How to Obtain a Special Event Permit For Temporary Cannabis Events in Oakland

Table of Contents

City of Oakland Rolls Out Special Event Permit Application for Temporary Cannabis Events

Oakland is joining the ranks of San Francisco to offer permits for temporary cannabis events within the city. This past month (August 2019), Oakland released the city’s process for permitting temporary cannabis events. 

This change in local regulation in Oakland comes on the heels of Grass Lands, in which the music festival Outside Lands in San Francisco legally sold cannabis – the first major festival to do so. The reportedly over seven figures worth of cannabis sold at Grass Lands, demonstrated the enormous financial opportunity that lies in temporary cannabis events.

Given this exciting update in the City of Oakland’s cannabis regulations, we have compiled a list of steps that a potential applicant should follow to obtain a temporary cannabis event license in Oakland:

6 Steps to Obtain a Special Event Permit For Temporary Cannabis Events in Oakland


#1 Obtain a Cannabis Event Organizer License from Bureau of Cannabis Control

Before you start your applying for a Special Event Permit for Oakland, you will have to obtain licensure from the Bureau of Cannabis Control as an Event Organizer. Completing this step is crucial before you proceed, as the Special Event Application for Temporary Cannabis Events requires your State Event Organizer License Number and State Event Organizer License Expiration Date.


#2 Complete Oakland’s Special Event Application for Temporary Cannabis Events

Within a minimum of 45 days in advance of the event, complete the Special Event Application for Temporary Cannabis Events application, including the required support documents:

  1. Fire Clearance or Public Assembly Permit from the Fire Prevention Bureau
  2. If you are selling food at your cannabis event, you will be required to submit an Alameda County Environmental Health Permit
    1. Permits are different depending on whether you are a Sponsor of the event or an event participant operating a Food Facility
    2. If all of your food is donated by a permitted food facility such as a local restaurant or a market, the booth is exempt from these requirements. This exemption falls under “The Craven Allowance” (CalCode Section 113789(c)[(3)(4)])
  3. Itinerary of the proposed event, including set up, event activities, and break down of the event
  4. Event Diagram of the layout of the event, including:
    1. Location of the event
    2. All entrances and exists to be used by participants at the event
    3. All cannabis consumption areas
    4. All retail areas where cannabis goods will be sold
    5. Location of cannabis waste storage
    6. Location of each cannabis licensee participating in the event 
  5. Onsite Consumption Plan, if cannabis is to be consumed at the event
  6. Security Plan with a list detailing all Security Guards and their Guard Card License, pursuant to Business and Professions Code 7582
  7. Certificate of general liability insurance policy, with a limit no less than $1,000,000 for each occurrence and aggregate


#3 Submit Special Event Application with Application Fees for Your Planned Temporary Cannabis Event in Oakland

Submit the application to the Special Activity Permits Office (1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza – Suite 123) with the relevant, non-refundable application fee via check, cashier’s check or money order made out to the City of Oakland. The Special Event Application fee is dependent on the number of vendors at the event:

Number of VendorsApplication Fee
1-20 Vendors$1,764
21-50 Vendors$2,494
More than 50 Vendors$3,055


#4 Attend a Planning Meeting with the City Staff

After submitting your completed special event application with the relevant application fees to the Special Activity Permits Office in Oakland, you will be required to meet with the City Staff to review relevant details of your proposed temporary cannabis event.


#5 Submit Permit Fee for the Temporary Cannabis Event

After receiving your approval for licensure, submit your permit fee to the Special Activity Permits Office:

Number of VendorsPermit Fee
1- 20 Vendors$1,975
21 – 50 Vendors$2,574
More than 50 Vendors$3,320


#6 Denied Special Event Application for Temporary Cannabis Event

If your application to host a temporary cannabis event in Oakland is denied, you may submit a written request for reconsideration within five days of the denial.


As Oakland grants temporary cannabis event licenses within the coming weeks, we are excited to look out for cannabis events during the famed First Friday celebrations in in the city! We also hope to see the financial and communal benefits such events will bring to Oakland.

If you are interested in hosting a temporary cannabis event in Oakland and need help with your application, please contact the Cannabis Permitting and Licensing Legal Team at Rogoway Law Group.

Share this post
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email
More to Explore