Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$52.65-$70.38 hourly / $9,126.00-$12,199.00 monthly / $109,512.00-$146,390.40 yearly


Under administrative direction, implement the goals, strategies, policies and programmatic framework for the issuing of licenses through the Cannabis Registration and Licensing Program of the County. This position shall take the necessary steps to build and manage the Cannabis Registration and Licensing Programs. Evaluate the licensing of cannabis locations and issue/deny/revoke licenses based on guidelines; working with departments, develop and promote a strong and compliant environment for cannabis and work with industry representatives across the County; and to do other work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This single position class is responsible for exercising a high degree of responsibility and independent judgment in the formulation and advancement of the Office of Cannabis Licensing. The incumbent reports directly to the County Administrative Officer who retains the title of Licensing Officer as per the Cannabis Licensing ordinances. The incumbent provides direction and supervision to Cannabis Licensing Program enforcement and licensing staff, as well as any contract service providers. This position differs from lower classes due to its supervisory responsibility and high degree of independence and requires professional, administrative, and management skills.

Typical Tasks

  • Implement the goals, strategies, policies and programmatic framework for the issuing of licenses through the Office of Cannabis Licensing;
  • Evaluate the licensing of cannabis business locations and issue/deny/revoke licenses based on program guidelines;
  • Review and update application forms for licensees;
  • Develop and implementing a system on County’s website to communicate the number of licenses issued and notifying the public as to whether applications for licenses are being accepted;
  • Create and/or adopt any policies, procedures, rules, regulations, or fees necessary to implement and support the Cannabis Licensing Program;
  • Supervises, directs and coordinates and reviews the work of subordinate managers and staff, including outside professional consultants and contract service providers;
  • Work with community members, state, federal, and local departments, develop and promote a strong and compliant environment for cannabis cultivation across the County;
  • Work with involved committees and commissions, attend and speak at public events on behalf of the Cannabis Licensing Program;
  • Provides written analysis, evaluation and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and State governing bodies on the status of the Cannabis Licensing Program;
  • Identifies and implements strategic, short and long range planning and programmatic framework to achieve Cannabis Licensing Program goals;
  • Creates an annual action plan and identifies continuous improvement recommendations for the overall plan;
  • Provides leadership and serves as a subject area expert on cannabis licensing matters, providing technical advice and continuous coordination to other departments;
  • Acts as liaison to and builds strong relationships with County officials and departments and the cannabis community, including non-profits, and businesses, as well as entrepreneurial and civic/community groups to maximize public safety;
  • Makes presentations to boards, the business community and other groups; facilitates and represents the Cannabis Licensing Program and County at meetings with members of the business community and the general public;
  • Develops qualitative and quantitative measures to monitor, ensure, and evaluate Cannabis Licensing Program;
  • Performs various public relations activities, which may include development of promotional materials and press releases, guides education and outreach activities;
  • Prepares and oversees preparation of project and program budgets and participates in preparation of Cannabis Licensing Program budgets;
  • Manages and oversees the administration of the cannabis business tax (County Code Chapter 4.06, et al);
  • Provides seamless coordination with enforcement activities including audits, inspections, and/or prosecution;
  • Reviews systems and procedures for security, inventory, and record keeping for the cannabis industry;
  • Provides leadership and training activities to staff to meet goals and effectively expand their skill set.

Employment Standards


Thorough knowledge of:

  • The principles and practices of program administration, business, government regulation and resources;
  • The principles of planning, including the general plan, zoning, and design review;
  • The functions and relationships between private and public sector groups in the community.

Working knowledge of:

  • Laws pertaining to the Santa Cruz County Cannabis Licensing Program;
  • State and local policies, laws, rules, and regulations relating to cannabis;
  • Office procedures and practices, including preparation of correspondence, reports and filing;
  • Record keeping procedures and practices;
  • Federal, State and local land-use regulatory agencies;
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA);
  • Land-use planning principles, practices, and trends at the local level;
  • Business development and marketing;
  • Taxation.

Some knowledge of:

  • Codes and regulations covering rural, residential, and commercial development;
  • Financial record keeping;
  • The principles and practices of supervision, training, and performance evaluation;
  • The principles and practices of conflict resolution;
  • Local government organizational structure, functions, and management;
  • Uniform building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical codes;
  • Bank Secrecy Act.

Ability to:

  • Independently apply unbiased judgment through the direction of the Cannabis Licenses ordinances;
  • Read, interpret and apply zoning, environmental and building ordinances and related regulations, laws and other ordinances governing land use in an objective, accurate way;
  • Negotiate difficult, highly technical and/or complicated transactions;
  • Interpret and apply complex cannabis state and local policies, laws, rules, and regulations;
  • Analyze problems and identify alternative solutions, project consequences of license actions and implement recommendations in support of goals;
  • Stay abreast of medical findings regarding cannabis usage;
  • Follow and identify legislation on recreational cannabis usage;
  • Work effectively in time-sensitive situations to meet deadlines;
  • Understand and follow oral and written instructions;
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with the public in stressful situations;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with cannabis business and patient community, the general public, officials, and personnel of other agencies;
  • Research regulations, procedures and/or technical reference materials relating to code enforcement;
  • Take initiative in carrying out direction and in formulating creative solutions to problems;
  • Review, analyze, and interpret data and metrics, set targets for success and monitor progress;
  • Gather and evaluate facts and evidence and draw logical conclusions;
  • Work well individually and as a member of a professional and technical team;
  • Write clear, concise and comprehensive reports, correspondence, technical reports and program plans;
  • Make detailed presentations on complex issues to internal and community groups and decision making committees, commissions and boards;
  • Testify in administrative hearings and courts of law;
  • Synthesize complex case issues, ordinances and legal requirements relative to cannabis license cases and make recommendations for departmental actions;
  • Exercise sound independent judgment and demonstrate initiative and creativity, with minimal supervision;
  • Plan, direct, supervise and evaluate the work of assigned staff and contract service providers;
  • Evaluate and recommend changes to policies, practices, and procedures;
  • Communicate complex material clearly, logically, and concisely, both orally and in writing, including public presentations to large and small audiences.

Training and Experience: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in economics, business, finance, land use, or a closely related field. (A Juris Doctorate or Master’s degree in a related field is highly desirable.)


Five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in public administration program development, experience in a municipal or state regulatory environment or a closely related field. A Master’s degree in a related field may be substituted for one (1) year of professional experience and a Juris Doctorate may be substituted for two years of professional experience.


Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to provide suitable transportation approved by the appointing authority.


Bargaining Unit: 08

EEOC Job Category: 01

Occupational Grouping: 28 Worker's Comp

Code: 8810

CLASS: WD8; EST: 2/1/2016; REV: 6/1/2016;