The cultivation, possession, distribution and use of marijuana are federal crimes in all circumstances. These activities remain illegal under state law although there are limited circumstances under which they may be permitted by state law, but continue to be illegal under federal law.

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

This page originates at the Sacramento County website … links will open new windows.

Sac County Board News


Board Votes to Develop Permanent Medical Marijuana Ordinance – A deliberative process will be initiated including further analysis and public hearings. Because dispensaries are not currently permitted in the unincorporated County, staff will return to the Board on August 10 at 10:30 a.m. with a report and recommendation on enhanced enforcement options.

On July 27, 2011, at 11 a.m. County staff will present to the Board of Supervisors a recommendation to discontinue work on the Urgency Ordinance and initiate a permanent Amendment to the Zoning Code relating to medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation. If the Board so directs, the process will involve stakeholder outreach and would take about six months to complete. Staff is not recommending “stay” on current enforcement activities. Materials can be viewed online on the Board’s July 27 Agenda website.

[ED Note: next meeting is August 10 when the staff is to report to the board with an update.]

On June 21, 2011 the Board of Supervisors voted to continue, or revisit at another date, an Urgency Ordinance to the Zoning Code related to the cultivate and dispensing of medical marijuana. To watch video and view the draft ordinance, view item #83 on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda website. For a summary of the ordinance, view the PowerPoint presentation. The item will be brought back to the Board of Supervisors in late July for review.

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Sac County FAQs regarding medical marijuana

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

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?

A. View the unincorporated area map.

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.

Updated: August 2011




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