Commercial Cannabis Regulations

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Chula Vista voters approved Measure Q on November 6, 2018. Measure Q asked Chula Vista voters:

Shall the measure to impose a business license tax of at least 5%, and up to 15%, of gross receipts on cannabis
(marijuana) businesses, and at least $5, and up to $25, per square foot on space dedicated to cannabis cultivation,
to raise an estimated $6,000,000 per year, until voters change or repeal it, to fund general City services,
including enforcement efforts against cannabis businesses that are operating illegally, be adopted?

The Chula Vista City Council approved a Commercial Cannabis Ordinance on March 16, 2018 contingent on Measure Q passing. The Ordinance was updated on November 13 and 27, 2018. The City’s Commercial Cannabis ordinance, allows licensed cannabis retail, manufacturing, testing, distribution, and cultivation businesses to operate in the City of Chula Vista. The Chula Vista City Council has expressed its intent to spend a portion of cannabis tax revenue to support public health and safety, youth education and intervention, and to fund enforcement against illegal cannabis businesses.

Draft City of Chula Vista Cannabis License Application
The draft application is being finalized in anticipation of opening the application period in January. The application will be reviewed with participants at the forum on December 13. Note: the final application will be an online form that applicants will complete. The online application will require additional forms to be completed and uploaded. These additional forms are included in the pdf. The “live” version of the draft application will be reviewed at the December 13 forum.

A Commercial Cannabis Regulations Application Forum will be held December 13, 2018, from 4 to 6 p.m., to provide information on cannabis regulations and the implementation of  recreational sales, manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, testing, and delivery services in Chula Vista. The forum will be held at Chula Vista City Hall, Council Chambers,  276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista, 91910. The forum will be recorded and the audio recording posted by 5 p.m., December 14, 2018.

These  Cannabis Regulations serve to implement the Commercial Cannabis ordinance approved by the City Council. All interested parties should review the regulations to determine how to participate in various facets of the commercial cannabis industry in Chula Vista. Please visit this page for responses to Frequently Asked Questions.

A public forum on the draft regulations was held on Wednesday, September 19, 2018,  at 6 p.m., in the City Council Chambers located at 276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910. Listen to the audio recording here.

Chula Vista Municipal Code chapter 5.19 and the City’s Cannabis Regulations contain the local licensing and regulatory provisions governing commercial cannabis businesses in the City of Chula Vista. Chapter 5.19 was amended by the City Council on November 27, 2018; the approved amendments are scheduled to go into effect on December 27, 2018. See below for complete version of chapter 5.19 (with approved amendments in red-line strikeout version) and the current Cannabis Regulations.

Commercial Cannabis Documents and Links

1. Commercial Cannabis Ordinance (updated November 27, 2018)
2. City Council Agenda Statement - November 13, 2018
3. Commercial Cannabis Regulations
4. Frequently Asked Questions
5. Additional Cannabis Ordinance and Enforcement information

The City’s Commercial Cannabis Ordinance and Regulations are subject to amendment at any time.


In 2016, voters in the State of California approved Proposition 64 which legalized adult recreational use of cannabis/marijuana. This followed voter approval of Proposition 215 in 1996 of adult medicinal use of cannabis/marijuana. The City of Chula Vista has received information from a variety of sources regarding Marijuana/Cannabis and is providing these links for information only. The City of Chula Vista does not endorse and makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information provided in these links to City/County/State websites, news articles, research reports, publications, and other information on Marijuana/Cannabis. 

Presentations and Reports

  • Cannabis Economic Impact Forum - February 22, 2018
    • Economic Impacts of Cannabis Legalization, City of Chula Vista Presentation
    • Retail Dispensary Jobs, Opportunities and Tax Revenues, Laura Wilkinson Presentation
    • Cannabis Legalization and Economic Development in the Mile High City, Dan Rowland Presentation
    • Cannabis Economic Impact, David McPherson Presentation
    • Future Innovations in the Cannabis Industry, Jason Poulis Presentation
  • City of Bellflower, Cannabis - Is it a Solution to Your General Fund Deficit, February 2018 Presentation
  • December 12, 2017 Cannabis Workshop Presentation
  • October 26, 2017 Cannabis Workshop Presentation
  • August 3, 2017 Cannabis Workshop Presentation
  • Summary of City of Chula Vista Tour of Aurora, CO Report

Government Resources

  • State of California Cannabis Information Portal
  • California Marijuana Cultivation Laws: Health and Safety Code
  • Colorado Department of Public Safety: Marijuana Legalization in Colorado Early Findings
  • Colorado Marijuana Business Applicant Information Link
  • State and Local Taxes on Marijuana - Office of Legislative Research, Connecticut Report
  • City of San Diego Marijuana Information Link
  • City of Campbell, CA - Voter Information Guide Link
  • Aurora, CO - Marijuana Enforcement Division Link
  • Message From the Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig Link 

Studies and Publications

  • 2018 California Cannabis Forecast - Green Market Report Report
  • Economics of the California Cut Flower Industry and Potential Impacts of Legal Cannabis Report
  • Implications of Marijuana Legalization for Adolescent Substance Use: By Christian Hopfer Article
  • Colorado's Teen Marijuana Usage Dips after Legalization, Scientific American, Editing by Steve Gorman and Diane Craft. Article
  •  Legalized Medical Marijuana Doesn't Increase Teen Usage, Study Finds: By Debra Borchardt. Article

  • Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis  Article

  • Marijuana Use in the U.S. Has Increased Since 2005, But Not Because of Legalization, Study Says by Robert Valencia

    Study Link
    Article Link

  • Marijuana Inc. Governing: The States and Localities: By J.B. Wogan

  • Marijuana Prevention Initiative: Policies, Practices and Prevention Efforts Impacting Youth Access to and Use of Marijuana in San Diego County, By Live Well San Diego, Center for Community Research.


  • Cal Norml: A Summary Of The Medical Cannabis Regulations: By Canormi_admin

  • California Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Initiative (2016):

  • New Regulatory Structure for Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis Laws
  • How One California City Closed All its Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: By Alicia Robinson (Riverside Press-Enterprise)


  • The impact on employment in Colorado. Article

  • Cannabis Advocates Seek Special Elections: By Phil Diehl. Article
  • Unpacking Pot’s Impact in Colorado: By Vanessa Schipan. Link 
  • Marijuana Dispensaries Are Not Magnets for Crime, Study Says. Here’s Why: By Brooke Edwards Staggs

    Articles Link Link 

  • California Cannabis Taxes by City Article 
  • Preventing Alcohol, Marijuana, and Cigarette Use Among Adolescents: Peer Pressure Resistance Training Versus Establishing Conservative Norms: By William B. Hansen PhD.


  • Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: Investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse and dependence: By Magdalena Cerdá


  • San Diego Unveils Rules For Marijuana Cultivation Manufacturing:

    By: David Garrick

  • This California County Took in $3.7 Million in Pot Fees. Now it Might Ban Cultivation: By Peter Hecht


  • Legalizing Retail Marijuana In Colorado:


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