- Posted by Laura Croft, Esq
- On March 28, 2017
- Cannabis regulations, City of Salinas, commercial medical cannabis, licensing, MCRSA; California, Monterey County, Permitting
The City of Salinas, “The Salad Bowl of the World,” is a Cannabis hotspot, with greenhouses as the main means of cultivation. The greenhouses of Salinas Valley provide the perfect growing conditions for Cannabis. The temperate ocean breeze regulates the long, hot growing season, providing optimal conditions for Cannabis cultivators to complete 4 to 5 growing cycles a year, while cutting out major costs of climate control and artificial lighting that is required with colder seasons in the north, or desert heat in Southern California.
However, permitting in Salinas is highly competitive and many may have missed the permitting boat, at least for the first round of permitting.
City of Salinas – Permitting Rules and Regulations
The City of Salinas regulates the establishment and the operation of a limited number of commercial cannabis businesses, including cultivation (limited to indoor grows, Salinas Municipal Code 16B-50.30), dispensaries, manufacturing, and delivery services. The City allows for the establishment and the operation of no more than twelve commercial cannabis businesses, with up to three in each category. Salinas is starting out with a limited number of permits for a test run since the industry is new and comes with critics who argue that Cannabis activity is synonymous with safety issues, environmental burdens and public nuisance concerns.
Salinas Ordinance 2566 Commercial Cannabis provides for a four-phased application process that is based on a point based system and is highly competitive due to the small amount of permits available at this time. The process begins with a strict background check including an extensive criminal record check. (Ordinance 2566, Section 16B-30.150). The application process gives preference to local Salinas-based businesses, considers factors such as work in medical research, and provides for an appeal process.
The City has received applications for the available permits and permitting is underway. No new applications are being accepted at this time. The current application review process will conclude during the first quarter of 2017. If there are not a sufficient number of qualified applicants and the full allotment of permits is not issued, the City may consider re-opening the application process to identify additional qualified applicants.
Commercial Cannabis Tax
A commercial Cannabis tax measure that was on the ballot for Salinas voters in Monterey County, California, on November 8, 2016, was approved by nearly 75 percent of the votes. The measure imposed a tax on Cannabis cultivators that starts at $15 per square foot and increases to $25 per square foot by year five, on July 1, 2021. Cannabis dispensaries, manufacturers, and delivery operations will face a 10 percent tax on the annual gross receipts.
Importantly this tax will bring in tens of millions of dollars to public coffers and make the crop “as legitimate as the lettuce, berries and vegetables grown here by the biggest agricultural corporations in the state.” reports Geoffrey Mohan, LA Times.
Please contact CannaBusinessLaw for expert assistance in compliance with Cannabis licensing, permitting and the application process relating to commercial Cannabis in California.