Important Updates:

COVID-19/Coronavirus - The City of Chula Vista is suspending operations except for critical public safety operations. For other exceptions and additional information visit our Coronavirus page here.




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Commercial Cannabis

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The City of Chula Vista has adopted local laws which authorize licensed cannabis retail, manufacturing, testing, distribution, and cultivation businesses to operate in Chula Vista.


  • New Application Period Postponed - Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we have to postponed the opening of a new application period for manufacturing, distribution, cultivation, and testing laboratories. We appreciate your patience as we work to move the process online. - Updated April 1, 2020

Cannabis License Applications


Letter to Cannabis Appplicant
HdL Interview Scores
HdL Application Review Scores with Categories by District - Updated February 3, 2020
HdL Combined Application & Interview Scores

Application Process

The Cannabis License application process is detailed in the City’s Municipal Code and Cannabis Regulations. During the City’s Initial Application Period, the City received 136 applications for cannabis licenses. These applications soon will be submitted to HdL Companies for assessment. Based on HdL Companies’ assessment, results of Chula Vista Police Department background investigations, and a final review, selected applicants will be invited to continue with Phase 2 of the application process. The City anticipates receiving assessed Phase 1 applications from HdL Companies by June 2019 and then, upon completion of background investigations and a final Phase 1 review, begin Phase 2 of the application process soon thereafter.

Information about the applications received in Phase 1 can be found here. The information provided reflects that which has been submitted to the City. Although staff have attempted to provide the most accurate information possible, the accuracy of the information is not guaranteed. Additionally, please be aware that applicants have not been assessed or deemed qualified and proposed premise locations have not been vetted or approved. The City reserves the right to reject or approve any and all applications based on the standards set forth in applicable law and regulations, or otherwise in its sole discretion, taking into account the health, safety and welfare of the community, and in accordance with its general police powers authority.


Local Cannabis Taxes

Chula Vista voters approved Measure Q on November 6, 2018. Measure Q imposes a cannabis business tax of $15 per square foot of canopy on cannabis cultivators and 7% of gross receipts on all other cannabis businesses.

Commercial Cannabis Documents and Links

  1. NOD Appeal Instructions
  2. Request to Appeal NOD - Updated
  3. Consolidated Request to Appeal NOD form - New
  4. Appeal in Writing Only Evidence and Argument
  5. Commercial Cannabis Ordinance - updated November 27, 2018
  6. City Council Agenda Statement - November 13, 2018
  7. Commercial Cannabis Regulations - amended and effective as of November 19, 2019
  8. Additional Cannabis Ordinance and Enforcement information
  9. Map Gallery
  10. Zoning Map
  11. Municipal Code with Zoning Definitions

Note: The City’s Commercial Cannabis laws and regulations are subject to amendment at any time. Applicants and Licensees are responsible for complying with all requirements as they become effective.


Application Fees

The following cannabis license application fees were approved by the Chula Vista City Council on December 18, 2018.
Phase 1 fees:
Application phase 1A “Application Process Development” $2,683
Application phase 1B “Application Evaluation and Consensus Review” $2,065
Application phase 1C “Interview and Second Ranking” $868
Application phase 1D “Final Application Review Selection” $433

Additional fees:
Provisional Background Review $300
Secondary Background Review $347
Zoning Verification Letter $183
Appeal Fee $3,217

Phase 2 fees:
Application/Initial Compliance Inspection Phase II Fee:  $16,570
Background Review Fee (CVPD):  $347 per Premises Owner individual to be backgrounded

Background Information

Learn more about background information, studies and publications.


Requests for Additional Information

City staff will not be answering in person, telephone, or email questions at this time. If, after reviewing all resources provided on this page, you have additional questions, please submit your question(s) here. Please be aware that the City may or may not provide additional information in response to submitted questions. In the event that additional information is provided, such information will be posted in the FAQ section above.

Subscribe to Receive Cannabis News

Please register below to receive updates on Commercial Cannabis information. The City endeavors to provide timely information to those registered to receive emails regarding Commercial Cannabis updates. However, it is the responsibility of applicants and interested parties to be aware of deadlines, regulations, ordinance requirements, and City Council agenda items related to Commercial Cannabis that are posted on the City’s website.


