Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Health Permit for Cannabis Dispensary

Return to Cannabis Permits

Environmental Health issues health permits, provides inspection services, and conducts other educational and enforcement activities for cannabis dispensaries. 

A person or business wanting to open and operate a cannabis dispensary must submit an application for a health permit to Environmental Health.


Applicants should contact the Permit Sonoma (formerly PRMD) for land use and zoning requirements for locating a cannabis dispensary in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County.

If a proposed dispensary is located within city limits in Sonoma County, an applicant should contact the appropriate city planning department for applicable laws and requirements pertaining to cannabis.

Applicants should also contact other county and city agencies regarding requirements for a business license, fire prevention, and building permits.

The Permit Process

Although edible cannabis products are not defined as a food in the California Health and Safety Code, Environmental Health will be applying statewide food safety standards in the California Retail Food Code to ensure product safety.

Step 1:  Submit a plan review application.

Download the Cannabis Dispensary Plan Check Packet (PDF: 2.36 MB)

Cannabis dispensaries with existing land use permits approved prior to July 1, 2017 may not be required to submit plans to Environmental Health. Please contact Environmental Health for more information about this process:

By web form: Contact Us
By phone: (707) 565-6565

In all cases, an on-site review will be required to verify the current dispensary meets requirements.

Timelines will be established for compliance based on the health and safety risks associated with the requirements. 

Step 2: Complete a construction inspection.

Once a plan review application is approved and an applicant has finished any necessary improvements to the property, Environmental Health will conduct an on-site construction inspection. 

Step 3: Apply for a health permit.

When step 1 and step 2 are completed, you may submit an application for a health permit. Please note that a dispensary cannot operate without an approved health permit.

Download the Cannabis Health Permit Application (PDF: 63.5 kB)

Step 4: Receive an opening inspection.

An opening inspection will be conducted by Environmental Health within 30 days of the permit being issued. Routine inspections will be conducted twice per year utilizing the California Retail Food Code (PDF: 1.2 MB). Inspections will cover proper cannabis handling and storage, general cleanliness, employee health and hand washing, facility maintenance, and other safety issues. 

You may also sign up for Sonoma County Cannabis updates:

Sign Up for Sonoma County Cannabis Updates

Food Handler Card Requirement

Employees who are involved in the preparation, storage, or service of edible cannabis products will be required to obtain a food handler card after successful completion of an approved training course and examination from an approved food handler course provider:

Food Handler Card


Cannabis Fee DescriptionAmount
Hourly Rate$200
Dispensary - Prepackaged Edibles/Limited-Potentially Hazardous Edible Products - No Preparation$3,364
Dispensary - Prepackaged Edibles/Non-Potentially Hazardous Edible Products - No Preparation$2,883
Product Manufacturing - Non-Potentially Hazardous Edible Products - Full Preparation$4,356
Dispensary - Site Review (+ hourly rate after 3 hours)$601
Product Manufacturing - Site Review (+ hourly rate after 3 hours)$801
Dispensary - Plan Review/Construction Inspection (+ hourly rate after 8 hours)$1,602
Product Manufacturing - Plan Review/Construction Inspection (+ hourly rate after 8 hours)$2,002
Product Label Review/Consultation (+ hourly rate after 1 hour)$200
Consultation Services - (+ hourly rate after 1 hour)$200
Violation Reinspection (+ hourly rate after 1 hour)$400
Office Hearing (+ hourly rate after 1 hour)$601

Contact Information

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Contact Us by Phone

Contact Information

Public Health Division
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Office Location
625 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.441823, -122.7137698