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Cannabis Commission

To ensure that cannabis provision in Berkeley is conducted in a safe and orderly manner to protect the welfare of Qualified Patients and the community. The commission shall consist of nine members. At least one commissioner shall be a member of a medical cannabis dispensary, one shall be a member of a collective that is not a dispensary, and one shall be a cultivator who is not primarily associated with a single dispensary and provides medical cannabis to more than one dispensary.
City Hall, Redwood Conference Room
2180 Milvia Street, Sixth Floor
1st Thursday of the month, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., except as noted.
Please check the community calendar to verify.

New location proposed for the Apothecarium Cannabis Retailer:
The City of Berkeley Zoning Ordinance allows six cannabis dispensaries/retailers to operate in Berkeley. Three were established by 2004. In 2016, the City Council selected three new cannabis dispensaries to operate within the city at specific locations. The Apothecarium was one of the three new dispensaries selected by the Council, however this business was unable to establish at the location approved by Council.

The Apothecarium is proposing a new location: 2312 Telegraph Avenue.  Click here to review the new application.

In order to get approval of a new dispensary location, the Apothecarium must hold a community meeting in the neighborhood where the dispensary is proposed. The application will then be reviewed by the Cannabis Commission at a public meeting. A decision on the final dispensary location will be made by the City Council at a public meeting.

2018 Draft Changes to Berkeley’s Cannabis Regulations:
In 2018, the City Council will consider changes to the existing cannabis regulations.  These changes address uses not currently in the municipal code and zoning ordinance, and would update the existing ordinance to be consistent with the new State regulations (Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act (MAUCRSA)). 

The draft ordinances and a selection process for businesses were considered by the Cannabis Commission in early 2018, see proposed regulations in the February 22, 2018 packet. The Council considered the draft ordinances and selection process at the March 20, 2018 work session meeting. On October 9, 2018, the Council considered several significant issues at a second work session. The key issues include: quotas, buffers, permitting process, retail nurseries, collectives and equity.  

In the meantime, on September 13, 2018, the Council adopted changes which allow:

  • Small cultivators and distributors to legally operate in Berkeley;
  • All cannabis businesses to operate in the adult use market; and
  • All businesses to operate on a for-profit basis, and
  • Approval of adult-use businesses.

Existing Regulations: 

Medical Cannabis Dispensaries:
No new dispensaries will be considered at this time.

Regulations for medical cannabis dispensaries and medical cannabis collectives are found in BMC Chapter 12.26, 12.27 and in Zoning Ordinance Section 23E.16.070. The Council has selected six dispensaries to operate in Berkeley, which is the maximum number permitted by the Zoning Ordinance. In late 2017, the Council voted to allow existing, legally established medical cannabis dispensaries to apply for a temporary license to sell adult use cannabis. These temporary licenses will expire once a permanent license process for adult use sales is established.

Medical Cannabis Collectives:
As of January 9, 2019, medical cannabis collectives will not be allowed in the State. 

Cultivation Businesses:
As of October 31, 2018, small cannabis (Medicinal and Adult-Use) Cultivators (defined as having up to 10,000 square feet of canopy area) are allowed to locate in the Manufacturing (M) District with a Zoning Certificate on a first-come, first-serve basis, up to a combined limit of 48,000 square feet. In addition, the small Cultivators must be located at least 300 feet from any elementary, middle, or high school. For more information, see BMC Chapter 12.25 and Zoning Ordinance Chapter 23C.25.   

Prior to applying for a Zoning Certificate and business license, the applicant must complete a Zoning Certificate Application for a Business License Form (with the property owner’s signature), confirm there are no schools located within 300 feet, and submit a floor plan illustrating the total amount of canopy area (including stacked or vertical-grow canopies).

The Council approved commercial cultivation regulations in 2017 (BMC Chapter 12.25); but large cannabis cultivators will not be allowed until the Council approves a selection process.

Cannabis manufacturers are permitted in Berkeley, subject to the same local regulations as other light manufacturers, except that the product can only be sold on a wholesale basis (not directly to patients), and the business will pay taxes as a cannabis business. For more information, see Zoning Ordinance Section 23E.16.070.C.

