In 2014, the Board of Supervisors considered the issue of marijuana regulation and adopted ordinances adding Chapters 6.88 and 6.89 to the Sacramento County Code to directly address marijuana cultivation. These ordinances prohibited all outdoor cultivation and limited indoor cultivation to no more than nine plants.
On November 8, 2016, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) (Prop 64) was passed by voters. AUMA requires that County Codes be updated to conform to State law. AUMA legalized the possession, use, and cultivation of limited quantities of non-medical marijuana for those who are 21 years of age or older and authorized a comprehensive state system to regulate commercial marijuana activity.
In April 2017, the Board adopted amendments to Chapters 6.87 and 6.88, repealed Chapter 6.89 of the Sacramento County Code, and amended Chapters 3 and 7 of the Zoning Code to conform to AUMA. On June 27, 2017, the State passed Senate Bill 97, creating a comprehensive regulatory framework entitled Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) to implement AUMA and reconcile it with existing cannabis law in California.
Proposition 64 does not limit the authority of local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce reasonable regulations pertaining to personal and commercial cannabis use.
Sacramento County does not permit the operation of cannabis dispensaries or related businesses. Business licenses to operate these businesses are not available.
2019 Cannabis Ordinance Revisions
On March 12, 2019, the Board of Supervisors introduced an ordinance amending County cannabis regulations. The proposed amendments included the following changes:
- Compliance with State legislative changes, including conformance with State law to allow up to six (6) cannabis plants either inside a personal residence or fully contained within a permitted accessory structure.
- A violation is a misdemeanor and violators and property owners are subject to administrative penalties of $1000 per plant, per each day that the property remains in violation.
- Reasonable regulations for personal cultivation, including requirements for landlords and tenants of rental properties.
- Increased penalties imposed immediately for cannabis related Building & Safety Code violations.
On March 19, 2019, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance amending County cannabis regulations. Read the amendment, Item #13. The ordinance is effective on April 18, 2019.
2017 Cannabis Ordinance Revisions
On March 27, 2017 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. The ordinances would amend the Zoning and County Code to prohibit all commercial marijuana businesses and activities, and included provisions for personal cultivation of up to nine marijuana plants when grown inside a private residence by persons 21 years of age or older.
All outdoor marijuana cultivation was to be banned. 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.
On April 11, 2017 the Board of Supervisors adopted a Zoning Code ordinance related to commercial marijuana activities and personal marijuana cultivation. A Sacramento County Code
ordinance amendment related to marijuana and public nuisances
was also introduced.
The Sacramento County Code amendments were continued to April 25, 2017 for the second reading and adoption.
On 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.
Questions and comments about the ordinances can be directed to
Information about County Board of Supervisor Meetings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How many cannabis plants can I grow outdoors in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County?
A. You cannot grow any cannabis plants outdoors in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County. An existing County ordinance bans all outdoor cannabis cultivation.
Q. How many cannabis plants can I grow indoors in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County?
A. With the passage of Proposition 64 (AUMA), up to six cannabis plants can be grown inside a private residence as long as compliance with Sacramento County Code (SCC) 6.88.050 regulations is achieved.
Q. Is it permitted to operate a dispensary or a cannabis-related business in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County?
A. No, commercial cannabis operations are not permitted uses within the unincorporated area of Sacramento County.
Q. Can I get a license to operate a Dispensary or cannabis-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?
A. View the unincorporated area map.
Q. What cities in the County offer licenses or permits to operate dispensaries or cannabis-related businesses?
A. Please contact other city governments in our County for their regulations.
What happens if I open a Dispensary or cannabis-related business in the unincorporated County?
A. Operating a Dispensary or cannabis-related business is prohibited in the unincorporated County. A violation of County cannabis regulations is a misdemeanor subject to civil and/or criminal enforcement.