Cannabis Ordinance

On October 12, 2017, the City Council of the City of Palm Desert adopted comprehensive regulations for commercial cannabis businesses. These regulations establish permit requirements, operational standards, and separation and zoning criteria, for any commercial cannabis business operating in the City.

All commercial cannabis businesses, including: retail/dispensary, manufacturing, cultivation, delivery, distribution, and testing and research, are required to obtain approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the City’s Planning Commission, a Cannabis Regulatory Permit issued by the City's Community Development Department, and obtain a State issued License from the Bureau of Cannabis Control prior to operating in the City of Palm Desert.

Information related to cannabis regulations can be found by clicking on the links below or by accessing the City’s Municipal Code:

  1. Chapter 25.34.120 – Commercial Cannabis Business and Personal Cultivation
  2. Chapter 25.16 – Commercial and Industrial Districts
  3. Chapter 25.18.040 – Use Matrix for Downtown Districts
  4. Chapter 5.101 – Commercial Cannabis Business Regulatory Permits
  5. Chapter 8.38 – Personal Use of Cannabis  

*** Cannabis Applications ***

The City has carefully reviewed and ranked each cannabis application in accordance with the Selection Criteria established by the City Council. Per the City's Ordinance, six (6) dispensaries will be permitted in the City, with one (1) dispensary selected for El Paseo. In addition, all cannabis businesses must be separated by 1,500 feet to avoid a concentration of cannabis businesses. Based on the rankings,  the 1,500-foot separation requirement, and the limited number of permits available, six (6) dispensaries and five (5) cultivators/manufacturers have been selected to proceed to a public hearing. Attached is the ranking/scoring sheet and a map illustrating the locations of all proposed cannabis businesses and their status following the application scoring process.

Applicants may appeal their scores by submitting an appeals request in writing to the Planning Department. Any applicant wishing to appeal their score shall submit an application and a $276 fee before May 4, 2018.

For more information regarding current regulations or the cannabis application process in Palm Desert, please contact Palm Desert Principal Planner Eric Ceja at (760) 346-0611 or