County of Marin - News Releases - Adult Use Cannabis

For Immediate Release
December 29, 2017

Reminder: Ban in Place for Adult-Use Cannabis

Marin prohibited cannabis business activities in February 2017

San Rafael, CA – Even when the calendar page is flipped from 2017 to 2018, there won’t be a sudden flurry of pop-up stores selling adult-use cannabis in the unincorporated sections of Marin County.

Cannabis leavesThe County of Marin will not be issuing business licenses for retail adult use cannabis stores anytime soon.
Although the passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016 made it legal to use and grow small quantities of cannabis – a federally illegal drug – the County of Marin has an ordinance on the books that prohibits business activity related to cannabis. The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on February 7, 2017, to ban adult use cannabis business activities in unincorporated areas to maintain local control.

When California voters passed Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, it allowed local governments to ban business activities or develop local ordinances to govern adult use cannabis business activities. Statewide, adults over 21 can still use cannabis and cultivate up to six plants indoors following certain restrictions. 

After the County works out its medicinal cannabis business license program next summer, it will turn its attention to adult use rules and regulations, said Inge Lundegaard, a planner with the Marin County Community Development Agency.

For now, the County ordinance contains two prohibitions. First, it bans all adult use cannabis business activities in unincorporated Marin, including manufacturing and retail distribution. Second, it prohibits outdoor cultivation of cannabis whether it’s for commercial use or personal use. The local ban gives the County time to implement and learn from the licensing program for medicinal cannabis retailers that is currently underway.

With the ban on adult use cannabis, residents living near a licensed medicinal cannabis retailer in the future would be assured that such a business would be licensed for medicinal purposes only. Also, whenever adult-use business licenses are issued, a licensed cannabis retailer in Marin would have to be least 600 feet from schools, public parks, smoke shops, and other cannabis dispensaries to qualify for a permit. 

Since 1996, Proposition 215 has ensured that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes upon receiving a recommendation from a physician. The County’s ordinance is consistent with the state’s Compassionate Use Act, its Medicinal Cannabis Program, and the recent Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, passed in June 2017. 

Learn more about the State of California’s cannabis programs at Details about the County of Marin’s cannabis programs are at           


Inge Lundegaard
Planning Manager
Community Development Agency

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7023
CRS Dial 711

Email: Inge Lundegaard
CDA website