Although cannabis is officially legal, many entrepreneurs and cannabis investors are still having difficulty locating a decent spot to secure a cultivation license in California.
The obstruction begins and ends with the local municipal or county administration, as even when there are numerous appropriate properties, California is divided into 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities, each with its own municipal government that chooses whether commercial cannabis companies are allowed inside its borders.
To get a cultivation license in California, cannabis investors and entrepreneurs must achieve the following, as we detailed in our previous post:
- Identify a local government issuing cannabis licenses
- Identify a location for cultivation that also satisfies the local government’s criteria;
- Secure the capital to lease or purchase that property;
- Obtain land use permit and business license from the local government;
- Obtain all the necessary permits and build out the cultivation space;
- Obtain environmental permits or waivers;
- Obtain a license to operate from the state
The local authority will need to designate suitable area for cultivation for commercial, industrial, or agricultural purposes.
Some areas are designated for residential purposes such as single-family houses or apartments, while other are designated for commercial and industrial operations that may be a nuisance due to odor, appearance, traffic, and a variety of other factors.
Agricultural zoning is frequently found on vast tracts of land in rural locations distant from towns. As a cannabis investor or entrepreneur, you must locate a suitable location with the appropriate zoning and upgrades before others do.
Even if you discover a good location, many cities and counties may impose a limit on the number of businesses that can operate there. Knowing which towns or counties are issuing cultivation licences as soon as possible might make or break your venture.
In most other jurisdictions, local government permission for cannabis production is discretionary, which means the decision will be made after a public hearing at a neighborhood council meeting, or by a planning commission, city council, or board of supervisors meeting.
Residents of properties next to or in close proximity to the proposed business are given prior warning of the hearing. As a result, it is critical for cannabis investors and entrepreneurs hoping to secure a growing license in California to be involved in the community.
Getting engaged in business associations like the local chamber of commerce, financially supporting local nonprofits, and being a nice neighbor are all smart ways to win over a community. Before contacting a public official, such as a city council member, engage with the community to demonstrate that you are serious about it.
Fees are frequently linked with licensing applications to cover the time it takes for public agency employees to consider your application, inspections and audits once the permit or license is given, and other administrative costs.
These fees may be expensive and frequently catch individuals off guard.
Before issuing a license, both local governments and state organizations demand a variety of documentation outlining your cultivation operation.
A complete business and operations plan, security plan, odor control plan, energy efficiency plan, community relations plan, and a variety of other materials are often required in applications.
Licensees may be able to produce an application package on their own, but it takes a lot of time and effort, especially if this is your first time doing it. As a consequence, you should make sure to hire a professional to assist you with your application.
Operators must build and install the necessary facilities to comply with California laws in order to receive local licensing for a cannabis cultivation business.
Cannabis investors and entrepreneurs should budget time and money for a cultivation setup that complies with license criteria. However, once a growing facility is designed to these criteria, it will be much easier and more streamlined to operate.