San Joaquin County Cannabis Overview

  1. California Cannabis
  2. San Joaquin County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in San Joaquin County?

Yes, cannabis cultivation is legal in San Joaquin, California, for medical and recreational uses. California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, also called Proposition 215 in 1996, legalizing medical marijuana. Proposition 64 permits minors and adults 18 years or older with specific medical conditions to use medical cannabis. Also, in 2016, the state's voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), also called Proposition 64, legalizing recreational cannabis. Therefore, California adults 21 years and older can use recreational marijuana legally. The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) regulates the state's cannabis activities.

As stipulated in Senate Bill 94, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) is the primary statute regulating cannabis activities in the state. It authorizes cities and counties to set rules for regulating cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions. San Joaquin County adopted a Commercial Cannabis Ordinance in 2019 to regulate commercial cannabis activities in the county, including cultivation. Under this ordinance, commercial cannabis cultivation activities include growing, harvesting, drying, curing, trimming, and grading marijuana. Section 2(a) of the ordinance prohibits county residents from cultivating marijuana without a cultivator license. It also forbids residents from growing commercial marijuana outdoors.

In addition, the Commercial Cannabis Ordinance prohibits San Joaquin residents from cultivating cannabis for commercial purposes in residential and commercial zoning districts. Licensed cultivators can only grow marijuana in industrial (I-P, I-L, and I-G) and agricultural (AG) zoning districts. Such businesses must obtain use permits and special purpose plan permits to operate.

Furthermore, San Joaquin County adopted the Personal Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance in 2018 to regulate personal cannabis cultivation, processing, and possession in the county. It considers the growing of cannabis in private residences a public nuisance. Only adults, 21 years or older, living in unincorporated parts of San Joaquin County can cultivate cannabis for personal use. The growing areas must be indoors and cannot exceed 100 square feet. Persons caught violating the Personal Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance risk administrative, civil, or criminal penalties.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in San Joaquin County?

Yes. The San Joaquin County Commercial Cannabis Ordinance makes it legal to manufacture commercial cannabis products within the county boundaries. Under this ordinance, commercial cannabis manufacturing activities include preparation, extraction, compounding, packaging, and labeling cannabis products. Processors must obtain cannabis manufacturing licenses from the San Joaquin Environmental Health Department (EHD).

The county's Commercial Cannabis Ordinance prohibits commercial cannabis manufacturing operations within residential and commercial zoning districts. However, licensed cannabis manufacturers can operate within I-P, I-L, and I-G industrial zones and AG agricultural zoning districts. They must obtain use permits and special purpose plan permits to operate legally and abide by all state and federal regulations specific to their operations. Commercial cannabis manufacturers in San Joaquin County must also follow guidelines established by the Public Works Department, Building Inspection Division, Fire Department, and Environmental Health Department.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in San Joaquin County?

Yes. The San Joaquin County Commercial Cannabis Ordinance makes it legal for licensed cannabis retailers to sell marijuana products within the county. Only adults 21 years and older can legally purchase cannabis from dispensaries. Retailers are permitted to sell edibles and other cannabis products on their business premises. However, they cannot operate within residential zones or establish storefront retail cannabis dispensaries. Only non-storefront retail delivery businesses are allowed in San Joaquin County.

Also, commercial cannabis dispensaries can only be situated in C-C and C-G commercial zones and I-W, I-P, I-L, and I-G industrial zoning districts. All cannabis dispensaries in San Joaquin County must comply with the guidelines of the Fire Department, Building Inspection Division, Public Works Department, and the Environmental Health Department. They must also abide by all state and federal regulations affecting their commercial operations.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in San Joaquin County?

Yes. According to the San Joaquin County Commercial Cannabis Ordinance, retail cannabis businesses can deliver marijuana and marijuana products to residential addresses. People with medical marijuana ID cards can also have medical cannabis delivered to their homes.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in San Joaquin County

San Joaquin County approved the implementation of the MMIC (Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program) in 2008 and officially opened the program on January 5, 2009. Under this program, county residents diagnosed with severe medical conditions and recommendations for medical cannabis by licensed doctors can obtain medical marijuana cards.

Qualified persons must schedule appointments with the Public Health Services Department by calling the Department at (209) 3404-468 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. The Department attends to applicants strictly by appointment. Interested persons must apply in person at:

San Joaquin County

Public Health Services

1601E. Hazelton Avenue,

Stockton, CA 95205

The Department requires prospective medical marijuana cardholders to apply in person because it must capture their photos physically.

The requirements for medical marijuana card application in San Joaquin County include:

  • A completed Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form
  • Valid government-issued photo identification such as a California identification card or driver's license
  • Proof of residence in San Joaquin County, such as a current utility bill or mortgage agreement.
  • A copy of the applicant's medical records issued by a licensed physician stating the health condition qualifying them for medical marijuana
  • Application fee of $20 for persons under MediCal insurance and $40 for all other applicants

Interested persons can also obtain paper copies of the application form by visiting the Vital Registration Office of the Public Health Services during regular working hours.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of San Joaquin County?

Cannabis legalization has positively impacted San Joaquin County's economy. A Cannabis Sales by County report compiled by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration details cannabis taxable sales for San Joaquin County. The report shows that the county's cannabis sales tax figures have increased over time.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, per capita sales were $4.34, while the total taxable sales from cannabis in San Joaquin County were over $3.2million. By the end of the fourth quarter of 2019, per capita sales figures increased to $10.13, while total taxable sales exceeded $7.7million. In the third quarter of 2021, San Joaquin recorded $17.49 per capita sales and total taxable sales of over $13.7 million. These data indicate an upward trend in San Joaquin County's cannabis-generated revenue.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in San Joaquin County?

A 2020 DUI (Driving Under the Influence) report published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) shows 2,154 DUI arrests in San Joaquin County in 2017. This figure decreased by 3.1% in 2018 to 2,087 arrests. As of November 2021, the DMV is yet to publish data on the number of DUI arrests recorded in California in 2019. So, there is no evidence that cannabis legalization significantly affected DUI arrest rates in San Joaquin County.

According to the 2018 arrest reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 53 cannabis possession arrests and 17 cannabis manufacturing and sales arrests in San Joaquin County. In 2020, cannabis possession arrest figures recorded by the Sheriff's Office rose to 92. However, cannabis manufacturing and sales arrests dropped to 6 in 2020. These data indicate that marijuana-possession arrests in San Joaquin County increased after cannabis legalization, but cannabis manufacturing and sale arrest numbers dropped significantly.

San Joaquin County Cannabis Overview