Note: The FAQs are intended for informational and discussion purposes only; the information provided therein does not modify Chula Vista laws or regulations. In the event of a conflict between the FAQ information and existing laws or regulations, the laws and regulations shall govern.


  • Can you have separate cannabis premises on the same parcel?
  • Are you intending on releasing a form for the notarized labor peace agreement statement or should applicants create their own labor peace agreement statements for notarization?
  • Can you clarify what is being considered in Phase One before an applicant is moved on to Phase Two?
  • Can you have separate cannabis premises on the same parcel?
  • Can you have the same premise with two separate businesses?
  • Can you have the same premise with two separate businesses?
  • Could a non-profit run a cannabis-based business?
  • Currently, drivers that are delivering cannabis in Chula Vista from legal dispensaries elsewhere are allowed. Will we be required to have full backgrounds if the tax measure passes right away?
  • Do engineers need to be licensed in California?
  • Do we need to complete a separate application for each business we want to operate?
More »

Fingerprint and Background Check (CVMC 5.19.050.A.1.i) for each owners, officers, and managers

NOTE: Completed Live Scan. Owners, Managers and Officers must make and complete a Live Scan appointment within 30 days of application submission using the form here. The Chula Vista Cannabis License Live Scan form contains a "Your Number" field. You must provide your application submission ID number (which will be provided upon application submission) in the "Your Number" field. Live Scans must be completed at an authorized California Live Scan vendor. For information about out-of-state fingerprint processing, please contact the Chula Vista Police Department Special Investigations Unit at (619) 409-5059.

Previous Updates:

For your information, City anticipates opening another Application Period for manufacturing, distribution, cultivation, and testing laboratories in late February or early March 2020 (Postponed - please see message above). City is also exploring the possibility of a reduced application fee for those who have previously submitted a substantially similar application with the City of Chula Vista.

On January 15, 2019 City Council set the tax rate for cultivation at $15 per square foot of canopy and 7% of gross receipts on all other cannabis businesses.

Update on Phase I Application Process (January 22, 2020)

City has recently begun to issue Notice of Decision letters. Applicants receiving Notice of Decision letters have the right to appeal to the City Manager in accordance with Chula Vista Municipal Code section 5.19.050.A.6. City will post a list of applicants that have been approved to move on to Phase II of the application process in the coming weeks.

Update on Phase I Application Process (November 8, 2019)

City is nearing completion of the Phase I application process. City previously published final scoring information for all cannabis license applicants from its third-party consultant, HdL Companies (“HdL”). The score spreadsheets provided by HdL can be found below. City also previously estimated that the secondary background investigations portion of all 135 applications (both restricted and non-restricted license types) would be completed in mid-October.

As of November 8, 2018, significant progress has been made on secondary background investigations; however, they are not yet complete. As of this date, approximately 67 percent of retail license background investigations and 57 percent of all other license type background investigations are complete. Because secondary background investigations are not yet complete, applicants may still be disqualified despite their application and interview scores. Once the secondary background investigations are complete and all Phase I applications have undergone final assessment, applicants will receive a Notice of Decision letter informing them whether their application has been rejected or whether they have been tentatively approved to proceed to Phase II.

At this time, no Phase I applicants have been rejected and none have proceeded to Phase II. Applicants receiving Notice of Decision letters will be informed of the right to appeal to the City Manager in accordance with Chula Vista Municipal Code section 5.19.050.A.6. Please note that there is no right to appeal to the City Manager prior to receiving a Notice of Decision.

We appreciate your continued patience and your participation in City’s process.

Update on Phase 1 Application Process (August 27, 2019)

The City of Chula Vista has received final scoring information for all cannabis retail license applicants from its third-party consultant, HdL Companies (HdL).  The scores provided by HdL consist of an application score (total possible score of 500) and, for those applicants who were interviewed, an interview score (total possible score of 500). Please be aware that secondary background investigations of applicants are not yet complete. As a result, applicants may still be disqualified despite their application and interview scores.The following information was distributed to all applicants on August 27, 2019

Notice of Initial Application Period  (Notice posted 12/27/2018)

  • The Initial Application Period for Storefront Retail, Non-Storefront Retail, and Cultivation licenses has closed.
  • The Initial Application Period for Manufacturing, Distribution; and Testing Laboratory licenses has closed.

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