Asked Questions
SF Health Network
Environmental Health

Helpful Links

Application Packet

Fee Schedule of Licenses, Permits, Fines & Service Charges

How to Make a Complaint

2013 Cannabis Program Report


Planning Commission Website

DPH Hearings- Contact Program Manager (contact info below)

Relevant Cannabis Laws

Article 33: Medical Cannabis Act (pdf)

Proposition 215

Senate Bill 420

Director's Rules and Regulations (pdf)

Edible Medical Cannabis Regulations (pdf)

Attorney General Guidelines for Medical Cannabis

Program Manager

Ryan Clausnitzer


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 (MCD) Program permits, regulates and inspects medical cannabis dispensaries 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

How to Obtain a Permit

Required forms and fees needed to apply for a medical cannabis dispensary permit:
  1. Application packet for a permit to operate a medical cannabis dispensary (pdf) that includes:
    • - Application for Permit to Operate a MCD
    • - MCD Planning Referral form
    • - Written Statement of Compliance
    • - Fire Marshall Referral Form
    • - Workers' Compensation Declaration
    • - Mayor's Office on Disability Referral Form
  2. Criminal background check for owners/managers (pdf)- Bring completed form to service agent for processing.
  3. Registration Fee- Make your check or money order payable to the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). See the "Helpful Links" box for current fee information.
Additional Required Documentation:
  1. 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.
  2. A copy of your business registration certificate
  3. Seller's Permit
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Written statement regarding any food preparation or sales on the premises
  7. Ownership information
    - Articles of incorporation
    - Collective or cooperative agreements

Overview of Standard Permitting Process For New Locations

  1. Find a location that is, or could be made, ADA accessible.
  2. Take this address to the Planning Information Center at 1660 Mission Street for information on zoning and location information.  
  3. If preliminarily found to be acceptable by Planning, schedule a meeting to apply with SFDPH at 1390 Market St, Ste. 210 by calling 415-252-3856. Be sure to complete and bring all requirements outlined above in 'How to Obtain a Permit" and "Additional Required Documentation to Bring to Your Scheduled Appointment."
  4. SFDPH will send a referral to the Mayor’s Office on Disability.
  5. If tentatively approved, the application packet will then be forwarded to the Planning and Fire departments.
  6. Planning will review and instruct applicant to complete their MCD application packet while submitting site plans for a Planning Commission hearing.
  7. If approved by the Planning Commission, applicant will then submit full plans to DBI which will be routed to appropriate agencies (information regarding hearings is in the "Helpful Links" box).
  8. Once plans are approved and construction is complete, applicant will contact SFDPH to schedule a hearing.
  9. If SFDPH approval is granted, a permit to operate is granted.