Richmond's New Medical Cannabis Rules

The City of Richmond on May 24, 2016 voted unanimously on amendments to its medical cannabis regulations. The amendments are expected to pass. They are aimed to align Richmond's rules and permitting system with the state law under MMRSA. The full text of the amendments are available from the City's website. The key provisions are summarized below.

  • Licensing from Richmond remains limited to non-profit collectives.
  • The City licensing process is run by the Chief of Police, with detailed requirements for license applications. The City Council may make ultimate licensing decicions, or defer to Chief of Police.
  • The number of cultivation and manufacturing licenses is not limited in number. The number of permitted dispensaries remains at 3.
  • Dispensaries may apply for and obtain off-site cultivation licenses. The amendment is somewhat contradictory about whether the same collective may obtain both a dispensary and manufacturing license.
  • Zoning requirements are imposed on dispensaries, (C-3 or C-2 with an exception) manufacturers (M-1 or M-2), and cultivators (as stated in Zoning Code).
  • Manufacturers, dispensaries, and cultivators must be 1500 feet from any high school and 600 feet from an elementary or middle school. Manufacturers and cultivators must also be 500 feet from parks, youth centers, and child-care centers. The same 500 feet rule applies to dispensaries but is subject to an exception in the discretion of the City Council.
  • Cultivators may only grow indoors.