Cannabis Regulations

In November 2020, sixty-three percent (63%) of San Bruno voters approved a cannabis business tax which allows the City to impose a tax of up to 10% on the gross receipts of any cannabis business allowed to operate in the City.  At present however, Title 6 of the San Bruno Municipal Code prohibits cannabis businesses from operating within the City.
At their September 27, 2022 meeting, the San Bruno City Council introduced an ordinance to partially repeal the prohibition of cannabis businesses and enact regulations that will allow up to 3 cannabis retail businesses and 1 distribution business.
The process to develop regulations for cannabis businesses was set in motion when the San Bruno City Council included the development of such regulations as a part of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Strategic Initiatives. The City hired a consultant to lead the process and work on the effort started shortly thereafter.  On February 8, 2022, the City Council held a Study Session to consider options for commercial cannabis operations in the city. At the conclusion of the Study Session, City Council directed staff to proceed with preparation of draft Municipal Code amendments and related procedures that would provide for up to 3 commercial cannabis operations, consisting of any combination of cannabis retailers in zoning districts in the San Bruno downtown area, along portions of San Bruno Avenue and El Camino Real, and at The Shops at Tanforan, and for distribution uses in the M-1 (light industrial) Zone north of Interstate I-380.
At public hearings on July 19, 2022 and August 16, 2022, the Planning Commission discussed and made recommendations to amend the Municipal Code Article III (Zoning) to allow for commercial cannabis operations in certain parts of San Bruno as shown on the attached map. The Planning Commission also recommended additions to the map to include Bayhill Shopping Center and Towne Center. 

Cannabis Qualifying Zones Map_Final
Commercial cannabis uses cannot be located within 600 feet of what would be considered to be sensitive use such as schools and parks.  The sensitive use map is currently in the process of being updated based on the City Council direction given on September 27, 2022.

Once adopted, the cannabis ordinance would do the following:
  • Maintain provisions for personal cultivation/use of up to six plants (as currently provided for in the Code). 
  • Allow for Cannabis Retailers (previously termed “dispensaries”) in selected areas of San Bruno. Cannabis retailers would allow for general retail storefront sales of cannabis or cannabis products, packaging and labeling of cannabis for sale, and could also include delivery services to residences or end-users. Cannabis retailers would be allowed subject to obtaining approval of a commercial cannabis operators permit as well as a conditional use permit. Cannabis retailers would be required to comply with security and transportation requirements. 
  • Allow for cannabis distribution facilities (commercial cannabis distribution) in selected areas of the city. Cannabis distribution facilities would provide for storage and distribution of commercial cannabis products to licensed commercial cannabis operations, though no retail sales would be allowed from the site. These uses would be allowed subject to obtaining approval of a Commercial Cannabis Operators Permit as well as a Conditional Use Permit. Any distribution service would be required to comply with security and transportation requirements.
There would be no other types of commercial cannabis operations permitted; all of these uses are currently and would continue to be prohibited by the City of San Bruno: 
  • No commercial cannabis cultivation. (This use involves the commercial planting, growing, harvesting, drying, grading and trimming of cannabis, and can occur indoors or outdoors, including in a nursery setting.) 
  • No commercial cannabis manufacturing, including CBD (cannabidiol) extract derived from cannabis. (This use involves subjecting cannabis to a process which concentrates cannabis into an edible or topical product.) 
  • No commercial cannabis testing/laboratories. (This use involves state-mandated testing of cannabis products in a state-licensed laboratory setting prior to distribution and sale.) 
  • No cannabis microbusinesses. (This is a business involved in at least three types of commercial cannabis activities, including retail sale, cultivation, distribution and/or manufacturing). 
  • No temporary cannabis events. (This is an event where cannabis may be consumed over a short period of time and at a temporary event location.) 
  • No “cannabis cafes” for onsite consumption of cannabis products. 
The San Bruno City Council will consider adoption of the ordinances at their October 11, 2022 City Council meeting.  The meeting details will be available 72 hours before the meeting, on the San Bruno Agenda Center.
Date Staff Reports and Material
September 27, 2022
City Council Public Hearing
August 16, 2022
Planning Commission
Staff Report (Pg. 9)
July 19, 2022
Planning Commission 
Staff Report (Pg. 7)
February 8, 2022
City Council Study Session
Staff Report (Pg. 3)