- Posted by Laura Croft, Esq
- On August 25, 2016
- City of Oakland, dispensary, licensing, medical cannabis, permit
In efforts to align with California’s Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643, the City of Oakland recently amended its medical cannabis ordinances, OMC 5.80 and 5.81. The amendments provide for the development of an application process for medical cannabis permits and licensing.
Amendments to OMC 5.80 provide for medical cannabis dispensary permits. Any dispensary, delivery or delivery-only dispensary must have a valid business permit. The one significant restriction is that the City Administrator shall issue no more than eight new valid permits for the operation of dispensaries in the City per year. Delivery-only dispensaries are not subject to this limit. Moreover, an applicant must obtain a secondary onsite consumption permit in order for cannabis to be consumed on the premises of the dispensary.
Amendments to OMC 5.81 provide for medical cannabis cultivation facility permits, and applies to medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and other facility permits. With the new permitting process, the City of Oakland seeks to improve public health and safety and “provide a measure of certainty for legitimate businesses and thus encourage them to situate in Oakland.” (Amendment to OMC 5.81).
Special business permits will be required for the operation of industrial medical cannabis cultivation processing, distributing, manufacturing, testing and transporting facilities.
Other important points:
– More than one medical cannabis operator may situate on a single parcel of land; however, each operator will be required to obtain a permit for their applicable permit category.
– A proposed use shall not be located within a 600 foot radius of any public or private school, nor situate in an area other than as prescribed, unless the City Administrator in his/her discretion determines that the location will not impact the peace, order and welfare of the public.
There is also Equity Permit Program Criteria that is geared towards tailoring business opportunities to Oakland residents. Fifty percent (50%) of all permits issued under OMC 5.81 shall be issued to an Oakland resident who meets the Equity Permit Program requirements. Under the Equity Program, Applicant must have at least one member who meets all of the following criteria:
- Be an Oakland resident who
- Resides for at least two years prior to the date of application in Oakland Police Department Beats 26Y. 30X. 30Y. 31Z. 32Y. and 34X; or, those individuals who, within the last ten years, have been previously incarcerated for marijuana-related offense as a result of a conviction arising out of Oakland. California;
- Maintains not less than a 50% ownership in the Dispensary entity; and
- Prior marijuana or cannabis conviction shall not be a bar to equity ownership
The City of Oakland will have applications available for non-dispensary medical cannabis permits later in August. Electronic applications will be available on the Special Activity Permits website, and paper applications will be available in City Administrator’s Special Activity Permits Division Monday Friday, 9am-5pm, on the 11th floor of City Hall at 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612.
“Californians have made it clear that they want people to have safe, legal access to medical marijuana,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a written statement. “I’m proud that by adopting groundbreaking m
edical cannabis regulations, Oakland is creating a national model for how communities can bring every aspect of this growing sector of our economy into the light.”