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Environmental Health

Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program

San Francisco Health Code Article 33

Guide to the Code and Rules & Regulations

The following pages describe elements of SFHC Article 33 Code, Rules & Regulations and Standard Operating Procedures:

<Application>   <Permit Decision>   <General Operation>   <Edibles>   <Delivery>

In the event of any discrepancy or conflict between what is described on this page, language in the Code and/or adopted MCD Rules and Rules for Edibles) take precedent.


General Operation


All required external signage must be easily legible from adjacent public right-of-ways. Signage must alert members that there is no smoking or ingesting of medical cannabis allowed within 50 feet of the MCD in the public right-of-way.


Management Personnel

The Permittee shall designate a Principal Manager to serve as liaison with the Department in all regulatory and oversight activities.

The Permittee must provide adequate management personnel who are duly qualified to carry out the operation of the MCD to assure continuous compliance with the conditions set forth in these Rules and Regulations. Each manager must submit documentation 3304c2-5 and submit names of all managers .



Only valid members of the MCD cooperative/collective are allowed to purchase or exchange cannabis at the dispensary.

Only patients or caregivers with a written verifiable doctor's recommendation or State issued medical cannabis ID card may be members of a permitted MCD.

Each patient or caregiver member in an MCD must apply for membership and submit a signed form agreeing to abide by all rules regarding membership. These rules shall include, but are not limited to: A) an agreement to not divert medical cannabis for non-medical purposes, B) prohibiting entry to anyone under the influence of alcohol, or in possession of or consuming alcohol C) a requirement to wash hands for all members working at the dispensary who handle cannabis D) no smoking or ingesting of medical cannabis within 50 feet of the MCD in the public right-of-way.

Violations of the MCD's rules or failure to maintain a currently valid doctor's recommendation or medical cannabis ID card should result in the cancellation of a patient or caregiver membership at the MCD.


Product origin

Each MCD is required on an annual basis to confirm in writing under the penalty of perjury that upon information and belief all cannabis dispensed at the MCD is grown in California and has not crossed the California state line at any time. All cannabis dispensed must originate only from members of the cooperative/collective, including edible cannabis products. Only lawfully cultivated cannabis may be distributed.


Taxes and finance requirements

All MCDs must operate in a not-for-profit manner.

Every MCD shall be required to obtain a seller's permit from the State Board of Equalization.

All cannabis sales, including edible cannabis products, must be taxed where applicable and at the legal rate per California State law.


Other laws

The Permittee must comply with all other applicable laws, including Weights and Measures laws and regulations as they pertain to the use of commercial weighing devices used in MCDs.





Making a Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint regarding MCD permits, you may call 311.

311 City Customer Service Agency - Service 24x7

San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch