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Cannabis 2021 Year-End CA Municipality Updates

by Ann Maria on December 30, 2021
Cannabis 2021 Year-End CA Municipality Updates

As we begin a new year, support for federal cannabis legalization is at an all-time high. California states are putting together application documents, regulations, and town council meetings, among other things. Join WeCann as we examine the most recent changes made in California, as well as what’s coming in 2022.


Madera – 12/21/2021

City Council Meeting: City Council approved the following resolutions. Keep in mind, these are only resolutions and the City Council has the power to change any of these resolutions. The City Council only approved because they need to move forward with the program. City Council wants to increase the number of Social Equity licenses possibly at a later date if needed. City Council also wants to either decrease or remove some Social Equity requirements at a later date as well.

Permit Types:

  • Standard applications or Microbusinesses (6 allowed)
  • Social Equity Applicants (will be screened first; 2 allowed)
  • Vertically Integrated, Cultivation, Distribution, Manufacturing, Test Labs (Unlimited)

Encinitas – 12/17/2021 

California Coastal Commission approved Measure H. Associate Planner, Evan Jedyak, anticipates the 30-day registration window to open mid-January 2022 and the application materials to be released the week of 12/20/2021. A minimum of four retail storefront  licenses will be awarded.

12/22/2021: Application materials have been released. Also, the application period will be from 1/17/2021 – 2/18/2021.  

Ventura (City) – 12/13/2021

No decision has been made yet by the CA Coastal Once a final decision is received from the CA Coastal Commission regarding whether commercial cannabis businesses will be permissible in the Coastal Zone, Application Period 2 may be opened for 2 additional retail permits and any unfilled retail or industrial-type permits, for a cumulative maximum of 5 retail and 10 industrial permits. The City anticipates this will not happen until 2022.

Hawthorne – 10/12/2021

The City Council approved a working committee to start an analysis on what type of licenses the City will allow. Senior Planner, Maria Vargas, stated there is no other details or a timeframe of when further details can be announced.

12/17/2021: No updates or upcoming meetings. The City still does not have a timeframe when more information can be released.

Laguna Woods – 10/6/2021

City Manager was given direction to draft an ordinance for future consideration by the City Council that would – if placed on a future ballot by the City Council and subsequently approved by registered voters – enact a tax on businesses engaged in the retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products. This direction would be given with the understanding that, if approved by registered voters, such a tax would only be levied if the City Council took separate, future action to authorize the establishment and operation of cannabis dispensaries and/or other cannabis businesses.

The City has informed us that the ordinance will likely be returned to the City Council for consideration before the end of this calendar year.

12/20/2021: No updates. Still awaiting for an ordinance to reach the City Council for consideration by the end of the year.

Lemon Grove – 12/20/2021 

City still has not released any kind of update to their maps or application materials. City still does not plan on updating their site. The associate planner listed on their site has not been with the City for a few months now.

Wildomar

City is still accepting cannabis licenses with no cap or deadline. Matthew Bassi, Planning Director, stated that the current challenge is trying to find a site that meets their requirements.

National City – 12/20/2021 

A resolution was approved to establish permit fees for recovery of the cost of the commercial cannabis business regulatory program development and for the cost to review and process applications for cannabis businesses. This resolution will become effective and implemented on 2/7/2022. I would suspect that the process will open on or around that time as well.

Number of Licenses:

  • 3 (cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, microbusiness, testing labs, or retail ancillary/accessory)
  • 3 (consumption lounges)

Any Applicant wishing to conduct cannabis retail sales either (storefront or non-storefront) in the Industrial Zones, will be required to conduct at a minimum one other cannabis activity in conjunction with the retail license such as cultivation, manufacturing, or distribution. In addition, the retail portion must be an ancillary/accessory use and will be limited to utilizing no more than 40% of the total square feet of any cannabis operation conducted on the property. 

Daly City

Lottery was given on 11/17/2021. Since Zones 3 & 4 didn’t have qualified applicants, the same process will open again in September 2022 to fill those zones with 1 dispensary each. 

Tracy – 11/4/2021 

Council passed resolutions amending the Cannabis Business Permit Application Procedures and Guidelines in order to: (1) provide additional options to applicants regarding the provision of community benefits; and (2) lower the minimum qualifying score for Phase 1 and 2 of the application review process to 60 percent for permits other than Retailer-Storefront (Dispensary), allowing additional permits to potentially be issued to those applicants who submitted applications for Cannabis Business Permits on or before October 15, 2020). These resolutions became effective on November 18, 2021.

12/20/2021: The City is not accepting new Cannabis Business Permit applications at this time. The City may consider opening another application acceptance period in late 2022 or early 2023. 

Redwood City

City Council approved and authorized continued support for the development and implementation of cannabis business permit programs that will allow for storefront and non-storefront retail cannabis sale. 

12/20/2021: No updates or upcoming meetings.

