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Cannabis Information and Regulations

In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Proposition 64 legalized the non-medical use of cannabis by people aged 21 and older.

The City Council has enacted guidelines for use within City limits, as well as established a framework to allow a maximum of two businesses to operate delivery-only services for medicinal cannabis.

UPDATE: The City of Walnut Creek is no longer accepting applications to operate delivery-only services for medicinal cannabis. Please see below for a recap of recent events:

October 8, 2018 – City Staff began accepting applications to operate Medicinal Cannabis delivery-only operations based in Walnut Creek.

November 19, 2018 – Application submittal period was closed.

December 19, 2018 – City Staff completed the review of all submitted applications to ensure each satisfied all of the criteria set forth in WCMC 10-2.3.1401 (Personal and Commercial Cannabis Activities). Qualified applicants were notified of their placement into a lottery pool.

January 22, 2019 – City Staff conducted the lottery selection process. All qualified applicants were pulled from the pool one at a time, and the first two selected entries have been permitted to seek a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Commission. The remaining selected entries have been placed on a qualified waitlist in the order in which they were drawn. Please click here to view the qualified waitlist.

The selected applicants have six months from the date of the lottery (July 22, 2019) to obtain Conditional Use Permits. If a selected applicant fails to obtain a Conditional Use Permit during that time period, the next qualified applicant on the ranked list will be afforded an opportunity to pursue a Conditional Use Permit. Likewise, should an applicant garner appropriate approvals but eventually closes the business, the next qualified applicant on the ranked list will be notified and afforded an opportunity to pursue a Conditional Use Permit.

The City of Walnut Creek will re-open an application submittal period once every applicant on the ranked list has been afforded an opportunity. Please click on the link below to submit an interest card and staff will notify you when a new application period begins.

Under State law, citizens are allowed to grow no more than six non-medical cannabis plants per residential unit, no matter how many people live in the house, apartment or condominium. No more than six plants may be possessed, planted, cultivated, harvested, dried or processed within a private residence at any one time.

If you are a renter, you are required to obtain permission from your landlord before growing cannabis at the property. Permission requires written and signed consent.

Cultivation of cannabis is for personal use only; selling cannabis that you grow is illegal in Walnut Creek.

In Walnut Creek, people who reside in multi-family residences (apartments or condominiums) can only grow cannabis plants either inside the residence, or within a secure accessory structure.

People who reside in single-family residential homes can grow cannabis plants indoors or outdoors. However, outdoor grows cannot occur within any front, side or corner side yard. The plants can be grown within the rear yard, but must be located outside of the required rear yard setback. The plants must be located behind a visually impenetrable fence that either surrounds the rear yard or the cannabis grow area within the rear yard.

State law requires the outdoor grow area to be secure and locked.

Other Walnut Creek regulations to keep in mind:

  • Lock up your cannabis plants and products so that children can’t get to them, both indoors and outside.
  • Get required electrical and building permits.
  • Control plant odors; your plants cannot create a neighborhood nuisance.
  • Do not use explosive gases such as butane, propane, xylene, styrene, gasoline, kerosene or hydrogens.
  • Do not use dangerous poisons, toxins or carcinogens, such as methanol, isopropyl alcohol, methylene chloride, acetone, benzene, toluene, or trichloroethylene.

Under Proposition 64, it is illegal to use cannabis in public. That includes smoking, vaping, ingesting edibles, etc.

Downtown Walnut Creek enforces a smoking ban for tobacco and cannabis.

It is also illegal to use cannabis in parks, on trails, while driving or riding in a vehicle, on the sidewalk, or in restaurants and bars.

Under Proposition 64, the following rules apply to non-medical cannabis:

  • You must be 21 years or older.
  • There is a limit of 28.5 grams (one ounce) of non-concentrated cannabis (dried flower) or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis products, or 6 plants.

Medical cannabis delivery operations based outside of the City may deliver medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to patients and caregivers who reside in Walnut Creek. All products must be delivered to a residential address only.

The only legal commercial cannabis businesses allowed to base their operations within Walnut Creek are non-storefront medical cannabis delivery-only businesses. Customers are not allowed to enter into the business location. Business transactions are limited to delivery-only, and all products must be delivered to a residential address only. A maximum of two operations will be permitted at any one time within the City limits. The business must be located within either the SC (Service Commercial) zone or the B-P (Business Park) zone. Furthermore, the business must be located at least 1,000 feet from any school (kindergarten through 8th grades,) church, day care center, youth center, and City park (excluding Shadelands Ranch Museum Park.) Delivery-only operations must also be located at least 1,500 feet from high schools (9th through 12th grades.) Distance is measured from property line to property line.

All other cannabis commercial businesses are prohibited at this time. That includes commercial cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, retail dispensaries, non-storefront recreational delivery-only operations, testing laboratories, and special events.

The City of Walnut Creek is no longer accepting applications for non-storefront medical delivery-only operations. Please click on the link below to submit an interest card and staff will notify you when a new application period begins. You may also view the typical application submittal requirements for any future submittal periods in the “How to Apply” section below.

City Staff is no longer accepting applications, however, anyone who wants to be considered in future application submittal periods will be required to complete a two-step process with the City of Walnut Creek. There are State licensing requirements as well. An applicant would be required to first apply for a Commercial Cannabis Operator Permit with the City to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Please click here to fill out an interest card and city staff will notify you when a new application period begins. A series of forms and guidelines have been established that must be completed and submitted to the City. The forms can be found below.

Once staff has reduced the list to qualified applicants only, those applicants would be entered into a lottery. All entries would be pulled from the lottery pool one at a time, and the first two selected entries would be permitted to seek approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the Planning Commission. The remaining selected entries would be placed on a qualified waitlist, in the order in which they were drawn. If one or both of the selected applicants were unable to obtain approval of a CUP from the Planning Commission, then the next eligible applicant on the qualified list would be eligible to seek a CUP.

Once two selected applicants successfully obtain conditional use permits, then upon staff’s inspection of the applicants’ sites and vehicles, payment of applicable fees, and confirmation that the applicants have met all outstanding conditions, the City would issue operator permits to the applicants. However, applicants would not be allowed to begin operating until they had successfully obtained any additional approvals from the State.

For your information, you can view the text of the City’s Cannabis Ordinance 2183 ; you can also view a cannabis buffer map . Please note, the City has provided this map as a public service and convenience. The City makes no guarantee as to the accuracy of the content or completeness of the information. It is incumbent upon the applicant to conduct any necessary research to ensure minimum compliance with the Cannabis Ordinance.

  • Operator’s Permit Application: $4,600 non-refundable (due at time of application submittal)
  • Conditional Use Permit: $2,535 deposit (due after lottery selection)
  • Operator’s Permit Annual Fee: $10,500 non-refundable (due prior to issuance of Operator’s Permit and every year thereafter)

For your convenience, we have created a checklist that highlights all of the required forms and documents as part of the submission for the initial operator’s permit. Please review the Submittal Checklist for Cannabis Operator Permit .

Additional forms and documents that must be included:

Cannabis Information and Regulations In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Proposition 64 legalized the non-medical use of cannabis by people aged 21