- Posted by Laura Croft, Esq
- On September 20, 2016
- breaking, cannabis, Humboldt County, licensing, regulation, retail
In response to the implementation of California state law, Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”), a compilation of recently enacted AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643, Humboldt County has stepped up its regulations with the Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (“CMMLUO”), and has also tightened regulation on retail related activity of cannabis for medical use.
On July 19, 2016, Humboldt County passed an ordinance regulating the establishment and operation of Store-front based Medical Marijuana Collective or Cooperative Dispensing Facilities in all zones. Collective or Cooperative Dispensing Facilities (“CCDF”) is defined as a medical marijuana collective, cooperative or delivery service, operating in compliance with all applicable state and local laws. A Storefront-Based Medical Cannabis Dispensaries application checklist is available with the Humboldt Planning and Building Department.
Key Provisions of the Ordinance:
1. CCDF shall only be allowed in specifically enumerated zones with a valid business license, and a conditional use permit and coastal development permit.
2. CCDF shall at all times be operated in such a way as to ensure the safety of patients and staff; to ensure the security of the medical marijuana; and to safeguard against the diversion of medical marijuana for non-medical purposes. Pursuant to Health & Safety Code Section 11362.765, no profit may be made by CCDF.
3. CCDF Requirements – In addition to all other requirements for a conditional use permit and coastal development permit, all of the following terms and provisions must be met in order for the Planning Commission to consider granting or renewing a conditional use permit or coastal development permit to operate
4. Operators must prepare a plan setting forth materials storage, handling, and disposal measures.
5. The Planning Commission shall specifically regulate the location of CCDF by considering the potential impacts and cumulative impacts of proposed medical marijuana CCDF to the community area as a whole and specifically on the following existing uses located within a 500 foot radius of proposed CCDF, including, but not limited to: parks; libraries and schools.
6. A CCDF may not be operated by any persons who have been convicted of a felony in the last five (5) years.
An Operations Manual must be submitted to Planning Commission. The Operation Manual requires permission for the County to verify stated information; description of the staff screening processes; hours and days of operation; layout of the facility; all structures within a 500 foot radius; security measures; process of screening patients and caregivers; tracking and inventory control, as well as additional operation details.
The Ordinance also sets forth Operating Standards relating to hours of operation; signage; current and valid physician recommendations; prohibition of smoking, ingesting or consuming medical marijuana edibles on the premises or in the vicinity of CCDF; regulation of all weighing and measuring devices; an up-to-date inventory of all hazardous materials; and continued compliance with any and all conditions of their conditional use permit and coastal development permit.
It is important to note that delivery services cannot be operated from a residential zone and are limited to a “store-front” facility in a commercial or industrial zone with an approved conditional use permit.
Medical marijuana CCDF shall submit a “Performance Review Report” on an annual basis from their initial date of operation for review and approval by the Planning Commission. This annual “Performance Review Report” is intended to identify the effectiveness of the approved conditional use permit, Operations Manual, Operating Standards, and conditions of approval, as well as the identification and implementation of additional procedures as deemed necessary.
All distribution of medical marijuana by CCDF is required to come into full compliance with these regulations within one (1) year of the adoption of the ordinance.
This deadline is quickly approaching and the time is now to embrace Humboldt County’s new regulations of Store-front based Medical Marijuana Collective or Cooperative Dispensing Facilities.