How Does the Adult Use of Marijuana Act Affect the City of Davis?

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) became effective on November 9, 2016.  The AUMA legalizes personal consumption, personal cultivation and a commercial cannabis industry.  The following summarizes some of the key provisions in the AUMA.

Personal Consumption and Cultivation

  • Legalizes cannabis use for persons over 21 years of age.
  • Allows for persons over 21 to possess, transport, purchase, obtain or give away up to 28.5 grams of non-concentrated or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.
  • Persons over 21 years of age are allowed to cultivate up to six (6) marijuana plants within a private residence, inclusive of within a greenhouse or other structure on the same parcel of the property that is not visible from a public space.  A residence includes single-family homes, multi-family apartment units and mobile homes.
  • No smoking of marijuana is allowed in public places (except where authorized locally). 
  • No smoking of marijuana is allowed where smoking tobacco is prohibited.
  • Local governments may reasonably regulate but not prohibit personal indoor cultivation.
  • Local governments may regulate or prohibit personal outdoor cultivation.

Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Categories

The AUMA provides for up to 19 different types of state licenses for commercial cannabis.  These business license types largely mirror those provided for in the Medical Cannabis Safety and Regulation Act (MCRSA).  The MCRSA is specific to medical cannabis and will coexist with the AUMA.  A summary of the business license categories is as follows:

Dispensary/Retailer Licenses – Businesses that engage in the retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products.  The dispensary licenses also allows for deliveries in addition to a brick and mortar storefront.

Manufacturing Licenses – There are two types of manufacturing license types.  One manufacturing license uses volatile solvents, while the other license does not.  The state will limit the number of licenses that use volatile solvents in the manufacturing process.

Testing License – Laboratories that test cannabis and cannabis products.

Cultivation Licenses – Commercial cultivation licenses vary depending on size of grow, and the types of light that are used.

Distributor License – Dedicated solely to the storage and distribution of products from the cultivators and/or manufacturers to dispensaries.

Transporter License - Transporters of cannabis and cannabis products between licenses.

Microbusiness License – Allows for vertical integration, inclusive of cultivation in an area less than 10,000 square feet, nonvolatile manufacturing and dispensing.

The AUMA bars cannabis businesses from being located within 600 feet of schools and other areas where children congregate. 

The AUMA and MCRSA provide the opportunity for cities and counties to adopt regulations for the cannabis industry specific to their community. 

Current Status of Cannabis Regulations in the City of Davis

In anticipation of potential voter approval of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, at the November 1, 2016 meeting, City Council approved an interim moratorium on the establishment, creation or expansion of commercial cannabis uses, and outdoor cultivation of cannabis.  At the December 6, 2016 meeting, City Council extended the interim moratorium to July 4, 2017. 

The intent in approving the interim moratorium was to allow for City staff to bring back sensible cannabis regulations for City Council consideration informed by stakeholder outreach. 

Next Steps for the Development of Cannabis Regulations

Planning Commission Hearing on a proposed Cannabis Ordinance

City Council Cannabis Workshop

City Council Hearing on a proposed Cannabis Ordinance

Cannabis Dispensaries - Pre-Application Submittal

The City is currently in the process of developing regulations pertaining to cannabis dispensaries. It is expected that Planning approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for cannabis dispensaries will be required.  As part of the information being gathered to inform the decision-making on the final regulations, the City is accepting Pre-Applications for proposed cannabis dispensaries.  Staff will review and provide a status report on Pre-Applications that are received to the City Council to help the City understand the overall interest in opening a dispensary, locations, and other considerations.  No formal City action will be taken on the Pre-Applications, and submitting a pre-application does not provide for preferential consideration of a use permit when the formal CUP process commences at a date to be determined by City Council.  

A Pre-Application submittal shall include the following:

  • Completed Planning Application Form ( It includes the planning application, fee agreement form, and environmental form.
  • Description of the proposal, address, general operations such as hours, number of employees, and other details.
  • $2,800 application fee deposit.

After an ordinance and regulations are in place, if is determined that a Pre-Application is eligible in terms of location, zoning, and other factors that may be adopted, a formal CUP application may be submitted.  Any funds remaining on a Pre-Application deposit would be applied to a CUP application.  Please note that additional information and fees may be needed to fully process the Planning application.  If it is not processed or if the application is withdrawn, the deposit amount remaining would be refunded. 

For questions, contact Cathy Camacho at, Community Development & Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Davis, CA (530) 757-5610, ext. 7235.


Ordinance 2509 - Adopted by the City Council on July 11, 2017 for permitting process and regulatory requirements related to the operation of commercial cannabis businesses.

Resolution No. 17-093 - Adopted by the City Council on June 20, 2017 setting business license tax rates for cannabis businesses.

Ordinance 2503 - Adopted by the City Council on June 6, 2017 for zoning regulations related to manufacturing, testing, research, and distribution businesses for commercial cannabis.

Ordinance 2497 - Adopted by the City Council on April 18, 2017 for the personal cultivation of cannabis and related definitions.

Ordinance 2492 - Extension of Marijuana Moratorium through July 4, 2017.

Urgency Ordinance No. 2488 – Marijuana Interim Zoning Moratorium through December 15, 2016.

Urgency Ordinance No. 2489 – Marijuana Smoking Restrictions.

Additional Information & Resources

City Council Staff Report for Marijuana Considerations November 1, 2016: Marijuana Update 12/06/16

City Council Staff Report for Marijuana Business Moratorium Extension December 6, 2016: Marijuana Update 12/06/2016 

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act Text Proposition 64  

League of California Cities Medical Marijuana Information Page

League of California Cities Adult Use of Marijuana Information Page

California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation

For further questions or inquiries related to City of Davis cannabis regulations, please contact the Planning Department at (530) 757-5610. 

For questions or concerns related to code enforcement or violations, please contact the Police Department at (530) 747-5400.