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Article 33: Medical Cannabis Act (pdf)

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Statement of Compliance (pdf) - Must be filed annually

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Please Note:

Members of medical cannabis dispensaries (MCD) that make edible cannabis products distributed through an MCD are required to obtain certification as a food handler if the product requires refrigeration or freezing in order to control bacterial growth. A copy of the certificate must be available at the dispensary where the products are distributed.

Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program

The Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program permits, regulates and inspects medical cannabis dispensaries (MCD) in San Francisco. Medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives with nine or fewer members are exempt from local permit requirements.

Principal Activities and Services

  • Permit and regulate medical cannabis dispensaries in accordance with state and local laws.
  • Inspect each permitted medical cannabis dispensary twice annually.
  • Respond to complaints.

Obtaining a Permit

Below are the required forms to apply for a medical cannabis dispensary permit. Please make sure to complete all the appropriate forms and make your application fee payable to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. See the Helpful Links box for fee information. Send completed application materials with the application fee to:

  • Environmental Health Section
  • Attn: Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program
  • 1390 Market Street, Suite 210
  • San Francisco, CA 94102
  1. Application packet for a permit to operate a medical cannabis dispensary (pdf) - This includes the Application for Permit to Operate a MCD, the MCD Planning Referral form, the Written Statement of Compliance (must be filed annually), the Fire Marshall Referral Form, the Workers' Compensation Declaration and the Mayor's Office on Disability Referral form.
  2. Criminal background check for owners/managers (pdf)

Additional application requirements:
  • A copy of your business registration certificate.
  • Photocopies of government issued identification for each applicant and manager. These may include a state driver's license, state ID, or passport. These will be used to confirm identity and age of applicants.
  • Description of all felony convictions and penalties for each applicant and manager. False documents or testimony will result in rejection of permit application.
  • Written description of existing or proposed security/lighting system for MCD. This should include a diagram on 8.5 by 11 inch paper of the facility with all security devices and lighting identified. Security devices include: motion detectors, alarms, video cameras, solid core doors, electric door openers, safes, exterior lighting, etc.
  • Written description of existing ventilation and whether smoking or vaporization of cannabis will be permitted on premise. Specifically include description of any existing carbon filtration systems for odor control.
  • Written statement regarding any food preparation or sales on the premises.

Making a Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint regarding a medical cannabis dispensary, click here.

Other Regulatory Requirements

The Health Department serves as the primary permit issuing agency and coordinates all necessary referrals to the following Departments for the stated purpose:

Planning Department

  • Review of zoning and proximity to schools, community centers, and facilities providing substance abuse services.
  • Californian Environmental Quality Act review.
  • Required discretionary review or conditional use by the Planning Commission.
  • Execution of public notices as required.

Fire Department

  • Issuance of Place of Assembly Permit if more than 49 persons present.
  • Review of general fire safety issues.

Building Department

  • Building, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical permits as may be necessary.

Mayor's Office on Disability

  • Plan check and review of building plans for compliance with San Francisco Health Code, Article 33 regarding handicap access. For more information, call (415) 554-6789.