Under California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA)–the state’s general cannabis law–cities and counties are given wide latitude as to whether to allow commercial cannabis activities within their borders. Many local jurisdictions have chosen to prohibit cannabis activities altogether, or to severely restrict what types of activities will be allowed and/or how many businesses can operate.
To date, virtually all of the cities in Orange County have been on that list. As it stands, Santa Ana is the only city in the entire county that has storefront retailers (Stanton’s license process started late last year), but the number of retailers there is limited and licensing has been closed for a while. Other cities within the county currently allow non-storefront retail (e.g., Costa Mesa which allows very limited non-retail activities). But overall, consumers who want legal cannabis in Orange County need to either leave the county or commute to Santa Ana.
That all may change relatively soon, as a number of cities in Orange County are in the process of setting up retail storefront licensing or at least seriously considering it. Much of this started in the November elections, when voters in Costa Mesa, Laguna Woods, and La