- Posted by Erica Treeby
- On April 20, 2017
- breaking, Cannabis License, Cannabis Permit, delivery, dispensary, distribution, licensing, manufacturing, MCRSA, medical cannabis, regulations, retail, testing, zoning
On November 8, 2016, the residents of Long Beach voted to approve a ballot measure which provides for the regulation of medical Cannabis businesses within the City. Measure MM, which was approved by 59% of the City’s voters, allows for the operation of medical Cannabis dispensaries, delivery, manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, and laboratory testing businesses. The ordinance which added Chapter 5.90 to the Long Beach Municipal Code (LMBC), requires medical Cannabis businesses to obtain a local permit, as well as a State permit once those permits become available in January 2018. The website of the city’s Financial Management Division has posted a comprehensive guide to the various medical Cannabis business licenses that are being offered.
Per Chapter 5.90, Long Beach will issue a maximum of 32 dispensary licenses to conduct medical Cannabis dispensary activities in the City. No dispensary may be operated in an area zoned exclusively for residential use; within 1,000 feet of a school, public beach or another dispensary; or within 600 feet of a public park or library. Long Beach has published a Medical Marijuana Buffer Map in order to help business owners determine whether a location meets the ordinance’s zoning requirements. All medical marijuana businesses within the “pink” area of the buffer map are in the allowable area.
For purposes of the permit application process, dispensary applicants are grouped into three categories:
- Priority Group 1: Long Beach lottery winners* in September 2010 whose business was authorized to operate after February 14, 2012, and whose business location is the same as the previous location that was open on February 12, 2014;
- Priority Group 2: Long Beach lottery winners* in September 2010 whose business was authorized to operate after February 14, 2012, and the proposed business location is not the same as the previous location that was open on February 12, 2014;
- Non-Priority Applicants: Those who do meet the criteria for the Priority 1 or 2 Group applicants.
*In 2010, Long Beach conducted a lottery to pick dispensary operators under the city’s previous medical cannabis regulations.
Permit applications for Priority 1 and 2 group applicants are accepted between January 23, 2017 to July 24, 2017; while the submission period for Non-priority applicants was limited to a 30 day window of January 23, 2017 to February 22, 2017.
All cultivation must occur with an enclosed building. Only cultivation locations intending to be compliant with the Medical Cannabis Regulation & Safety Act (MCRSA) Type 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4 State Cultivation licenses will be permitted. A dispensary may also operate a cultivation facility either on its premises or offsite, but must obtain a separate business license for each cultivation site it operates. Applications for cultivation permits may be submitted starting on May 1, 2017.
Applicants must specify whether they are applying for a volatile solvents or non-volatile solvents manufacturing permit. All proposed facility locations must comply with the restrictions laid out on the city’s Medical Marijuana Buffer Map. Application will become available in mid-July. The city will began accepting applications for manufacturing permits starting on August 1, 2017.
Pursuant to LBMC Section 5.90.060, representative samples of medical Cannabis distributed by a licensed dispensary must be analyzed by an independent laboratory to ensure that the marijuana and/or marijuana product is free of harmful pesticides and other contaminants regulated under local, state, or federal law. Licensed dispensaries must follow the regulations for testing outlined in the following memo: Dispensary Lab Testing Procedures. Applications for lab testing permits may be submitted starting on May 1, 2017.
All licensed cultivators and manufacturers must send their medical Cannabis or medical Cannabis products to a licensed distributor for quality assurance and inspection, and to a licensed testing laboratory for batch testing before distribution to a dispensary. The City of Long Beach is not currently accepting applications for distribution licenses.
We invite you to contact CannaBusinessLaw for expert assistance in compliance with Cannabis licensing, permitting and the application process relating to commercial Cannabis in California.