Cannabis Industrial Marketplace

Sanford Stein

Cannabis Law LLC
Attorney and Counselor

Session Title: Zoning; A Balance between Land Owners and Government

Professional Summary

Sanford M. Stein is an experienced and highly skilled attorney and business advisor in all aspects of government driven legal matters including legislation, regulations, lobbying and litigation. For over 40 years Mr. Stein has been counseling private sector clients and managing their relationships with government. With these decades of experience in government regulations, he is a leader in the fight for cannabis legalization and common sense cannabis regulations. He has assisted with cannabis legislation and rulemaking, regulatory compliance, business development, real estate, finance, banking, license applications, Tribal Government counseling and zoning for cannabis businesses in several states.

Mr. Stein is involved in international cannabis legalization having appeared before the Health Committee of the House of Representatives Health Committee of the Federal Republic of Brazil, advising on proposed national medical cannabis legislation in Brazil. He has appeared and successfully argued at the United States Supreme Court in The Steel Company v. Citizens for a Better Environment, as well as in numerous other federal and state courts.

Starting with early experience with laws in other highly regulated industries, such as environmental and energy, he understands the pathway to licenses and permits for cannabis cultivation, processing and retail sales. Working with top physicians, he is also knowledgeable on the science of medical cannabis and patient care. Mr. Stein’s experience extends to Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica products, as well as Cannabis Sativa L, also known as hemp. He counsels on the use of hemp derived cannabinoids including CBD isolate and distillate, broad spectrum THC free oils, and isolates of CBN and CBG.

He is an author and lecturer on cannabis law and business, having appeared before the New York Institute of Credit, the Illinois State Bar Association, My Compassion and other distinguished groups. He is the principal author of the Cannabis Law Blog at His lobbying experience includes activities in the United States Congress and over 20 state legislatures.

Mr. Stein is featured in Leading Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and holds the coveted AV rating for professionalism and ethics by the Martindale-Hubbell rating service. For more information please see the attorneys section at

Session Abstract

Just because your application is approved by your state cannabis regulatory agency, you still might not be able to open your business.  Land use restrictions, which include zoning, are the province of local government: cities, villages, towns, townships and counties and most state cannabis licensing laws leave zoning to local governments.  Local governments determine the places for all sorts of businesses such as pet stores, drug stores and coffee shops; they also determine where to locate car dealerships, manufacturing plants, airports, and notably, cannabis dispensaries, cultivation centers and processing labs..  

Most zoning authorities place restrictions on where a cannabis facility can be located.  Some demand distances from schools, parks or churches; others restrict house of operation or visible signage.  Still other regulations might include required lighting, restrictions on signage, lot sizes, and street setbacks, building heights, building materials and parking requirements.  

In every instance zoning rules must be reasonable, not arbitrary or capricious.  They are a restriction on the use of land and if unreasonable can be stricken by a court.  As such, zoning authorities are under scrutiny not to overly regulate however, some state laws permit local governments to opt out of authorizing cannabis shops or facilities within their boundaries.  

In this Session we will explore what to do to get the right zoning approval for your cannabis business