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.  

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 required supplemental information:
  • Proposed Location (submitted online)
  • Business Plan (marked "confidential" 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)

Application Steps

Online Application

The application must be submitted via our online application portal at (which has closed). The online application will be available Monday, December 18, 2017, through January 25, 2018. You will need to create an account with a unique email address and password. Please note that the email address listed for the 24/7 Primary Contact person will receive the email notification indicating that your application has been received.

The online application allows you to start, stop and save your work, allowing you to complete your application over days or weeks; however, any submissions that are received before January 2, 2018 will be disqualified. Submissions will be accepted only from January 2 through January 25, 2018.

Along with filling out the online application, the following items must be uploaded in PDF format:

  1. Zoning Verification Letter
  2. Business Proof of Status (articles of incorporation, by-laws, partnership agreements)
  3. Site Plan
  4. Floor Plan (one per use if applicable)
  5. Vicinity Map
  6. Photos of the site and buildings
  7. Proposed Location
  8. Development Plan (one per use if applicable)
  9. Site Safety Plan (one per use if applicable)
  10. Air Quality Plan (one per use if applicable)
  11. Labor and Employment Plan (one per use if applicable)
  12. Enhanced Product Safety Plan (one per use if applicable)
  13. Environmental Benefits (one per use if applicable)
  14. Local Enterprise
  15. Qualifications of Principals
  16. Copies of receipts showing proof of payment for Phase 1 fee and LiveScan/ Background Review fee (2 receipts in total)

In-Person Submission Requirements

Due to confidentiality purposes, we ask that certain supplemental materials be submitted in person to the City Clerk’s Office from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please follow these instructions:

Print and Thumb Drive/Flash Drive:

  • Provide us with a printed Security Plan(s) with each page labeled confidential (one per use if applicable)
  • Provide us with a printed Business Plan(s) with each page labeled “confidential” (one per use if applicable)
  • Two current and high-quality photographs of each principal
  • Completed Background Review form for each principal; label copies “confidential”
  • Copies of Driver’s License, DMV-issued ID card or Passport for each principal; label copies “confidential”
  • Copies of Proof of Address, such as a recent utility bill, Driver’s License and or DMV-issued ID card, for each principal; label copies “confidential”
  • Copies of Social Security Card for each principal; label copies “confidential”
  • Planning staff requires that you provide a printed hard copy of the Floor Plan scaled with dimensions and printed 24 x 36 inches (one per use if applicable).

Thumb drive must be PC compatible. 

Provide the printed materials and thumb drive securely sealed and affixed with this attested and signed checklist by January 25, 2018.


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 medicinal 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

Proposed Location

At the Cannabis FAQ session on December 7, 2017, a question was raised as to whether an applicant can revise the proposed location of a commercial cannabis use at later phases of the application process. To clarify, the administrative guidelines require that an applicant have a zoning verification letter for the proposed location of the commercial cannabis uses by the close of Phase 1 of the application period. Additionally, applicants will be evaluated based on the proposed location. Thus, an applicant can reapply or revise the application with a new location prior to the close of Phase 1 of the application period. However, an applicant cannot revise the proposed location or reapply with a new proposed location following the close of Phase 1.

Evaluation of Application

Applicants will go through four phases of evaluation that are defined in the Application Procedures to Operate a Commercial Cannabis Business in Union City

Application Calendar

This timeline is subject to change based on the additional time needed to conduct a complete and thorough review of each application.

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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