUMA), legalizes the use of nonmedical marijuana by persons 21 years of age and over, and the personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants.*

Proposition 64 does not limit the authority of local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce local ordinances regulating personal cultivation and state-licensed marijuana businesses.

Sacramento County does not permit the operation of any marijuana dispensaries or marijuana-related businesses. Business licenses to operate these businesses are not available.

Frequently Asked Questions about Marijuana Dispensaries (Dispensary) or Marijuana-Related Businesses:

Q. How many marijuana plants can I grow outdoors in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County?

A. You cannot grow any marijuana plants outdoors in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County. An existing County ordinance bans all outdoor marijuana cultivation.

Q. How many marijuana plants can I grow indoors in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County?

A. With the passage of Proposition 64 (AUMA):

    • No more than six marijuana plants can be grown inside a private residence.*
    • A County ordinance allows up to nine marijuana plants to be grown for medicinal purposes only.*

Q. Is it permitted to operate a Dispensary or a marijuana-related business in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County? 

A. These are not a permitted use within the unincorporated area of Sacramento County.

Q. Can I get a license to operate a Dispensary or marijuana-related business? 

A. No, not from the County for operating in the unincorporated area.

Q. Where are the boundaries of the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County? 

Q. What cities in the County offer licenses or permits to operate dispensaries or marijuana-related businesses? 

A. Please contact other city governments in our County for their regulations.

Q. What happens if I open a Dispensary or marijuana-related business in the unincorporated County? 

A. Operating a Dispensary or marijuana-related business is prohibited in the unincorporated County.

Property Owners will be sent a Notice of Violation by Sacramento County Code Enforcement and will be subject to all subsequent fines and fees for allowing an unlicensed business in violation of local zoning law on their property.

Sacramento County Code Enforcement may also pursue fines and penalties against the property owner. Administrative penalties quickly progress from $100 per day to $500 per day for Zoning Code violations, and additional Building Code fines progress to $1000 per day. If unpaid, the County liens the property to obtain payment of these penalties. 

*(NOTE: Although the AUMA allows up to six plants for personal cultivation, the County has the authority to set the maximum to nine plants. The County had previously allowed for up to nine plants for medical purposes, and will keep the number consistent for cultivation for non-medical purposes.)