Retail Cannabis Business Application Information (closed)

The application period is now closed.

Questions relating to the application process, or the status of your application, must be sent to  To subscribe to the Cannabis email list, please visit, scroll to News Flash, and click on "Cannabis."  

The Healdsburg City Council authorized up to two retail cannabis businesses to operate within the City of Healdsburg (this includes microbusinesses).  The Council adopted a competitive process to select the two businesses who will receive permits.  You can review the Application Process, Criteria, and Guidelines in the "Documents" section below.

Application Submittal

Documents are required to be submitted in combined PDF files as follows:

  • PDF File 1 (All copied documents shall display required signatures to be deemed complete)
    • Cannabis Business Permit Application (pages 1-5)
    • Financial Responsibility, Indemnity and Consent to Inspection Terms Agreement (pages F1-F3)
    • Agreement on Limitations of City’s Liability and Indemnification to City (pages F4-F6)
    • Property Owner Consent/Landlord Affidavit
  • PDF File 2
    • Evaluation Criteria (Responses to Sections A-G of Appendix A limited to 125 pages, excluding Proof of Capitalization, which shall be included separately in PDF File #4)
  • PDF File 3
    • Background Check documentation (All required documents for each owner and manager). Upon submission of the online background application, Applicants will receive an email confirmation. This confirmation needs to be printed, scanned, and included within PDF File #3.
  • PDF File 4
    • Proof of Capitalization (Appropriate bank statements, loan documents, promissory notes, financial and commitment letters)
    • Copies of business entity formation and organizing documents (e.g. certified copy of articles of incorporation, bylaws, statement of information, articles of association, and fictitious business name statement, as applicable).
  • PDF File 5
    • Zoning Clearance Letter (ZCL) which shows the correct location, unit, space, or suite number in the building being used 

To be considered for issuance of a Commercial Cannabis Business Permit for a Retail Dispensary, applications must be submitted electronically through Hightail (a secure file sharing service) by the deadline.  There will be no exceptions.

Criminal Background Check

Each owner and manager, as defined in Healdsburg Municipal Code (HMC) Section 20.20.095(A)(4)(b) and 20.20.095(A)(4)(c) must undergo a criminal history background check to demonstrate they do not provide good cause for denial of a Commerical Cannabis Business permit, per HMC Section 20.20.095(A)(4)(d). 

Applications with owners and/or managers who do not meet the criminal history eligibility requirements of HMC Section 20.20.095(A)(4)(d) will be disqualified unless a written waiver is obtained from the Police Chief under Section 20.20.095(A)(4)(d)(iii). The background form can be found online here.

There is no fee to complete the initial background check for each owner/manager. This process will be required to meet the minimum threshold qualifications pursuant to HMC Section 20.20.095(A)(4)(d).

In addition, each successful applicant may be asked to submit to a Live Scan as part of the background check as determined by the Chief of Police. Prior to being issued a permit, the Applicant’s primary contact will be notified by email with the instructions on how to schedule the Live Scan appointment.

Zoning Clearance Letter

As part of a complete application packet, an Applicant must obtain a Zoning Clearance Letter from the Community Development Department. To secure this letter, an Applicant must make a written request to the Community Development Department via the Zoning Clearance Letter Request Form, which should specify the intended use of the building, and the proposed building location.

The issuance of a ZCL does not constitute written evidence of permission given by the City or any of its officials to operate a commercial cannabis business, nor does it establish a “permit” within the meaning of the Permit Streamlining Act, nor does it create an entitlement under the Zoning or Building Code. A regulatory permit for a Commercial Cannabis Business does not constitute a permit that runs with the land on which the cannabis business is established.


All Applicants will be required to submit a fee of $9,647.31. This amount will be charged against time spent by City staff in reviewing applications and administrating the application process. Applicants may be required to pay additional amounts, as required, for the sole purpose of the City’s completion of the application review process. Payment must be made by a certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to the City of Healdsburg. Please note the City will not accept cash or credit cards and application fees are non-refundable once the City has begun reviewing the application.

A separate fee for the Zoning Clearance Letter (ZCL) of $113.14 per site and a Live Scan Fee of $35.26 per owner for all Live Scan’s completed at the Healdsburg Police Department.

Microbusiness Applicants

Responses to Evaluation Criteria Sections A-G should focus primarily on storefront retail operations. Applicants intending to operate cannabis deliveries and/or microbusiness operations should communicate this intent through the Commercial Cannabis Business Permit Application form, under the section entitled “Applicant (Entity) Information.” No additional information regarding proposed delivery and/or microbusiness operations is required in Applicant written responses to Sections A-G of the Evaluation Criteria. Nothing within the Application Procedures and Guidelines prohibits an Applicant from providing information relating to their proposed delivery and/or microbusiness operations in their written responses. However, Applicants should be aware that no additional points will be awarded during Phase II to Applicants who provide information related to proposed delivery and/or microbusiness operations in their written responses.  For Applicants selected to progress to Phase III interviews, the City reserves the right to ask questions related to proposed delivery and/or microbusiness operations, if the Applicant selected one or both of these options on the Permit Application form. Additional information regarding Phase III evaluation will be provided to Applicants prior to the start of interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions, and their answers, will be updated weekly. Questions will be accepted until July 20, 2023.

All questions must be submitted through emailing

Please click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions.