Cannabis use is legal in California. But cities and counties can prohibit cannabis businesses, like retail. As a result, the state is a patchwork of areas where it is and is not legal to establish a cannabis business.
Find which cannabis businesses are allowed where
This map shows which cities and counties license cannabis businesses. To see which ones license a specific type of business, use the “filter by business type” dropdown. Select a specific county to view a detailed county map.
The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) compiled the data on this page in February 2022. The DCC reviewed city and county laws and websites. The DCC also contacted some cities and counties for this information. If you’re a city or county official and think your data is not correct, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cannabis business rules are set at the local level
Cannabis businesses are regulated in two ways:
- By the state, and
- By their city or county.
The state issues licenses based on the type of activity that a business performs. State license types include:
- Testing laboratories
City and county rules
Each city or county can decide whether to license cannabis businesses in their area. They can:
- License all cannabis businesses
- License some types and prohibit others
- Prohibit all cannabis businesses
A city may have different rules than its county
Counties can decide which types of cannabis businesses they license or prohibit. But county rules only apply to the unincorporated parts of the county. They do not apply to incorporated cities that are within the county.
Incorporated cities can decide which types they license or prohibit within their city. Their rules do not need to align with the rules of the county where they’re located.
More limits on cannabis businesses
Some cities and counties license a type of cannabis business, but also put restrictions on it. For example, they may limit the number of businesses that can get a license. Due to these limits, there are 4.5 retail licenses per 100K people in California (as of July 2022).
Getting started with your cannabis business
If you’re interested in starting a cannabis business, you can:
- Contact your city or county to learn about their rules
- Find out how to apply for a state license
- Review the resources to help you apply for a state license
Where to buy cannabis in your area
If you want to buy safe and legal cannabis, find a licensed retailer in your area.