Business Zoning

When an individual or group decides to set up a new marijuana business, they usually think that their biggest challenges will come from the federal government. They later realize that their county or city’s business zoning ordinances and regulations either restrict or altogether ban their enterprise.

Understanding your local zoning restrictions

California counties and cities have the authority to adopt and enforce their own ordinances that regulate the establishment, location and operations of businesses, and most place limits on where cannabusinesses can physically operate. For example, a majority of jurisdictions want marijuana businesses to be located only in nonresidential zones, a certain distance from each other, and away from schools and libraries. They also want proper security and lighting surrounding these businesses, specified hours of operation, low-key signage, and no alcohol or minors on site. It not uncommon for ordinances to ban, issue a moratorium, or limit the number of grow sites and dispensaries in a given jurisdiction.

Your local government has the ability to enforce any legislation that can be justified on the basis of it being in the interest of public health, safety and welfare. It is therefore critical to examine business zoning limitations and meet with your local planning department before committing your cannabis operations to any specific location.

Planning to open a cannabusiness? The time to act is now.

The California licensing authorities are now accepting applications, and properties zoned for cannabis use are in high demand. It is important that you act quickly if you plan to sell marijuana legally at a certain location.

Choosing the right location for your cannabis business is important, and finding a location that meets state and local requirements can be difficult. The real estate attorneys at Moskowitz, LLP counsel the firm’s marijuana-related business clients on regulatory compliance, including business zoning issues and obtaining permits and licenses. Contact our office today for a consultation.


Disclaimer: Growing, cultivating and distributing marijuana are violations of federal law under the Controlled Substances Act, Title 21, Section 841(a)(1). The tax firm of Moskowitz, LLP can assist you in adhering to state and local law and regulations, and advise you how to conduct your operations in a way that will minimize your risk of federal prosecution. However, we do not intend for our advice to assist you in the violation of any law and in light of the evolving nature of the marijuana industry in the U.S., clients must understand that our legal and tax services can guarantee neither success nor immunity from civil and/or criminal prosecution. In all areas where the legal landscape is constantly changing, we recommend that our clients act with caution, stay abreast of developments in the industry, and consult with us often.

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