Commercial Cannabis Permit Program

Background of Commercial Cannabis Permit Process 

Article 14 of Chapter 6 of the Hayward Municipal Code charges the City Manager with establishing a process for evaluating and selecting cannabis businesses to operate within the City limits. The City is using a Request for Proposals (RFP) to serve as the mechanism for the City to ensure the selection of the most qualified cannabis businesses.   

At this time, the City will allow the following types of cannabis businesses:  

  • Commercial Cannabis Cultivation
  • Commercial Cannabis Distribution
  • Commercial Cannabis Manufacturing
  • Commercial Cannabis Retail Dispensary (Limited to three establishments citywide)
  • Commercial Cannabis Delivery
  • Commercial Cannabis Microbusiness (Type 12)
  • Cannabis Testing Laboratory

Every commercial cannabis must secure a Commercial Cannabis Permit prior to securing the appropriate land use entitlements. 

Applicants may apply for permits for one or more business types (listed above) but must provide separate and complete applications for each desired permit type.  Applicants who currently hold—or are applying for—Cannabis Testing Laboratory permits may not hold any other commercial cannabis permits.  

Overview of RFP and Selection Process 

The application and selection process for commercial cannabis businesses in the City of Hayward involves the following steps:  

  1. Background Check 
  2. Submit Attestation Form, Application, and Fees for Commercial Cannabis Permits
  3. Evaluation and Scoring of Applications 
  4. Applicant Interviews and Selection
  5. Issuance of Commercial Cannabis Permits & Timely Launch of Operations 

Due to more stringent regulations, applicants for Testing Facilities must submit a separate type of RFP, which allows for a more expedited review.

Upcoming Rounds

On Tuesday, January 15, the City Council voted to proceed with several items regarding the next rounds of the Commercial Cannabis Permit Program. These are:

  1. Commercial Cannabis Permit First Round; Tier 2—Cultivation, Manufacturing, Distribution, Delivery, and Microbusiness applicants with proposals that scored a 500 or higher will now advance to the interview round. Those applicants who successfully pass the interview will then be considered for award of Commercial Cannabis Permit by the City Council. Please note that Tier 2 review does not apply to Retail applications.

Those applicants who qualify for these interviews will be notified of next steps within the next two weeks.

  1. Second Round for New Applicants—The City Council will authorize issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the second round of the Commercial Cannabis Permit Program 6 to 12 months following the conclusion of the Tier 2 review.

All information pertaining to the Commercial Cannabis Permit program, future rounds, and the City’s land-use regulations can be found on the City’s website at Due to limited staff resources, please review all information on the website prior to contacting the City with any questions regarding cannabis businesses in the City.

Previous Rounds

Information regarding previous Commercial Cannabis Permit rounds can be found at the links below. 

Staff Contact

Jeremy Lochirco, Principal Planner
Development Services Department, Planning Division