Arcata’s New Cannabis Ordinance Takes Effect July 6

This is a press release from the City of Arcata:

Arcata, CA, June 15, 2018 – The City of Arcata has adopted new standards regarding adult-use cannabis retail sales and services, which will take effect on Friday, July 6.

At the Arcata City Council meeting held on June 6, 2018, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt City Ordinance No. 1501, which amended zoning regulations pertaining to cannabis retail sales and services. These zoning changes are a result of new state laws legalizing recreational adult-use cannabis and community input provided over the past year.

The new ordinance allows retail cannabis sales and services in commercial and light industrial districts including downtown and central Arcata, Northtown, Valley West, the industrial areas of South G Street, the Creamery District, West End Road/Aldergrove and the neighborhood commercial areas.

Businesses primarily conducting cannabis retail sales and services are now required to receive a Use Permit from the City’s Planning Commission. The permit process will allow the community to provide input on a cannabis business’s potential impacts to the public’s health, safety and welfare before the permit can be issued. In addition, all businesses, whether cannabis is the primary activity or a small part of the business, will be required to have a City Commercial Cannabis Activity Permit and California state license.

The ordinance limits the number of Use Permits to 15 businesses within the Arcata city limits. It also prohibits businesses on the Plaza that primarily focus on adult-use cannabis retail sales and services. In addition, no more than one cannabis retail and service-based business will be allowed to operate in each neighborhood commercial district including the Westwood, Sunny Brae, Greenview and Bayside districts.

The ordinance allows non-cannabis retail stores to have a small inventory of cannabis accessory products. Cannabis accessory sales are not limited to the 15-permit cap, and will be allowed in most commercial zones including the Plaza and Cannabis Innovation Zones.

All business selling cannabis products are required to apply for all state and city licenses, including those that provide retail sales of both medicinal and adult-use cannabis directly to consumers, and businesses providing a service to individuals that includes the use of cannabis products.

Cannabis consumers are limited in where they are able to use cannabis products since state law prohibits cannabis from being consumed or used in public, and the City of Arcata also prohibits smoking tobacco and cannabis products in places of employment. The new standards allow for on- and off-site cannabis consumption or use as allowed per California state law, but the new ordinance did not revise the City’s “places of employment” smoking prohibition.

The City of Arcata Community Development Department will begin accepting Use Permit and Commercial Cannabis Activity Permit applications for cannabis retail sales and service businesses on Friday, July 6, when the new standards take effect.

For more information, please call 707-825-2139.



  • Alt Right For Life

    Open drug consumption will destroy what little remains of a decent future for children.

    Dealing drugs will be looked back on as a period of great shame before the masses rise against the drug crazed liberal.

    One way to look at this is we are giving the liberal all the rope it needs.

    Very sad days for our country.

    • What about alcohol? Alcohol CAN be consumed in public. This cannNOT. Are you sane?
      Let’s all go by your rules 🤪

    • Seek help. Seriously.

    • You must be miserable living in Humboldt County, CA. There are many non-psychoactive beneficial medical uses for children & adults from this ancient plant. None of the businesses are allowed open consumption and individuals who go to these businesses are law-abiding, paying taxes and supporting the local economy… whether you like it or not. People dumping capital, following the rules to open a legal business & their patrons are the least of my concern. There are far too many man-made chemical drugs and other crimes that are more concerning than law abiding citizens. Many conservatives are invested, own and patronize this industry and a main factor why it is now being legalized.

      • Just because a drug has medical benefits doesn’t mean it’s use needs to be tolerated in public spaces. Methamphetamines, opiates and difference cocaine variances have all been and are still used for medicines. Personally I don’t think any drugs should be illegal, if you want to kill yourself by using drugs that’s your own choice. Just don’t expect me to pay for the damage you do or your medical costs. I do smoke pot, drink occasionally and have been known to take mushrooms but that’s about it. That doesn’t mean I think the rest of the people in this world should be subject to my drug use by having to witness it or deal with my Outburst because of it. What you do in privacy is one thing, forcing everybody else around you to endure it just because you want to is completely different.

    • But… but … cannibis is legal?

  • Arcata now changes from metaphorically stinking to literally stinking. I suppose you can get used to anything. The generation after this will be fighting the same battle over pot that this one fought over tobacco. COPD anyone?

  • Kind of off topic, but ten abatement notices posted last night in Whitethorn and Ettersburg.

  • Whoever got an abatement notice should do two things immediately: get all the cannabis off the property, and call an attorney. If you miss the 10 day period for response you’re entirely in the power of the Code Enforcement Unit and it’s going to cost you tens of thousands.

    • Also, purchase lube. The county doesn’t bring any. BOHICA.

    • Ed is exactly right, these fines are way worse than anything camp or commet would have imposed on you….. 10,000 a day and up… Adds up real quick, the county will sit back and let the bill add up before they eradicate…

    • B.S., i got one last year in july, they gave no shits, still did deps and full sun, fines threatened but never imposed

      • If you are interested in talking to me about this, my email is

      • Will you post a redacted picture of your abatement order? my neighbor got one a couple months ago and I can assure you the county is taking it very serious, he filing an appeal so it is locked up in court but they are still pursuing any and all fines they tried levying against him. The initial fine was $30,000 plus $10,000 a day until he came into compliance with all the code violation, including but not limited to runoff from illegal grading, unpermitted buildings, unpermitted water diversion any kind of public nuisance on the property Etc.

  • Yes, get a lawyer and immediately have them file an appeal, this will stop any fines from accruing and give you time to set things right.

  • Arcata fails again. The plaza has a dozen liquor permits and a homeless problem but a 21 and over shop with a requisite guard checking IDs is a bridge too far?

    The council talked about concerns of retail rent going up but didn’t give a crap about dislocating no fewer than 20 west End/Aldergrove businesses when they made the artificial real estate bubble with the MIZ.

    Typical Arcata.

  • Kicked out the growers when the industry was healthy with a huge pg&e tax that cost arcata a fortune to impose. Now begging them to pay to come back now that the industry is dead.
    Oh Arcata! You fool!

    • Except that this is about retail presence and retail sales. It’s not about growing cannabis. So it isn’t inviting anyone “back.”

      That is, if I read it correctly.
      Did you read it?

    • One fire after another was kind of expensive for the city too.

  • All of the above comments, all of the pointless polemic aside, cannabis is over-rated. And, despite all of the arguments about the beneficial effects, I suspect that it does little but make users stupid. Less people non-users have to compete against in the day-to-day evolutionary struggle.

  • This Great Principle of higher law is recognized and witnessed in
    Billing v. Hall, 7 Cal. 1, 6 (1857). “Section first of Article 1, of the
    Constitution of California, declares that ‘all men are by nature
    free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights,
    amongst which are those of enjoying and defending life and
    liberty, acquiring possession, protecting property, and pursuing
    and obtaining safety and happiness.’ This principle is as old as
    the Magna Charta. It lies at the foundation of every
    constitutional government.”

    “Get a lawyer” – aiding and abetting foreign jurisdiction on American soil.

  • they hope everyone will soon be too stoned to remember Josiah and the statue. hehehe

  • Does it really matter? Ever since legalizing marijuana people smoke, toke, vape everywhere they want. It was evident at oyster fest that people consider it their right to get high anywhere they want.

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