Cannabis Policy

California Law

Due to recent changes in California law, local government has the authority to regulate the use of cannabis in their community. In 2015, the State of California passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) creating a licensing process for commercial medical cannabis and allowing cities the option to allow or disallow commercial cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing. In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), legalizing the private, non-medical use of cannabis. In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 94 merging MCRSA and AUMA together to create a single regulatory system for medical and nonmedical commercial cannabis businesses.  Cities are responsible for setting regulations for their community.

Local Regulation - Current Update on Cannabis Policy - Updated 04.23.18

In November, 2017, City Council voted to approve a local ordinance establishing a regulatory framework for commercial cannabis businesses in Union City. In addition, the following was adopted:

  • A resolution allowing for up to three permits in each of the following categories: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing and medicinal retail. 
  • A resolution adopting the application procedures, which is detailed comprehensively at
  • A resolution adopting the application fees.

You can review the published staff report and recommendations here

Concurrent with the regulatory framework and application procedures, the City Council also adopted zoning text amendments  that allows commercial cannabis businesses to locate in the ML (light industrial) and MS (special industrial) districts of the City. Click here to view the locations of the ML and MS District.   

The City began accepting application submissions between January 1, 2018 and January 25, 2018. Applicants were rigorously evaluated by staff and the City's consultant, HdL Companies in a four phase process that included a criminal, employment and financial background review by Union City Police and a thorough vetting of the applicants' business and site plans. 

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, the City Manager is recommending that the City Council award commercial cannabis permits for the following:

By clicking the individual links, you can review the associated staff reports. 

Tax Policy for Commercial Cannabis Businesses

City Council adopted a resolution in February 2018 declaring their intent to submit a measure to the voters to establish a cannabis business tax in November 2018. Staff recommended and the City Council agreed to potential tax rates that will create a favorable market environment for companies awarded a cannabis license to follow through on opening and maintaining a successful business operation in Union City. You can learn more about the proposed tax rates in the staff report (2/27/18).

Cannabis Email Updates

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Archived Meeting Information

September 26th First Reading of the Cannabis Ordinance

The City Council's first reading of the cannabis ordinance occurred on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.  The City Council voted to proceed to a second reading and public hearing at a future meeting. Here is the staff report (9/26/17) and Powerpoint presentation that was provided by staff and the City Attorney. The Zoning Text Amendments and Municipal Code Amendments are as follows:

September 7th Cannabis Policy Study Session #2

At this study session, the results of an extensive community outreach process were presented (links below). Then, staff recommended that City Council move forward on adopting strong regulations that govern the types of cannabis businesses that can operate in Union City, the location of cannabis businesses, the number of cannabis businesses and the process to qualify for a cannabis business permit. Below you can find the materials:

August 8th City Council Study Session

The City Council held a Study Session on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 to learn about changes to cannabis laws in California and their options to establish regulations. The City Council directed the City to move forward on drafting a regulatory framework on cannabis that includes setting authorized locations and high standards for public health, safety and education. Below you can find the materials:

Cannabis Weekly Updates