Riverside Commercial Cannabis Business Program

Storefront Retail Commercial Cannabis Business Permit

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General Information

The City Council approved Commercial Cannabis and set the framework for permitting, licensing, enforcement, taxation, and legal operation of commercial cannabis storefronts.  The following are the adopted governing documents for reference:

  • Ordinance 7628, amending Title 5 (Business Taxes, Licenses and Regulations) of the RMC and replacing Chapter 5.77 (Cannabis Business Activities) in its entirety, 
  • Ordinance 7629  amending Title 9 (Peace, Safety and Morals) of the RMC, and 
  • Ordinance 7630  amending Title 19 (Zoning) of the RMC

The City Council also approved the following documents to implement this process:

  • Storefront Retail Commercial Cannabis Business Permit Procedure Guidelines (Guidelines) and Application Review Criteria for the Riverside Commercial Cannabis Business Program.
  • The City Council also adopted fees related to the Commercial Cannabis process found in Resolution 21960  to add the Commercial Cannabis Sales Permit fee.

Additional information related to the Riverside Commercial Cannabis Business Program may be found under Resources.

Application Process (Phase 2)

Phase 2 Preferred Location Submittal: This is a reminder that all submittals must be made electronically through the City’s cannabis portal beginning March 12, 2024, when the Phase 1 merit based written rankings were posted on the City website identifying those applications that received Provisional Approval. Please note that Phase 2 Site Review fees must be paid by cashier’s check or money order prior to your online submittal. Your Step 2.1 Preferred Location Submittal must include a copy of your Phase 2 Site Review fee payment receipt. Fees are to be paid at the City of Riverside's Treasury Department, located on the first floor of City Hall. City Hall is located at 3900 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92522, and is open from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. The submittal deadline for the Step 2.1 Preferred Location Submittal is June 10, 2024 at 5:00PM.

Applicants with Provisional Approval that do not submit their Phase 2 Preferred Location by the deadline of June 10, 2024, unless otherwise notified, will be considered non-responsive.

Application Process (Phase 1)

Storefront Retail CCB Permit Applicants must submit the Official Application Form and associated materials to the City’s Cannabis portal (Application Portal is now closed).
Official Application Form
Please name your file using the Cannabis Business Name, underscore (_), and the primary contact's phone number
Ex: "RiversideCannabisShop_951-320-8024"

  • Applicant/Owner Information: List the applicant’s name, address, phone number, email address, and date of birth.
  • Primary Contact Information: List the primary contact information of the contact responsible for submitting the application, including the full name, title, company (if applicable), the relationship to the contact, the mailing address, phone number, email address, and date of birth.
  • Business Entity Status: List whether the business applying for the permit is a Limited Liability Company, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Partnership, or Other.
  • Denials, Suspension, or Revocation Details: List any and all denials, suspensions, or revocations any owner, officer, or manager has experienced within the last five years.
  • Criminal Convictions: Identify any criminal convictions listed that any of the owners, officers, or managers have experienced.
  • State Law Compliance: Attest to meeting the requirements of state law.
  • Insurance Compliance: Attest to providing and maintaining the required amount of insurance acceptable to the City.
  • Labor Peace Agreement: Applicants with over five employees attest that they have an executed labor peace agreement or furnish a notarized statement expressing commitment to promptly enter into a labor peace agreement and adhere to its terms within 30 days of receiving a Storefront Retail CCB permit.
  • Experience: List any of the owners’, officers’, or managers’ commercial cannabis experience, including the location and potential licenses held (if applicable). Include any and all supporting state, county, or municipal documentation.
  • Defense and Indemnification: Attest to abiding to the terms of the Defense & Indemnification agreement.

All Storefront Retail CCB Permit applicants must prepare a Business Proposal for City evaluation. Proposals must not exceed 50 single-sided pages and be in 12- point font that outlines the following guidelines:

  • Qualifications of Owners and Operators
  • Business Plan/Financial Investment
  • Operations Plan
  • Staffing, Training & Education
  • Standard Operating procedures - Air Quality Control.
  • Safety/Security Plan
  • Labor, Employment, and Local Sourcing Plan

Measure B (March 5, 2024 Municipal Election)

The City of Riverside’s Cannabis Business Tax Measure

City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis

Measure B was placed on the ballot by the City of Riverside City Council.

If approved by a majority of voters, Measure B will add Chapter 5.78 (Cannabis Business Tax) to the Riverside Municipal Code and enact a maximum tax of up to ten (10) percent of gross receipts on all commercial cannabis businesses operating within the City.

The actual tax rate imposed under this chapter will be established by resolution of the City Council. The City Council, in its discretion, may adopt a tax rate lower than the maximum tax rate of ten (10) percent of gross receipts.

The tax would not apply to the legal cultivation of cannabis for personal medicinal or adult use allowed under the Riverside Municipal Code and state law. The tax is only on commercial cannabis businesses. The tax is not a sales tax imposed on individuals purchasing adult-use or medicinal cannabis.

Currently, Chapter 5.77 of the Riverside Municipal Code allows fourteen commercial cannabis storefront retail dispensaries (dispensaries) to operate within the City of Riverside, and allows for licenses for dispensaries, manufacturing/distribution, and testing laboratories. Approval of Measure B (Cannabis Business Tax) would not change Chapter 5.77.

Measure B, if enacted by the voters, would raise revenue for general governmental purposes for the City of Riverside and not for purposes of regulation. The City of Riverside has estimated that tax proposed by Measure B would raise approximately $2,000,000 annually. The proceeds from the tax imposed by Measure B would go into the City’s general fund and may be used for any lawful governmental purpose. Measure B does not place any restrictions on the use of the funds.

The tax would continue until repealed by the voters. The tax cannot be increased above the maximum rate of ten (10) percent without the approval of the voters.

A “yes” vote on Measure B would approve the Cannabis Business Tax and authorize the City Council, by resolution, to impose a Cannabis Business Tax up to a maximum rate of ten (10) percent.

A “no” vote on Measure B would not approve the Cannabis Business Tax.

A majority vote is required to approve the Cannabis Business Tax.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure B. If you desire a copy of the measure, including the ordinance, please visit the City’s website at http://www.riversideca.gov or contact the City Clerk at 951-826-5557 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.


All inquiries must be submitted via email to [email protected]


If you wish to speak to someone about this program, please contact us through our dedicated Cannabis Business Permit Program voicemail line at 951-320-8024. Please note, dependent on the volume of calls it may take up to 48 hours to return your call.  Please do not leave questions on voicemail as only questions submitted in writing to the email address above will be addressed.


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