Cannabis Updates from Around the State: February 2020

Posted by Margolin & Lawrence on February 3, 2020

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Oxnard City, California: 

California is infamous for its high taxes and disproportionally low city budgets. Many cities within California are opening their cannabis ordinances to generate revenue and invigorate city economies. On Dec. 3rd  the Oxnard City council met to amend the Oxnard City Code, including the Regulations for Cannabis Retail Dispensaries. With the retail cannabis ordinance passing, there will be ample opportunity for cannabis entrepreneurs to enter the marijuana industry and a new stream of revenue for the city. Dispensaries in Oxnard will not only have a physical storefront, but there will be the opportunity for a delivery feature. 

Oxnard aligned their definitions of sensitive use buffer areas with that of state law – 600 foot buffer from parcel line to parcel line. The number of potential cannabis sites is set at 146 parcels, however this does not necessarily mean that all parcels will be occupied by a cannabis retail shop. Instead, the city has initiated a phased rollout system of how many retail outlets can come forward. 

Additionally, the planning commission has been recommended to consider new downtown zoning areas to allow for potential cannabis retail which could add nearly 132 new parcels zoned for retail activity. Currently, the zones proposed for retail cannabis activity are the C1, C2, and CPD areas, making sure to avoid and preserve affordable housing sites. 

The retail application window will open later this month. Only 10 licenses will be given out in this round, so it’s time to act fast. 

Oakland City, California:

As cannapreneurs wait for Oxnard City’s application process to open, Oakland is ripe with opportunity. The city is currently accepting dispensary applications and will continue to do so until February 27th, 2020. In anticipation of the approaching deadline, Oakland has a few interesting programs to offer those who intend to apply. 

The first is an “Incubation Mixer” event, bringing both general and equity applicants together to explore incubation opportunities. Cannabis incubators, frequently referred to as investors, can be extremely influential in creating a foundation for a successful cannabis business during the beginning stages of a cannabis startup. However, incubators do not necessarily directly invest in their cannaprenuer client. It’s likely that a cannabis incubator might find a promising cannabis startup that they help find funding for. If they do invest, the incubator will usually take 5-10% of the company once it is a viable enterprise. 

Additionally, Oakland’s Community and Economic Development Commission will be meeting to discuss a proposed program to allocate Bureau of Cannabis Control’s Grant money to the City of Oakland’s Social Equity program. The meeting was postponed - therefore, results on the meeting are not available yet - but the staff has proposed a recommendation to direct the grant funds to operators, equity manufacturers, and support for equity business events. 


San Juan Batista City, California:

In other cannabis-related news, San Juan Batista just rescinded a city wide ban on cannabis sales, manufacturing, and distribution by approving cannabis tax rates. The removal of the ban took about 60 days, starting the process on December 17th and was finally carried out on January 21st. While the city could begin accepting applications as soon as the third week of February, the application portal is expected to be open by March 1st. 

Adopted tax rates: 

  • Cultivation: $5 per square feet
  • Distribution: 4% of gross receipts
  • Manufacturing: 5% of gross receipts
  • Retail: 5% of gross receipts
  • Laboratory testing: 3% of gross receipts
  • Microbusinesses: 5% of gross receipts

With certain agricultural restrictions the city has limited cultivation space, so we can expect that the council members will be less exclusionary during the application reviewal process towards retail applications.  

Look out for…

Wildomar City, California: 

Citizens of Wildomar City are currently deliberating over a proposed cannabis ordinance. The ordinance would institute a regulatory process for cannabis licensing and business operations within the city. The ordinance would allow for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and testing with the approval of a conditional use permit in certain industrial, manufacturing and commercial zones within the city. This activity would be practiced outside a 600 ft barrier from other dispensaries and sensitive use areas. The Wildomar Planning Commission announced that an analysis of the "Initial Study/Negative Declaration" document and proposed ordinance is scheduled for April 1st. The Wildomar City Council will be reviewing these documents on April 15th. 

The deadline for submitting applications for a dispensary permit is one February 27, 2020.  If you are interested in applying for a dispensary permit, please take steps to submit your application well before this deadline. By visiting our website you can find  more information on the dispensary permit application process and  access the application.

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This blog is not intended as legal advice and should not be taken as such. The possession, use, and/or sale of marijuana is illegal under federal law.