Commercial Cannabis

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While California legalized cannabis (marijuana) with the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, it is up to each municipality to decide if and how commercial cannabis retail, manufacturing, cultivation, events, and testing should be conducted in their communities. To date, the City of Monterey has not allowed for commercial cannabis retail, manufacturing, or cultivation. In our region, the cities of Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, and Marina, and the County of Monterey (unincorporated areas of Carmel, Big Sur, Moss Landing, et al.) have allowed commercial cannabis operations. In 2020, the City of Monterey began to consider a change in policy that

While California legalized cannabis (marijuana) with the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, it is up to each municipality to decide if and how commercial cannabis retail, manufacturing, cultivation, events, and testing should be conducted in their communities. To date, the City of Monterey has not allowed for commercial cannabis retail, manufacturing, or cultivation. In our region, the cities of Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, and Marina, and the County of Monterey (unincorporated areas of Carmel, Big Sur, Moss Landing, et al.) have allowed commercial cannabis operations. In 2020, the City of Monterey began to consider a change in policy that could allow commercial cannabis activity.

At the December 1, 2020 City Council Meeting, staff provided a Roadmap to Cannabis, with the goal of "Getting it Right the First Time." The sections and links on this page provide an outline for commercial cannabis in the City of Monterey and are based on the road map foundation.

On December 15, 2020, the City Council passed a new ordinance amending the City Code to allow agricultural testing laboratories (including cannabis testing) as a conditionally permitted use in the I-R Zoning District. Basically, this will allow prospective testing laboratories to apply for a conditional use permit for cannabis testing labs. The City Planning Commission reviews use permits through a public hearing process that includes public noticing and meetings. This new law is effective on January 14, 2021.

For more background on California Cannabis Legislation, please visit the California Cannabis Portal at https://cannabis.ca.gov/ While the legislation begins at the state level, each City has the opportunity to enact its own Cannabis laws and regulations based on many factors, including what's the best for a particular community as a whole. The City of Monterey began this process in 2018.


  • Potential Commercial Cannabis Retail Zones in City of Monterey

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    15 Apr 2021
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    The video recording and supporting documents have been added from the City of Monterey's Cannabis Retail Zones meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Find these materials in the Documents and Video tabs on the right column, or in the links below:

    Powerpoint Presentation: Potential Retail Zone Locations

    Zoning Map: Suggested Commercial Retail Cannabis Zones

    Zoning Map: 600-Ft Buffers to Schools, Daycares, and Youth Center Parcels


  • Postcard Survey Data Results Updated March 10, 2021

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    10 Mar 2021

    The City of Monterey received an additional batch of approximately 500 postcard survey responses in the mail last week. The data has been entered and has been updated on this Survey Summary Report which compares postcard survey data with the online survey data.

    View the latest report here.

  • Monterey City Council Special Meeting on Wednesday, February 24

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    25 Feb 2021
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    Monterey City Council received an update on community feedback on commercial cannabis and discussed next steps at a Special City Council Meeting on Wednesday, February 24. Meeting agenda: http://isearchmonterey.org/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Meetings/ViewMeeting?id=4955&doctype=1&fbclid=IwAR2ElHPSJkfknuJJdQ4KK_iwd2MDlEnEZ0sURBrCUA8z6EyfEuY8VRyimkU Council voted 4-1 to direct staff to continue working on the "Roadmap to Cannabis" for allowing permits for retail commerce. Rewatch the meeting:
    Cannabis Roadmap

  • Special Council Meeting on Cannabis, Wed., February 24 at 4:00 PM

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    22 Feb 2021
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    A detailed agenda report for the Wednesday, February 24th 4:00PM Special City Council meeting is now published at http://isearchmonterey.org/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Meetings/ViewMeeting?id=4955&doctype=1.

    The report includes:

    • discussion and outline of the cannabis road map
    • revenue analysis
    • public safety analysis
    • community feedback and survey results
    • staff recommendation

    Detailed instructions on how to participate are available at isearchmonterey.org - the meeting is broadcast on youtube.com/cityofmonterey and the Monterey Channel 24 on Comcast via Access Monterey Productions.

    Please note: We are still currently at Step 1, and this meeting will determine if the Council decides to move to Step 2.


  • Survey closed, but more ways to have your say

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    08 Feb 2021

    The commercial cannabis online survey is now closed, however we still want your participation. You can still provide comments in the comment section. The February 24 City Council Special Meeting where we present the survey results will provide another way to participate. Thank you for your interest and engagement!

  • Second Town Hall Available on YouTube

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    29 Jan 2021

    The second Cannabis Town Hall event was held on January 28, 2021 and attracted over 20 attendees. You can watch the event on YouTube.


  • First Cannabis Town Hall Available on YouTube

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    26 Jan 2021

    The first Cannabis Town Hall event was held on January 26, 2021 and attracted over 20 attendees. You can watch the event on YouTube.


  • City of Monterey Town Halls on Commercial Cannabis

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    13 Jan 2021
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    The City of Monterey will host two virtual town halls to solicit feedback about cannabis operations within the City of Monterey, Tuesday, January 26 at 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, January 28 at 7 p.m. Residents can register at haveyoursaymonterey.org/cannabis. Parallel, the City is also launching a new web-based engagement platform called, Have Your Say Monterey, at haveyoursaymonterey.org which features a community survey about cannabis operations. A mail in version of the survey will be also sent at the end of January via USPS to all households in Monterey to allow residents to submit their opinion and views via traditional mail. NEWS RELEASE IN PDF // FLYERS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH

  • Online Cannabis Survey Launched

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    08 Jan 2021
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    The online cannabis survey has been launched! This online survey will complement a printed survey that will be sent to Monterey voters around January 30, 2021. Please complete this online survey by February 7, 2021.

  • Cannabis Town Hall Meetings Announced

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    07 Jan 2021
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    The City of Monterey is announcing two virtual town hall meetings in late January to discuss the topic of commercial cannabis. We encourage residents, business operators, and all interested parties to join us!

    January 26, 2021
    Cannabis Town Hall - Morning Session

    Register now(External link) for the Cannabis Town Hall Meeting on January 26 at 10:30 a.m.


    January 28, 2021
    Cannabis Town Hall - Evening Session

    Register now(External link) for the Cannabis Town Hall, Evening Session scheduled for January 28, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.