Cannabis Knowledge & Insights

Cannabis Licensing Update – July 15

This summer’s California cannabis updates continue with news from Coachella, La Mesa, and Los Angeles. Here’s what you need to know to start your week off right. 

Coachella, California

The City Council voted to amend part of the Coachella city zoning code as it relates to cannabis businesses. Coachella expanded the areas in which adult-use cannabis businesses can establish their premises. There will also be an increase in the number of allowable retailers. 

The new zoning regulations allow for a maximum of 10 retail cannabis businesses in Coachella, subject to application approval. Five dispensaries will be permitted in Pueblo Viejo (Sub-zone 1) and 2 dispensaries will be allowed in Glenroy Resort (Sub-zone 2). The remained of retail cannabis dispensaries may locate in the new Sub-Zone #3 (Dillon Road), the M-W (Wrecking Yard), and the MS-IP (Manufacturing Service – Industrial Park Overlay) districts. 

La Mesa, California

This week, La Mesa’s City Council amended the city ordinance related to cannabis business taxes and medical cannabis sales. The new amendment establishes two tax rates for retail sales of medical cannabis. The first tax rate of 0% applies to medical retail cannabis sales to customers with a valid California Department of Public Health Medical Marijuana Identification Card. The second rate is 4% tax for all other medicinal retail sales. 

Essentially, the different tax rates apply for different categories of cannabis customers. If you have questions about these different tax rates, please reach out to one of our tax experts. 

Los Angeles, California

As we covered in June, Los Angeles voted to remove the “undue concentration” policy from the city’s cannabis regulations. This week, the DCR announced new requirements that a commercial cannabis retail storefront license applicant in an area of Undue Concentration must meet before the Department of Cannabis Regulation may process their application:

  1. The Applicant has an individual Owner who is a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant and who owns an Equity Share in the Applicant that meets the requirements in Section 104.20; 
  2. The Applicant submits, in a form and manner determined by DCR, all documents and information required under Subdivision 2 of Subsection (c) of this Section; 
  3. The Applicant’s Business Premises meets all applicable requirements of Article 5 of Chapter X of this Code; and 
  4. The City Council, pursuant to Section 104.03, has found or has been deemed to have found that approval of the application would serve public convenience or necessity.

As a reminder, “undue concentration” refers to a rule that another cannabis dispensary can’t be within 700 feet of an existing dispensary. Now, cannabis dispensaries can put their premises next to each other. This is great news for anyone seeking real estate for their retail cannabis business.

If you have questions about the changes to the undue concentration policy, please get in touch with one of our licensing experts by clicking the “Get Started” button below.