Commercial Cannabis Regulations and Program

About Union City’s Local Regulations 

On January 1, 2018, California legalized cannabis use by adults 21 and older. In response to the changing State laws, Union City has taken steps to ensure proper and legal implementation of cannabis regulations, which have included the adoption of the following ordinances:

The City Council has the authority to choose how many commercial cannabis use permits are issued out at any given time. Through a resolution in November 2017, the number of permits was established at three (3) permits in each category:

  • Cultivation
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Testing
  • Medical dispensary 

Current Commercial Cannabis Use Permittees:

  1. Jiva Life, LLC for retail located at 30547 Union City Boulevard
  2. Flor East Bay, LLC for retail located at 31000 Courthouse Drive

Applications were initially accepted between October 27, 2022 through January 6, 2023. The process accepting cannabis permit applications reopened for an additional three (3) weeks, and the revised application due date was February 6, 2023 at 5:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time.  The proposed dates are tentative and subject to change:

  • Phase 1: February
  • Phase 2: February to March 
  • Phase 3: April to May
  • Phase 4: May to June (Dates will be determined by City Manager)
  • Award: July

Please review the application procedures for more detailed information. 

For general questions about the application process, contact the City Manager's Office (Deputy City Manager, Jennifer Phan at See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section below for questions received to-date.

Important Documents


For questions regarding the Zoning verification process, please contact Planning staff by phone line at (510) 675-5379 or by email at

Payment of Application Fees

Payments must be made by a certified check, cashier's check, money order payable to the City of Union City, or credit card. There is a 2.25% convenience fee added to all credit card payments over $2,500.00. You can call the cashier's line at (510) 675-5312 to make the payment over the phone.

Applicants are required to pay the application fees for all four phases totaling $10,425.  Applicants who do not advance to Phases 2, 3, or 4 will be provided refunds for the application fees for the phase(s) in which they did not participate as noted below.   

  1. Phase 1:  Preliminary determination of eligibility - $4,529
  2. Phase 2:   Evaluation and ranking by consultant team - $1,800
  3. Phase 3:   Evaluation and ranking by City Selection Committee - $1,785 plus the Live/Scan Fee for each owner and investor (if required).
  4. Phase 4:  City Manager evaluation and recommendation - $2,311

In addition to the Phase 1-4 application fees, the following non-refundable fees will also need to be paid prior to submitting the application.

  1. Criminal History Check is $300.00 paid to HdL Companies for each owner and investor listed in the application.
  2. Live Scan Fee is $198.00 per owner and investor listed in the application. Live Scan is not required for this application cycle, but the City reserves the right to require completion of Live Scan at a future date for all owners, investors, and store employees.
  3. Zoning Verification Letter is $310.00.

Application Procedures to Operate a Commercial Cannabis Business in Union City

Commercial Cannabis Application Form (NEW APPLICANTS ONLY)

Annual Cannabis Permit Renewal

Per UCMC Chapter 5.44, Section 5.44.030, Subsection (F)(2), current commercial cannabis operators are subject to annual permit renewals and the operator must apply for a permit renewal at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their current permit.

A commercial cannabis permit may have its renewal request administratively approved by the City Manager only if all of the following findings are made:

  1. The use has been conducted in accordance with this chapter, with the operator’s approved operating and security plans, and with all applicable permit conditions of approval, State and local laws and regulations.
  2. The business for which the permit was approved has not been transferred to another owner or operator.
  3. There are no outstanding violations of health, safety, or land use.
  4. The commercial cannabis use for which the permit was approved has remitted all City taxes and fees due.

To apply online, visit the Annual Cannabis Permit Renewal Form here. You may also download the  fillable PDF here and submit via email to Deputy City Manager Jennifer Phan at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The City will update this page with any general questions received regarding the application process. 

  1. Is there a page limit for the application package/required documentation? No, there is no page limit for the application package.
  2. How is distance measured from a property to a sensitive use? The distance from a property to a sensitive use is from property (lot) line to property (lot) line. Please may refer to the Cannabis Map for areas of sensitive uses. Under UCMC §5.44.050(E), please note the one hundred feet distance mentioned and that such distance requirements may also be waived or modified by the City Council should the applicant show that an actual physical separation exists between land uses or parcels such that no off-site impacts could occur. 
  3. Are the criteria in the Business Plan and Development Plan sections asking for the same information when referring to "Minimize impacts on neighboring uses" and "Describe how the CCB will take proactive steps to avoid becoming a nuisance or having negative impacts on its neighbors or surrounding community. Additionally, describe how the business will react and respond to complaints specifically related to noise, light, odor, public consumption, loitering, littering, and vehicle and pedestrian traffic."?  Yes, there’s overlap with the Business and Development Plan Criteria. These two sections are in essence calling for similar information, actions to be taken to minimize neighboring impacts as well as how the business will react and respond to complaints. It is important to note that applicants should respond to the criteria in both sections as both sections will be scored.
  4. Is the Neighborhood Plan Criteria #2 "Describe the waste management, recycling plan, and composing of organic materials plan" asking for information about composting waste or something else? Please excuse the typographical error in Neighborhood Plan Criteria #2. It is calling for information about waste management, recycling, and composting of organic materials. Please describe plan/procedures for destruction of both cannabis and non-cannabis waste and its proper disposal.
  5. Please clarify the Neighborhood Plan Criteria #5 "Describe odor control related to maintenance activities, frequency and role/titles of personnel performing such activities." Is this asking about what activities are done to maintain odor control devices/equipment, or rather asking about odors generated by maintenance activity (like taking out trash, etc.), or rather asking about something else entirely? Neighborhood Plan Criteria #5 applies to everything as stated. Any activities that may be potential sources for odor, including garbage disposal or odor control equipment operators may deploy to aid in mitigating odor should be included.
  6. Does UCMC §5.44.030(H)(1) require cannabis storefront retail businesses to have public restrooms? UCMC §5.44.030(H)(1) does not, in and of itself, stand for the proposition that cannabis storefront retail businesses have to have public restrooms.  However, other provisions of law, including the Union City Municipal Code and California Building Code, will dictate when public restrooms are required. The portion of the UCMC emphasized in your question refers to the fact that commercial cannabis uses will need to comply with accessibility requirements for the identified facilities.   
  7. For the criteria in the Labor and Employment Plan section that states "Describe to what extent the business will be a locally managed enterprise whose Owners reside within Union City and/or the County of Alameda," is there a certain percentage of ownership in order to qualify as "locally owned?" No, the City does not define a specific percentage of ownership in order to qualify as “locally owned.” 
  8. While the website and application procedures state LiveScan is not required, LiveScan fees are listed as a "fee required to be paid prior to submitting the application" on p. 12 of the procedures. Do applicants need LiveScan prior to submission, or to pay such a fee? The Live Scan is being waived this permit cycle. Only the background check through HdL Companies is required for owners and investors at this time.
  9. On the portal, it asks for information on applicants' permits in the state, including the "date each permit was awarded and the date the business opened for each permit." Do applicants need to provide the exact date, or is month and year sufficient? Month and year would be sufficient, but if available please provide exact date.