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Department of Health Services

Environmental Health

Health Permit for Cannabis Dispensary

Sonoma County Cannabis Program 750

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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)

Current Fee Schedule

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 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 . 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