The City has prepared an initial draft ordinance for “Marijuana Use and Regulations” and has made it available on this website. This draft ordinance will be discussed with the Cannabis Committee at their meeting on April 7, 2017. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in the Administrative Conference Room at City Hall.

In addition to the regulations for marijuana, the City has updated its table of permitted uses to identify appropriate zoning districts for marijuana businesses. Click here to view the Table of Permitted Uses.

On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64 – The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”) – legalizing recreational marijuana use throughout the State.

The City of Palm Desert is now reviewing its land use and business regulations related to marijuana/cannabis to ensure compliance with the new State law and any provisions established by the new Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulations, also known as the Bureau of Marijuana Control (“BMC”).

Currently, Palm Desert's Municipal Code prohibits all cannabis related land uses and businesses from operating in City limits. This includes dispensaries, manufacturing facilities, cultivation and delivery, for both recreational and medicinal use.

However, per the new State law, adults age 21 and over are permitted to use marijuana in a non-public setting. Homeowners are also permitted to grow up to six (6) plants at their residence. In response to these immediate changes, the City has established a “Cannabis Committee” to explore regulatory options.

In the interim, the BMC is creating several licensing types for cannabis-related businesses. Licensing will not begin until January 2018. Because the State will not be issuing licenses until 2018 all commercial operations in the City continue to be prohibited.

The Cannabis Committee will meet in late February to review potential Municipal Code changes. Any recommendations made by the Committee will be posted on this webpage and interested parties are encouraged to check this page periodically for updates.

February 22 Commission Update

The Cannabis Committee met on February 22, 2017, to discuss an outline of a “Cannabis Ordinance” that would permit cannabis related uses in the City of Palm Desert. The Committee’s general consensus is to allow cannabis related uses with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and subject to distance requirements from schools, parks, daycare centers, and other cannabis uses. These types of businesses would be conditionally permitted in the City’s Service Industrial, Downtown, and other Commercial zoning districts in the City.

Smoking of cannabis, however, will be limited to areas permitted in the City’s existing “Regulation and Prohibition of Smoking” Ordinance and subject to limitations imposed under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
City staff is drafting an ordinance now. The draft ordinance will be presented to the Cannabis Committee on April 7, 2017, for review, and is subject to change based on the Committee’s recommendations. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in the Administrative Conference Room at City Hall.

For more information regarding current or future regulations in Palm Desert, please contact Palm Desert Principal Planner Eric Ceja at (760) 346-0611 or eceja@cityofpalmdesert.org.