Cannabis Information

About

On January 27, 2020, the City Council directed staff to work on a commercial cannabis program and approved a ballot initiative for the November 2020 election to allow the City to tax commercial cannabis operations.  The intent was that if the ballot initiative passed, then commercial cannabis regulations would be enacted.

UPDATES

  • The City will open two application periods for commercial cannabis businesses in the first year of the program.  
    • The first application period will only allow businesses in the non-Coastal Zone.  During the first period, up to 3 retail and 10 industrial-type permits may be awarded.  
    • Once a final decision is received from the CA Coastal Commission regarding whether commercial cannabis businesses will be permissible in the Coastal Zone, another application period will be opened for 2 additional retail permits and any unfilled industrial-type permits (for a maximum of 5 retail and 10 industrial permits).
  • A draft of the Local Coastal Plan Implementation Plan Amendment is now available for viewing.  This is tentatively scheduled to be presented to City Council in May.  
  • Sign up for our Notify Me  feature to receive any updates in the future.  When you Sign In and subscribe, not only will you receive cannabis updates, but your email address will be included in a list that will be used to notify subscribers when the application documents are released and of the Orientation Meeting information.  
    • To subscribe, you will enter your email address and scroll down to the News Flash section and click on the envelope next to Cannabis Updates.  (Do not select text.)
    • You will also need to confirm your subscription in the confirmation email. 
  • See the new FAQs section below.

Background

  • October 12, 2020 - City Council unanimously endorsed a framework for commercial cannabis regulations. 
  • November 2020 - Voters approved Measure I, a ballot measure for the taxation of cannabis. 
  • November 23, 2020 - City Council viewed a draft of the Regulatory Ordinance (Chapter 6.420) and a Resolution for the Maximum Number of Businesses and Buffers from Sensitive Uses.   
  • February 8, 2021 - City Council approved the first reading of the Regulatory Ordinance (Chapter 6.420) and Zoning Ordinance (Section 24.105.200).  Council approved a Resolution for the Maximum Number of Businesses and Buffers from Sensitive Uses. 
  • February 24, 2021 - City Council approved the second reading of the Regulatory Ordinance (Chapter 6.420) and Zoning Ordinance (Section 24.105.200)  (City Council Meeting Video).
  • March 8, 2021 - City Council approved the cannabis permit application fees and an agreement for a cannabis consultant to assist the City with the application evaluation process, as well as with background checks, compliance, and auditing.  

Draft Local Coastal Program Amendment

  • Local Coastal Program (LCP) Amendment - Tentatively scheduled to present to City Council in May - This will be a City Council public hearing regarding a resolution authorizing submittal of a Local Coastal Program Amendment to the California Coastal Commission.  You may follow City Council meetings and find staff reports in the Agenda Center.

Approved Ordinance and Resolution

FAQs

1) How many businesses will be licensed in the City of Ventura? The City Council approved a maximum of 5 storefront or non-storefront retail cannabis business permits or microbusinesses.  They also approved a maximum of 10 industrial type business permits, including manufacturers, distributors, or testing laboratories.

2) What might these businesses look like?  For a sense of what a cannabis business might look like, the City’s proposed regulations are similar to Port Hueneme, so the appearance and operations of cannabis businesses in Ventura will be similar to what you see in Port Hueneme.

3) When will applications be available?  The City does not yet have applications available and is currently working with the cannabis consultant and multiple departments on the applications.  The City is aiming for a tentative date of June 1, 2021.

4) How can I be notified about commercial cannabis updates?  You may sign up for Notify Me on the City website and select "Cannabis Updates". Enter your email address and confirm the confirmation email. (Please do not use the text message feature; this is not available.) This list will be used to inform anyone registered of the application release and of the Orientation Meeting once scheduled.

5) What are the sensitive use buffers for commercial cannabis in the City of Ventura?  See the Buffers section below.

Buffers

Buffers are only one layer of regulatory protection for the community.  Buffers are imperfect tools, but are intended to screen out locations that could not possibly be appropriate. The rest of the intensive application process will include review and scoring of applications by City departments, including the Police Department, and a public meeting where public comment can be received and factored in.

The City Council approved a resolution for the buffers from sensitive uses.  The buffers will be 600 feet around elementary, middle, and high schools, whether public, private, or charter, and this will be measured from the front door of the cannabis business to the property line of the sensitive use.

In addition, the following are some "soft buffers", which are not in the resolution, but that will be included in the merit-based application.  This means that points will be deducted for proximity to these locations/buffers.

  • Daycare and youth centers were not included in the resolution for sensitive use buffers, BUT points may be deducted for proximity to those locations.
  • A “well-traveled path to schools” will also be a soft buffer.  

**More information about Location and Neighborhood Compatibility criteria will be released when the application becomes available.**

Interactive Map 

The interactive map is intended to provide you with the ability to see what the 600' buffer around sensitive uses will look like.  If any part of a property touches a buffer, then that site is ineligible to even apply to locate a cannabis business at that location.  Please note, in addition to these buffers, there will be applicational criteria for location and neighborhood compatibility that will effect an application evaluation.  The criteria will be released when the applications become available.  At this point, the City will not provide informal zoning verifications, but will provide formal zoning verification as part of the application process.  Use of this map will not be a verification of zoning.

Instructions

The recommended browser to view the map is Chrome.

  • Properties in shades of pink are potential locations for retail cannabis businesses.
  • Properties in shades of light blue are potential locations for retail and industrial cannabis businesses.
  • Be sure to click the "600' School Buffer" to apply the buffer to the map.  

Interactive Map

Cannabis Map