More California towns, counties appear ready to put out welcome mat for marijuana businesses

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California’s legal marijuana industry has been limited by local bans in roughly two-thirds of the state, but that situation might be starting to change.

More cities and counties now seem willing to open their doors to marijuana companies, in part to plug budget shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a looming recession.

That could translate into a slow but steady increase in new cannabis business permits being awarded in various parts of California.

“It’s now clear that California municipalities are changing their posture toward cannabis in the COVID-19 era,” said Hirsh Jain, director of government relations at Caliva, a San Jose-based marijuana company that has been closely watching the California landscape for expansion opportunities.

Jain shared with Marijuana Business Daily some of the targets that Caliva has been tracking.

“We’re not only seeing cities pass cannabis ordinances for the first time but are also seeing cities that already have ordinances making them more permissive so as to attract and retain more cannabis businesses,” Jain said.

“This … may be what enables the legal California cannabis market to finally realize its immense potential, 2 1/2 years after adult-use sales began.”

While there will be even more opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter the California cannabis market, what follows are some of the localities – ranging from Anaheim to Fresno – that will have licenses up for grabs this year.

Related details: The City Council is slated to take up multiple ordinances related to cannabis licensing at its June 9 meeting.

But details have begun to emerge, including that there will be 20 permits apiece available for retailers, growers, manufacturing and distribution, with no limits on testing lab licenses. However, there’s no timeline yet on when the application process might begin.

For more details, check the city’s website.

Related details: The City Council in February gave preapproval to an ordinance allowing up to four retail storefronts, and there will be no caps on the number of manufacturing, distribution and testing lab licenses.

Cultivation and microbusinesses will be prohibited. The finalization of the ordinance has been put on hold because of the coronavirus, and the earliest it’s expected to pass is August.

No timeline has been announced by the city as to when the permitting process might begin.

Related details: Concord’s City Council in April gave tentative approval to an expansion of its existing marijuana industry. That included increasing the number of manufacturers from two to five, allowing for up to four microbusinesses (including two that have retail), three new storefront retail licenses, three delivery operations, two distributors and an unlimited number of testing labs.

So far, however, there’s no timeline for licensing applications because of coronavirus-related delays.

The ordinance will be effective 30 days from the second reading by the City Council on May 26. For more details, check the city website.

Related details: Many details about the process are still unclear, including when entrepreneurs may begin submitting license applications, how much application fees will be and whether there will be license caps. The ordinance was passed by the City Council on April 6.

Related details: The licensing period is open now through June 15. Only six storefront retail permits will be issued.

Other license types must meet certain criteria, but there are no license caps. More details can be found on the city’s website.

Related details: In January, the City Council voted to authorize at least 14 retail cannabis shops for Fresno, which could be increased to 21, according to Fresno TV station KFSN.

But since then, no further details have emerged as to when licenses might be available, or if other license types could be allowed. A city spokesperson did not respond to inquiries for further details.

Related details: The City Council adopted an ordinance in February to license two marijuana retail shops. The deadline for submitting applications is July 9. More details can be found on the city’s website.

Related details: The city has no caps on any licenses aside from storefront retail, which will be limited to one per 10,000 city residents. Those are likely to total 425 citywide, and so far, just under 200 have been awarded.

The biggest question mark in L.A. is when future licensing rounds will commence; the city has not announced any details yet.

More info can be found on the website of the L.A. Department of Cannabis Regulation.

Related details: At least eight permits are available, but that could increase to 10 if the City Council deems appropriate.

The deadline for applications was May 22, and at least 40 applications were submitted by May 20, according to local news reports.

More information can be found on the city’s website.

Related details: The city’s strict ordinance will allow only three retailers, and indoor cultivation operations will be limited to a maximum of six plants each.

The ordinance, adopted by the City Council on May 18 can be viewed here.

Related details: The city revealed in January that it’s contemplating adding another 10 storefront retail permits to the existing 30 shops, but it’s unclear where that stands as of May, and a city spokesperson did not respond to inquiries for further details.

But the city is accepting applications on an ongoing basis for all other business license types. For more details, check the city’s website.

Related details: Santa Barbara County already is famous for becoming a cannabis cultivation hub. But officials weren’t as keen on getting retail underway until early 2020, when county supervisors approved up to six new storefront licenses.

However, the entire process was put on hold in April because of coronavirus-related delays.

For more information, visit the county website.

Related details: Up to four storefront retail permits will be available, with no limits on other license types.

There’s no formal word yet on when the licensing process might begin, but industry insiders believe it will start later this year.

The City Council has been awaiting guidelines on how the licensing process will roll out since January, according to its website.

For more on the future of business in California, join us at MJBizConNEXT Direct, including sessions specific to California.

3 comments on “More California towns, counties appear ready to put out welcome mat for marijuana businesses
  1. Jennifer Miller on

    Wow, 13 counties ready to embrace hemp! This could be a great opportunity for growth in California at a time when business growth is desperately needed. CBD products like the hemp flowers, oils, and capsules available at various retailers for adult use. Bringing storefront retail to California cities can help get us up and running after COVID.

    Reply
    • Megan Morales on

      Wow, 13 counties ready to embrace hemp! This could be a great opportunity for growth in California at a time when business growth is desperately needed. CBD products like the hemp flowers, oils, and capsules available at various retailers for adult use. Bringing storefront retail to California cities can help get us up and running after COVID.

      Reply

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