adult-use and medicinal COMMERCIAL CANNABIS

On December 3, 2019, the El Monte City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2960, which authorized adult-use and medicinal commercial cannabis retail, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and testing in El Monte.

Specifically, retail is permitted “by right” in the SP-4 (Downtown Specific Plan), MMU (Mixed/Multi-use), C-O (Commercial Office), C-1 (Limited Commercial), C-2 (Retail Commercial), C-3 (General Commercial), C-4 (Heavy Commercial), M-1 (Light Manufacturing) and M-2 (General Manufacturing). Cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and microbusinesses are permitted “by right” in the C-3 (the portion on the north side of Valley Boulevard east of Garvey Avenue), M-1 and M-2.  Testing is permitted “by right” in the C-O, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, M-1 and M-2 zones.


Pursuant to El Monte Municipal Code (EMMC) Section 5.18.300 the City Manager is authorized to establish additional rules, regulations, and standards governing the issuance, denial or renewal of commercial cannabis business licenses, the ongoing operation of cannabis businesses, the City's oversight, and any subject deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of EMMC Chapter 5.18. Cannabis business are required to comply with all State and local laws, including these regulations. 


On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, the El Monte City Council submitted an initiative for voter approval pursuant to California Elections Code Section 9222, which required a supermajority (66.67%) of affirmative votes for approval. The measure passed with 7,680 votes (71.48%) in favor. The applicable rates for the Cannabis Business Tax are as follows:   

% of Gross Receipts5%3%3%2%2%


EMMC Section 5.18.050(A) : The number of commercial cannabis business licenses for retailers based in the City shall be no more than six (6).

The City has issued all available cannabis business licenses for retailers, cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and testing laboratories.

Additionally, EMMC Section 5.18.050(D) limits the number of non-retail commercial cannabis uses based on the number of approved conversion applications. The City has approved non-retail conversions, and all license caps have been set at the following:


Applications are limited to the following:

  • Licensees that were issued a commercial medicinal cannabis business permit, Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or Development Agreement (DA) under City of El Monte Ordinance No. 2924 (regardless whether it was rescinded or not) prior to September 13, 2019; or
  • Licensees that submitted an application for a commercial medicinal cannabis permit under Ordinance No. 2924 prior to September 13, 2019.

In addition, applications for retail are limited to individual owner(s) of the applicant with an aggregate interest of 20% or more that have served as an owner or manager of one or more other cannabis retailers licensed by a city, county, city/county or state since at least December 1, 2018.

Application Submittal Information:


  • Commercial Cannabis Business Application (CCBA)(Revised March 30, 2020)
  • Application Procedures and Guidelines (Revised June 1, 2020)

    NOTE: Where application procedures are not prescribed in Section 5.18.080 for non-retail applications, the procedures for retail applications set forth in Section 5.18.070 shall apply.”

    *Live Scan – DOJ/FBI Fingerprinting for Out of State Applicants (NEW June 1, 2020) For out of state applicants where the subject state is not able to use California Live Scan ORI and Mail Code numbers, please complete the Live Scan process in the subject state and provide valid proof of Live Scan conducted from the Live Scan service provider.

    Please be aware that applicants cannot move forward to Phase 4 until it has been confirmed by the El Monte Police Department that a California Live Scan application has been submitted and cleared for each Owner/Manager.

Additional Information: