Three months before California begins issuing business licenses for recreational marijuana, the City Council will debate a new ordinance to allow medical dispensaries to open for the first time in Santa Monica. The ordinance will prohibit recreational shops while allowing two dispensaries and “light manufacturing” of medical cannabis products within city limits. The Council will consider three main topics when it comes to Tuesday’s discussion: medical, recreational and taxes.
Existing law limits the city to two medical marijuana shops. The new ordinance establishes a selection process to choose two operators of those licenses.
“The RFA evaluation process would rank the applicants,” reads a report from David Martin, director of administration for the City. “The Director of Planning and Community Development, or designee, would review the committee evaluation and background check results from the Police Department, and he/she would be authorized to request additional information to ensure that the rankings are completed fairly.”
Once the business owner receives the correct local and state permits, he or she will pay a $17,000 conditional use permit among other fees and taxes. Medical cannabis is exempt from current sales taxes.
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