On Tuesday night, the city of Pasadena hosted a presentation on cannabis licensing with a planning consultant. Here is what we learned from the meeting.
Regulations for cannabis businesses were voted in on June 5th by Pasadena voters. As a pragmatic and conservative city, Pasadena’s licensing focuses on exercise of local control – with the aim of protecting its residents from secondary effects through land use regulation.
The application period is from January 1st to January 31st at 11:59 p.m. There will be a notice of the 30-day period on December 14th. Currently there is a draft of the review criteria available. The final criteria will be released on December 14th.
The whole application, as well as payments, may be submitted electronically. Pasadena’s selection committee will not give special weight to applications submitted on January 1st versus January 31st, and will not look at anything until the application window closes. The application fee will be approximately $10,000 per category.
The application requires qualifications of the operator, cover letter, business plan, background, experience dealing with government agencies, neighborhood compatibility and enhancement, and security plan. The limit is 50 pages of text and images. You do not have to have a confirmed site in order to apply.
When the application portal closes, there will be an initial screening of applications – did the applicant answer all questions? is the application in full compliance? – to ensure the application is complete and responsive.
Once applications are scored, top applicants will be notified and will have the opportunity to go forward and secure land use permits and public health permits – this is period when you need to lock down your sites, look at buffer zones, and so on. These sites must also be located at least 1,000 feet from any other cannabis retailer.
All the scoring will be based on written submissions, but the city reserves the right to start an interview process of the final applicants.
Pasadena will allow up to 6 retail permits in the city, one per council district, so long as they meet the required separation from schools, parks, and residential properties.
Another point about delivery: people with licenses in other cities are allowed to deliver in Pasadena. Pasadena will not have separate delivery licenses, but the retail licenses will allow both storefront and delivery.
Pasadena will allow up to 4 cultivation sites in the city, indoor only. These cultivation sites must be in commercial general and industrial general zones.
Pasadena will also allow 4 testing laboratories in the city where other medical labs are allowed.
For more information from the workshop, see the handouts at the City of Pasadena website. These include details of the proposed scoring system.