Testing Laboratories:
Cannabis testing labs are permitted in Berkeley, subject to the same local regulations as other testing labs, except that the business will pay taxes as a cannabis business. For more information, see Zoning Ordinance Section 23E.16.070.C.

Delivery Services:
No cannabis delivery-only businesses are currently permitted in Berkeley. Storefront retailers can deliver cannabis to persons 21 and older.

As of October 31, 2018, cannabis Distributors are allowed to locate in Berkeley, subject to the same local regulations as other wholesale trade uses, and the operating standards found in BMC 12.22.050. In addition, the Distributors must be located at least 300 feet from any elementary, middle, or high school. For more information, BMC Chapter 12.22 and Zoning Ordinance Chapter 23C.25.

Additional Information:
Berkeley Ordinances related to cannabis: BMC Sections 12.22, 12.23, 12.25, 12.26, 12.27, 23C.25, 23E.16.070
Cannabis fact sheet - 2018
Bylaws - revised 10-06-2011

Commission Vacancies
Commission Roster
Business tax information
Buffer maps for schools and parks - reference only - 2012
Report to Council - Cultivation of Medical Cannabis Beyond the M Zone (with estimated business tax from cultivation businesses) 

Meeting Agendas and Minutes:
Agendas and Minutes are presented in PDF format. To view PDF files, download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Past Agendas and Minutes





2018 Agendas and Minutes: 
Please refresh your browser for the most up-to-date information.
*Note: Packets are amended after the meeting to include late items distributed at the meeting.


Agendas          Packets          Minutes
01/18/2018 01/18/2018 01/18/2018
02/01/2018 02/01/2018 02/01/2018
02/22/2018        02/22/2018 02/22/2018
03/01/2018 03/01/2018 03/01/2018 
03/15/2018         03/15/2018 03/15/2018
04/05/2018 04/05/2018 04/05/2018
05/03/2018 05/03/2018 05/03/2018
06/07/2018 06/07/2018  06/07/2018 
07/12/2018 Cancelled Cancelled
09/13/2018 09/13/2018 09/13/2018 
10/04/2018 Cancelled        Cancelled
11/08/2018 11/08/2018 11/08/18 *Draft


Agendas          Packets          Minutes
02/08/2018 02/08/2018  

Communications to Berkeley boards, commissions or committees are public record and will become part of the City’s electronic records, which are accessible through the City’s website.  Please note: e-mail addresses, names, addresses, and other contact information are not required, but if included in any communication to a City board, commission or committee, will become part of the public record.  If you do not want your e-mail address or any other contact information to be made public, you may deliver communications via U.S. Postal Service or in person to the secretary of the relevant board, commission or committee.  If you do not want your contact information included in the public record, please do not include that information in your communication.  Please contact the secretary to the relevant board, commission or committee for further information.

The Secretary of the Commission is responsible for relaying all communications from the public to the members of the commission.  The Secretary’s contact information is listed below.

Communications received by noon Monday the week before the meeting (10 days prior to meeting) will be included in the packet of materials mailed to the Commission before the meeting. Communications received after this deadline will be distributed at the meeting. These late items will be added to the end of the agenda packet, and marked as "Late Items".


Elizabeth Greene
Planning & Development
(510) 981-7484
Mailing Address:
Cannabis Commission
Elizabeth Greene, Secretary
1947 Center St., 2nd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704


Enabling Legislation:
The Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission was established under the authority of Berkeley Municipal Code Section 12.26.110, as amended by its authorizing legislation, the Patients Access to Medical Cannabis Act of 2008 (aka Measure JJ), passed on November 4, 2008.  On November 2, 2010, Berkeley voters passed Measure T - Amendments to Medical Cannabis Regulations, making further changes to the structure and responsibilities of the Medical Cannabis Commission.  On May 16, 2017, Berkeley Municipal Code 12.26.110 was amended to change the name and mission of the Medical Cannabis Commission to include recreational cannabis.

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