This week’s California cannabis business updates come in from Los Angeles, Pasadena, Redding, Barstow, and Riverside. Here’s what cannabis operators in California need to know this week!
Los Angeles, California
As we mentioned in the update last week, Los Angeles is accepting Social Equity Program verification applications from May 28 until July 29, 2019.
To receive priority processing in Phase 3 of Los Angeles’ cannabis retail and delivery licensing window, you must first be verified as a Social Equity applicant. The DCR is offering individual appointments to help prospective applicants complete their forms, should you need assistance in completing your SEP verification application. Walk-in assistance is available, but it’s strongly recommended you confirm an appointment to guarantee assistance. Visit the DCR website to book a clinic appointment now.
Pasadena announced the six top-scoring applicants for their available commercial cannabis retailer permits. During the application window, from January 1 – January 31, 2019, 128 applications were received, 122 of which were for cannabis retailer licenses. Competition was extremely steep in Pasadena. At this stage, the six top-scoring applicants will submit a Conditional Use Permit application, as well as requested supplemental information which verifies the retailer’s location, security plan, and benefits plan. These permits still need to be reviewed by the Pasadena Planning Commission before the six approved retailers can open for business. As for the other applicants, those who applied under the categories of cannabis Cultivation and Testing Laboratory will be reviewed and scored by Pasadena in the coming weeks.
Redding’s City Council amended the city’s municipal code to clarify expectations of cannabis microbusinesses.
The city code will be changed to exempt microbusinesses who are already qualified as cannabis retailers and microbusinesses who will not operate a retail component from the competitive application process. Microbusinesses that are already qualified retailers or who aren’t participating in the cannabis retail market will not have to participate in the competitive application process in Redding.
Barstow’s City Council looks to open cannabis business license applications – but, the city is discussing a cannabis business tax of up to 15%. This is an extremely high tax rate and would effectively discourage cannabis operators from opening in Barstow.
The proposed tax rate will be presented to the city’s voters in a special municipal election on November 5, 2019.
Riverside’s cannabis RFP window is closing soon. The city will announce RFP ranking results the week of June 10 – if you applied for a license in Riverside, expect to receive an email notification this week.
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