County of Marin - News Releases - Medicinal Cannabis Licenses

For Immediate Release
May 25, 2018

Applications Being Accepted for Medicinal Cannabis Retailers

County expects to approve no more than four in unincorporated areas

San Rafael, CA – Applications for medicinal cannabis delivery-only retailer licenses are now being accepted by the County of Marin. Applicants may apply through July 5 and find all associated forms on the County’s webpage,

Medical cannabis logo with marijuana leafApplications will be open through July 5.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors approved the Medicinal Cannabis Delivery-Only Retailer (MCDORe, or “McDory”) licensing ordinance in November 2017 and followed in February 2018 with a County fee schedule for applicants. The Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) is processing all applications and will bring qualified applications before the Supervisors for their review later this year.

The MCDORe ordinance requires retailers to be closed to the public and dispense medicinal cannabis exclusively by delivery. Retailers will have to be located at least 600 feet from schools, day care centers, youth centers and playgrounds. Locations must be within unincorporated Marin and may be in commercial office and industrial zoned districts.

As part of the application, applicants must provide a business plan, an operating plan and a public benefits plan before the application period closes. Reviewers will rank each application with a points system, and applicants that rank over 80 percent will be eligible to move on the site review phase. If there are more than four qualified applications, a lottery will be conducted. Upon completion of the site review phase, CDA will bring the applications to the Board of Supervisors for a decision.

Applicants are subject to a $3,000 fee for the initial review phase, and qualified applicants would move on the site review phase, which runs $7,000. As per direction from the Supervisors, the nine participants whose applications were denied during a previous effort to establish licensing will be credited for previously paid application fees. The fee structure assures that taxpayers are not responsible for subsidizing County costs in selecting the best-qualified operators and sites for the businesses. Applicants awarded a license would pay an annual license deposit of $7,000 that would cover the costs of monitoring compliance of the business.

The County will not assess a local tax for medicinal cannabis retailers at this time, although retailers are required to collect state sales and excise taxes for medicinal cannabis sales in unincorporated Marin.

All other medicinal cannabis commercial activities are prohibited in unincorporated Marin. Towns and cities create regulations in their own jurisdictions.

Although cannabis is considered an illegal drug by the federal government, state legislation ensures that Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes upon receiving a recommendation from a physician. The MCDORe ordinance is consistent with state cannabis laws.

Learn more at The public is encouraged to register for emailed updates about medicinal cannabis through its e-subscription service.


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