Commercial Cannabis Business Application

About the Application Process

Union City is a small, tight-knit, culturally diverse community in the greater Silicon Valley. Our proximity to rich educational institutions, innovative businesses, accessible transportation, funding opportunities and an expansive talent pool presents an opportunity to businesses who are looking to settle in a community with a high quality of life.   

We welcome qualified applicants to apply and participate in our application process for an opportunity to be awarded a commercial cannabis permit. Applicants must abide by requirements laid out in the Application Procedures to Operate a Commercial Cannabis Business in Union City and in Union City Municipal Code (“UCMC”) section 5.44.030(D). The municipal code website will tentatively be updated in December 2017 with the new changes. Until then, please refer to the staff report and its attachments to find the approved ordinance.

The application process to obtain a permit to operate a Commercial Cannabis Use (“CCU”) in Union City will open on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.  

Last update posted 12.8.2017.

Online Application

The online application will become available on Monday, December 18, 2017. Check back on this page then for a link to the application.

Before you submit your application

  1. Read the application procedures thoroughly to ensure that your application includes all of the necessary requirements and meets the standards. The application procedures were updates on 12.6.2017 to reference the new online application.
  2. Review the Application FAQs for specific information on how to submit your application, required format of information and frequently asked questions.
  3. Obtain a Zoning Verification Letter from the Economic and Community Development Department. Fill out and submit the Application for Zoning Verification Letter to the Economic and Community Development Department during normal business hours. Letters will not be formally issued until after January 2, 2018. Submit proof of receipt with your online application. Please note additional zoning information below. 
  4. Complete a Background Review Form and sign the Intelifi Background Waiver Form for each owner/employee. Submit completed forms in-person to the City Clerk's Office with the rest of your confidential materials. The receipt showing proof that the Background Review Fee and Live Scan fee is paid for each principal should be uploaded into the online application. Since we are running a credit report on each owner/employee, we must provide you with a Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 
  5. Complete the online application form, which will become available at on December 18, 2017.  
  6. Complete the required supplemental information:
  • Proposed Location (submitted online)
  • Business Plan (marked "confdiential" and submitted in-person to City Clerk's Office)
  • Development Plan (submitted online)
  • Site Safety Plan (submitted online)
  • Security Plan (marked "confidential" and submitted in-person to City Clerk's Office)
  • Air Quality Plan (submitted online)
  • Labor and Employment Plan (submitted online)
  • Community Benefits (submitted online)
  • Enhanced Product Safety (submitted online)
  • Environmental Benefits (submitted online)
  • Local Enterprise (submitted online)
  • Qualifications of Principals (submitted online)


We prefer applicants to pay all fees using a Cashier’s Check or by credit card. There is a 2.25% convenience fee added to all credit card payments over $2,500. 

We will not accept personal checks. We will not accept cash payments. All fees are processed in-person at City Hall at our Finance counter during normal business hours. 

Please maintain copies of your receipts for later upload into the online application.

No refunds will be issued.

Expectations for paying your fees:

  • The first fee you process should be your Zoning Verification fee.
  • If you don’t have a proposed location, we don’t recommend you pay any fees.
  • Your Background Review and Live Scan fee will be processed at the same time and you will be provided one receipt for proof of payment. 
  • Background Review Phase 1 fee after you are able to process your Zoning Verification Form and Fee.

The fees are as follows:

Initial fees -

  • Zoning Verification Letter - $272.00
  • LiveScan fee (per employee) - $174.00
  • Background Review (per employee) - $300.00

Phase 1 - $3,979.00

Phase 2 - $1,581.00

Phase 3 - $1,568.00

Phase 4 - $2,030.0

Zoning Information

The current application process allows for cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, testing and retail uses to locate in the ML (Light Industrial) and MS (Special Industrial) districts. You can click here to see a map of the ML and MS areas. 

The ordinance requires that a cannabis business not be located within 100 feet of youth-oriented businesses. The youth-oriented businesses that currently exist in the ML (light industrial) and MS (special industrial) districts are listed below. The City Council has the authority to allow distances of less than 100 feet between a youth activity and the cannabis business if the applicant can demonstrate that an effective barrier exists between the youth facility and the prospective cannabis business.  If you are planning to locate a cannabis business less than 100 feet from a youth activity, be prepared to explain in your application how the business and the youth activity will be buffered or separated.

Youth-oriented businesses in the MS and ML districts:

  • The Tutors & Young Artists Club: 33412 ALVARADO NILES RD
  • Kim’s Academy: 33507 WESTERN AVE
  • Joanne Brown Dancers: 33535 WESTERN AVE
  • Little People Preschool: 33700 ALVARADO NILES RD
  • Pac West Gymnastics: 32920 ALVARADO NILES RD
  • Pump It Up: 2995 WHIPPLE RD
  • Trudance: 2829 WHIPPLE RD
  • Ascend Rehab: 29516 KOHOUTEK WAY
  • Complete Game: 29534 KOHOUTEK WAY

Application Phases 

Phase 1 - Determination of Eligibility

Applicants can submit their applications as early as January 2, 2018 and must submit by January 25, 2018. 

Applications will be reviewed for completion within ten business days of the application period closing. Applicants who have submitted a fully completed application will have met the requirements of this phase. 

Applicants who meet the requirements of this phase will be notified that they are eligible to proceed to Phase 2.

Phase 2 - Evaluation by Consultant

Applicants eligible for Phase 2 must pay the Phase 2 application fee before moving onto Phase 2. 

The City's consultant will review and evaluate applications and score them based on the criteria provided in the application procedures. Applicants who score 80% or above will be recommended to the City Selection team for Phase 3. 

Phase 3 - Evaluation by City Selection Team

Applicants who are eligible to proceed to Phase 3 will be notified and must pay the application fee before moving onto Phase 3.

Applicants who have made it to Phase 3 will be notified to set up an interview with the City Selection Committee. The City Selection Committee will evaluate applicants based on the interview process and forward the results and recommendations to the City Manager for final review. 

Phase 4 - City Manager Recommendation

Finalists that are recommended to the City Manager will have to pay the Phase 4 fee of $2,030 before proceeding. 

The City Manager will present the final ranking of the candidates and his recommendation for award of permit(s). Finalists recommended by the City Manager for consideration to the City Council are required to attend a public hearing before the City Council. The City Council is required to consider all commercial cannabis permit applications meeting minimum qualifications at the public hearing.

Application Calendar

Applications will be accepted between: Tuesday, January 2, 2018  and Thursday, January 25, 2018.

Phase 1 of the application process will take place tentatively between: January 26, 2018 – February 8, 2018

Phase 2 of the application process will take place tentatively between: February 9, 2018 – March 1, 2018

Phase 3 of the application process will take place tentatively between: March 2, 2018 – March 16, 2018

Phase 4: Dates determined by the City Manager

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