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 accepted 35 applications for commercial cannabis businesses during the week of December 11, 2017. The application window is now closed and no additional applications will be accepted by the City. 

Applications will be subject to a completeness review to ensure that all required items necessary for review have been submitted. Completed applications will be reviewed, and ranked, based on the Selection Criteria approved by City Council. Top ranked applications will received priority in moving forward to public hearings. Any conflicts or tie-breakers will be resolved through a lottery. A flowchart examining the application process is provided here, but it subject to change based on the volume of applications received.

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