County of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County
Cannabis Licensing


March 4, 2024 – Cannabis Policy Public Listening Sessions have been scheduled. At the direction of the Board of Supervisors the Cannabis Licensing office is holding four public listening sessions to seek input regarding policies relating to cannabis sales, onsite consumption, and cultivation limits. For more detail please click the meeting announcement links below.


June 22, 2021 – Bird Valley Organics, a cannabis cultivator and distributor, has been featured in an article about regenerative farming published by Forbes. The article can be accessed here: Regenerative Farming In Cannabis/Hemp: The New Art Of A Lost Science (

June 1, 2021 – A new cannabis licensing program is available online. Once an applicant has completed the pre-application and use permit (if applicable) they may apply for a cannabis business license via the new web based application. Please see the Non-Retail Licensing page for more details.

May 1, 2021 – A new cannabis eligibility tool is available to evaluate the eligibility of any parcel in the County for non-retail cannabis uses. Please see the Non-Retail Licensing page for more details.

January 11, 2021 – The updates to Santa Cruz County Code section 7.128 and 13.10 (related to non-retail cannabis regulations) have been adopted by the Coastal Commission. A copy of the Coastal Commission Staff report:

A copy of the Ordinance adoption letter is also available.

Taxes 2020-21 YTD Actual 2021-22 Budgeted 2021-22 YTD Actual 2021-22 Est.Act 2021-22 Bub. Projection-to-Date % of Budget Rcvd. to Date Last FY Rcvd. at Same Time Variance LYTD to YTD
CBT Retail 3,166,457 3,077,818 891,979 1,781,979 1,538,909 28.98% 1,589,002 -43.87%
CBT Non-Retail 3,099,377 2,298,431 795,068 1,420,068 1,149,216 34.59% 1,709,510 -53.49%
TOTAL 6,265,834 5,376,249 1,687,047 3,202,047 2,688,125 31.38% 3,298,512 -48.85%
Fiscal Year 2021-22 Second Quarter Tax Summary

Dec. 10, 2020 - Equity grants for cannabis business are now available. To be eligible for an equity grant per Santa Cruz County Code Chapter 7.136, you must apply using the following form:

Eligibility is restricted to those which can demonstrate that they, their employees, or their customers have been negatively impacted in a disproportionate way by cannabis criminalization and who can further demonstrate what they have done and will do to address those negative impacts, including but not limited to supporting compassionate care programs within the community.

Once eligibility has been determined you may apply for:

  • Direct technical assistance with State and local licensing issues, including but not limited to:
    • Assistance with technical aspects of local permit application drafting
    • Training on and direct assistance in applying for Air District permits, hazardous materials business permits, State Water Board permits and other permits and programs to be identified by the Licensing Official;
  • Fee waivers for use permits and cannabis business licenses;
  • Direct assistance paying for State licensing and regulatory fees; and
  • Assistance from the County Economic Development Department with securing business locations prior to or during the use permit and cannabis business license process