Long Beach – 10/12/2021

City Council has approved the below mentioned recommendations from the City’s Office of Cannabis Oversight and gives direction to staff to move forward with drafting ordinance. Will still have to wait until final ordinance is approved

Staff recommends Expanding Green Zone:

  • Schools 600ft
  • Day Cares: 600 ft
  • Parks: 0ft
  • Libraries: 600ft
  • Beaches: 0ft
  • Playgrounds: 600ft
  • Community Centers: 600 ft
  • Dispensaries: 1000ft 

Staff recommends no-cap on delivery retail and additional 8 storefront for equity applicants. Staff recommends a merit- based process. Recommends hiring a consultant for $50,000 to develop application criteria and process.

Approximate Timeline:

  • Oct-Dec 2021: Draft ordinance
  • Feb 2022: Ordinance takes effect
  • Jan-Mar 2022: Consultant hired
  • Apr-May 2022: Process is determined
  • May-Oct 2022: Equity process will open
  • Nov 2022: Equity applicants are awarded

Staff recommends strengthening the Muni Code to prevent predatory practices from individuals partnering with Equity Applicants who otherwise would not qualify for equity.

12/21/2021: Staff is currently working on drafting the ordinance to allow for delivery and equity dispensary businesses in Long Beach. It is anticipated that the ordinance will likely be presented to the City Council in January 2022. 

San Diego (County) – 10/6/2021 

The Board approved progressing the Socially Equitable Cannabis Program development, expected to launch in 2023.

11/17/2021: Planning Group received a presentation on Guidelines for Implementation relating to the Cannabis and Social Equity Program. Awaiting details from this presentation.

12/21/20: No updates or upcoming meetings.

Bishop

Currently accepting applications from 11/1/2021-12/31/2021. City will accept 2 storefront licenses and 2 delivery licenses. Location requirements and other information are listed below. Keep in mind I’m currently in contact with Elaine Kabala, Associate Planner, in regards to the location requirements.

Barstow

Barstow opened its process from 12/1/2021 – 1/31/2022, as previously stated. It’ll then open again from 6/1/2022 – 7/31/2022. Although, the City may remove its closing date altogether and remain open continuously. The City released their application materials on 11/22/2021. Last application revision date was 12/15/2021.

Types of Licenses Allowed. No limits on the number of permits issued.

  • Cultivation (Indoor Only: Types 1 through 5, excluding outdoor; Processor)
  • Delivery (Type 9)
  • Distribution (Types 11 and 13)
  • Manufacturing (Types 6, 7, N, P)
  • Retail Storefront (Type 10)
  • Testing (Type 12)
  • Temporary Cannabis Event
  • Any Commercial Cannabis Activity which requires a State of California license as currently defined or amended by the State of California and which is not identified in this chapter and not outdoor cultivation.

Seaside

City will allow 2 more retail in the West Broadway Urban Village Specific Plan when process open ups in about 3-4 months (approximately January-February 2022).

  • 600ft of any public or private school providing instruction in any grade kindergarten through 12, and shall be located in a commercial or industrial zone
  • Dispensaries not located in the West Broadway Urban Village Specific Plan or immediately adjacent parcels shall not be located within one thousand feet of another dispensary unless adjacent to a collocated dispensary of the opposite type as set forth in subsection B of this section. Those located in the West Broadway Urban Village Specific Plan shall not be located within five hundred feet of another dispensary unless adjacent to a collocated dispensary of the opposite type as set forth in subsection B of this section.

12/21/2021: Council approved a resolution appropriating $75,000.00 and authorizing the Acting City Manager to execute a Professional Services Agreement with HDL for cannabis management services for an amount not to exceed $75,000.00.

Brisbane

The City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider draft storefront retail regulations in 2022. Current regulations do not allow storefront retail cannabis.

12/21/2021: No updates or upcoming meeting scheduled.

Monterey – 10/14/2021 

The Monterey City Council members decided to pass the motion to direct staff to move forward with the roadmap including consideration of permitting cannabis dispensaries in the downtown with the exception of El Dorado Street, Lighthouse District, and Cannery Row District. No updates on when the process will open, but likely to open late 2022.

12/21/2021: No updates or upcoming meetings.ting $75,000.00 and authorizing the Acting City Manager to execute a Professional Services Agreement with HDL for cannabis management services for an amount not to exceed $75,000.00.

San Jose – 11/24/2021

The Zoning Ordinance will be taken to the Planning Commission in late January 2022, and both the Zoning and Business License and Regulations Ordinance changes should be seen by the City Council in late February.

Currently, the proposal is to only allow the 16 existing businesses to open a second retail location and to allow 10 new Equity Applicants to apply/open either retail (up to 5) or delivery-only businesses (up to 10) for no more than a total of 10 new locations.


As the sector expands, it must adapt to a rapidly changing and complicated legal environment. The issue for cannabis businesses is that various states in the United States, as well as foreign nations, have differing rules regarding the legality, consumption, distribution, and growing of cannabis.

Cannabis legalization and sale are fast gaining traction not just in the United States, but across the world. Despite this expansion, the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak disrupted the cannabis sector in 2021, and with the most recent variant outbreaks the industry anticipates significant hurdles in 2022.

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