Last month, San Diego City published a new page on its website to provide guidance to current and prospective cannabis entrepreneurs hoping to operate legally within the city limits. The website, found at sandiego.gov/marijuanainfo, covers the regulations and processes pertaining to the cultivation, sales, testing and delivery of cannabis products. It also provides details regarding San Diego marijuana guidelines for those interested in entering the cannabis industry in the city.
In 2017, San Diego City Council voted to allow existing medical dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis come January 1, 2018, when state law will officially allow recreational sales of the substance. According to the new website, the local permitting process for San Diego recreational businesses will open on November 16 of this year. Entrepreneurs can find some of the information they’ll need to successfully apply for a permit, but they’ll likely need the assistance of a San Diego cannabis business lawyer to understand state/U.S. marijuana laws and meet all of the permitting requirements.
If you’re interested in starting a cannabis business in the City of San Diego, or if you have questions about the process, call McElfresh Law today at (858) 756-7107.
What Does the San Diego City Website Tell Us?
The new website offers an overview of relevant city ordinances and application procedures for cannabis businesses, including:
- Permitting Process- Cannabis retail outlets and production facilities must obtain a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). A citywide cap of 40 permits has been set in San Diego.
- Taxes- In 2016, San Diego citizens approved a local tax on recreational marijuana farms, factories, and outlets that starts at five percent and would increase to eight percent by July 2019. Eventually, the tax may rise to 15 percent.
- Operational requirements for production facilities- Facilities must be entirely enclosed, and contain no outdoor operations or storage. On site retail sales are prohibited, and the facility must not have a sign, only an address. Employees must pass a background check involving the collection of fingerprints. The facility must include cameras, alarms, and at least one security guard.
- Permitting requirements for retail outlets- As with production facilities, they may not operate within 100 feet of a residential zone, or within 1,000 feet of a church, park, library, school, or childcare facility. An application for a marijuana outlet must include photographs, proof of a right to occupy the premises, a floor plan proposal, and proof of compliance with storm water management and environmental regulations.
- Scheduling a permit application appointment- The first appointments for permit applications will start on November 16, 2017. But it is not possible to schedule your appointment. The selection process for the appointments on this day will be entirely random.
As stated on the website, no legal adult-use cannabis business activities may take place until your business has obtained both a local permit and a state license. At this time, the state licensing process has not begun; only pre-selected businesses are currently attending permit application appointments. That being said, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has asserted that it will start issuing temporary licenses beginning January 2018.
Legal Assistance for Your Cannabis Business Conditional Use Permit Application
A California cannabis business lawyer will understand what steps your business will need to successfully pass through the local permitting and state licensing processes. A lawyer can also ensure your business remains compliant in the future, as regulations are likely to evolve. At McElfresh Law, we stand ready to help your cannabis business idea become a reality.