Excitement is buzzing for Oakland as applications for Medical Cannabis permits are expected to be released in late August ’16. The city will take applications on a continuous basis, and process them first come first serve. All documents must be completed and turned in before the application can move forward in the licensing application process.
Electronic applications will be available on the Special Activity Permits website, http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/CityAdministration/d/SpecialPermits/index.htm, 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.
Nonrefundable fees are required for the Initial Application and annually for regulation on gross sales. Application fees are designed to pay for the time and resources invested in processing each applicant’s request. Some applications may take considerably less effort and time to process than others, so the City of Oakland may refigure the fee in the future after data has been collected on the accuracy of labor involved.
All actions that are within Oakland will require individual permits. Aside from the brick and mortar dispensaries that are limited to no more than eight new permits per year, there will be no limit to the number of permits that the City of Oakland will grant for all other Medical Cannabis licenses, making this a non-competitive application process. Applicants are permitted to have multiple licenses with no restriction on the number or categories of licenses they or their business may hold. Multiple licensees may operate on the same property.
The Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) Chapter 5.81 applies to all cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, transporters, and testing laboratories; Chapter 5.80 applies to both dispensary and delivery-only dispensaries. A Distributor license should be obtained for a packaging operation and nurseries for clones must obtain a Cultivation license. Quantity determines if substances such as CO2, Alcohol, and Ethanol are considered volatile solvents; likely only concentrate Manufacturers will need volatile solvent permits, excluding most Manufacturers of edibles, since their operations will likely use solvent quantities far below the level considered volatile. The State will be looking at the local level for examples of what works best within that area, and is expected to support that example, if deemed ideal. The City wants to see that applicants are thinking ahead for future planning; being conscientious of the future and positioning themselves to be in compliance with expected State requirements.
The Application Process is broken down chronologically into five steps. First, each applicant will perform a LiveScan. Second, applicants will complete and submit their application. Third, applicants will receive an Inspection Card to be completed with all applicable departments. Fourth, applicants will submit their Inspection Card. Last, the applicant will be issued or denied a license with conditions specified. The City of Oakland aims to align these cannabis business license requirements to those businesses that hold similar operations. Applications will be evaluated by local department experts as relevant to each section.
The application will require the following information and plans:
- Address of Proposed Operation
- Right to occupy location: Owner, Tenant, Intend to Lease or Purchase
*with supporting documentation
- Applicant Information: Name, Corporate Structure, Doing Business As, Partner/Owner/Manager info
- Type of License
- Projected Annual Receipts
- Security: Floor Plan, Security Plan
- Business Plan: Describe products and services, First-year budget, Proof of capitalization
- Workforce: Worker Compensation Plan, Personnel Policy, Local Hiring Plan
- Odor Mitigation Plan
- Equity Information: 2-year resident of Beat 26Y, 30X, 30Y, 31Z, 32Y, or 34X or incarcerated for Oak cannabis offense; and Maintain 50% ownership (*with supporting documentation)
- Delivery-Only Dispensaries: Vehicle Info, Insurance Info (*with supporting documentation)
For those of you with an active facility that may have unpermitted building construction, your business will first need to be checked for, or relocated to, a location that is within permitted zoning locations and should be positioned in compliance with the requirements of the law. There have been no amendments yet drafted for amnesty for currently active facilities. There is a 90 day grace period for applicants during the application process, whereby they have this timeframe to position their business into compliance, without risk of being raided. Existing businesses will not be grandfathered in unless the law is amended to so accommodate.
Applicants must disclose all parties who have involvement in the business as soon as applicable. Applications that are not yet complete will wait in the pending pool until all components of the application are received. Before issuing permits, the City of Oakland will need to see that the proposed plans are in place.
The Equity Permit Program requires that at least half of all permits issued under OMC 5.80 and 5.81 go to applicants that have at least one member who must be an Oakland resident, whom has resided in Oakland for least two years prior in Beats 26Y, 30X, 30Y, 31Z, 32Y and 34X; or to an individual who has been previously incarcerated within the past ten years for marijuana-related offenses as a result of a conviction arising out of Oakland. Residing applicants must maintain no less than 50% ownership in the entity. At least 50% of employees must be Oakland residents, and 25% of employees from low-income areas in Oakland. Only those that have been convicted of violence or fraud will be considered ineligible for licensing; however, drug-related charges will not affect an applicant’s eligibility.
Oakland licensing for Medical Cannabis businesses is nearly here, and the City Administrator is seeking to work with the community to prioritize internal growth while developing regulations that will transition well in compliance with future State regulations. Mickey Martin has both the experience and qualifications needed to best support your business or organization in these ventures. Our services include consulting for Governmental Relations, Regulations and Documentation Compliance, and Crisis Management to name a few. Our reputation for quality and commitment to the Medical Cannabis community can assure you that we will remain at the forefront of the local licensing news, and will keep our clients abreast of all changes as this application process develops.