Almost everyone that reaches out to us asks a variation of the following question: “Where is the best city for starting a marijuana business?” Some have read our blog post about the licensing process which describes the power of the local governments, whether City or County for their unincorporated areas. Others are just want a place to start looking.
The answer is always the same… it depends! Here are some of the biggest variables involved:
- The “application window” or the timeframe in which your application will be accepted
- The business types being allowed
- The number of each license type that will be awarded
In this post, we have summarized and will continue to update over time some of the biggest stories and opportunities for starting a marijuana business from around the state.
A word of caution: If you are relying upon this post to get started on your business plan, legal formation and financing, you run a very real risk of being unprepared for the short application windows. However, it’s never too early to develop your strategy by working through the details of the licensing process, the costs and ROI, and much much more. You can reach out to us to get a few hours of serious brainstorming in before you jump in.
JULY 2019 – San Joaquin County – Everything but Storefront, NO Caps, No Window.
Cannabis businesses were approved in San Joaquin County prior to the midterm elections but this green light was contingent on voters approving the tax measure designed to pay for the costs related to implementing the programs. But after failing to pass in November, the Board of Supervisors recently amended the ordinance in two major ways that will open up the door to legalized, licensed cannabis commerce.
They have replaced the tax with Development Agreements ( private contracts that require permitted businesses to pay the County a portion of their revenue ) and stripped the Storefront Retailer license type from the allowed models.
The County will begin accepting applications in August for every type of cannabis business except Storefront Retail (Delivery Only is allowed) and outdoor cultivation, which was always prohibited.
There appears to be no regulatory cap on the number that the County will consider, and no finite timeline for application or consideration, contrary to so many jurisdictions. So the time to act is NOW!
There are always practical considerations when applying sensitive use restrictions to the limited, properly zoned parcels. You must also consider the resources of the County to effectively process applications.
This is a huge opportunity in a county near the highly competitive Bay area for key members of the licensed supply chain to develop a cannabis business.
The county has some good resources available online, including a tool to determine if a specific parcel is (or isn’t) located within its unincorporated area, which is required. Please note that merely being in this zone, does not mean you will be approved. Be sure to consult land use professionals, before leasing or buying any property for cannabis. We have the best track record among cannabis consultants and we’re happy to help you get started. Reach out to us today!.