City of Pomona Update! Cannabis Permitting Coming in 2020.

In April of 2019, the Pomona City Council adopted Ordinance 4257, which made it possible for the City to issue permits for commercial cannabis businesses within City limits. Since April, the City has been working to put together an application packet, zoning regulations, and other requirements for commercial cannabis businesses. On November 4, 2019, the Pomona City Council approved the City’s cannabis overlay zone map on its first reading. 

The overlay zone map will help those interested in operating a cannabis business in Pomona to determine what areas contain permit eligible properties. Although the overlay zone map is a great tool for perspective business owners to use, it should not be the sole piece of information relied on when looking for and choosing a potential business location. Potential operators should also review the City’s cannabis ordinance to understand the operational requirements, sensitive use set back requirements and any other location requirements to ensure any property being considered is compliant and permit eligible. Per the City’s ordinance, no commercial cannabis business may be located within a 1000-foot radius of:

  1. A school providing instruction in kindergarten or any grades 1 through 12;
  2. A day care center; or
  3. A Youth and Recreation Center; 

Additionally, there must be at least 1000 feet between commercial cannabis storefront retailers.

Though the approval of the cannabis overlay zone map is a step toward permitting, there is still much to be done. Specifically, the City is still working on its cannabis business permit applications and implementation guides. The City tentatively plans to release the commercial cannabis business permit application(s) and implementation guide(s) in February. The City plans to start accepting applications one month after the application(s) and implementation guide(s) are released, in March.

In preparation for the application release, prospective business operators can do a number of things including:

  1. Start looking for a permit eligible property;
  2. Create the entity that will be applying for the cannabis business permit; and
  3. Start putting together the application information required in the City’s cannabis ordinance, which includes, but is not limited to:
    1. A List of Entity Owners;
    2. A Description of Proposed Operations;
    3. The Qualifications and Experience of the Applicant and its Owners;
    4. A Site Plan and Premises Diagram;
    5. Transportation Procedures;
    6. Inventory Procedures;
    7. Non-Laboratory Quality Control Procedures;
    8. Security Procedures;
    9. A Labor Peace Agreement or Attestation (for applicants with 5 or more employees);
    10. A Collective Bargaining Agreement (as applicable); and
    11. A Seller’s Permit.

Given that there will be limited cannabis business permits available in the City (a total of eight permits with one retail permit, two micro-business permits and four permits split between manufacturing, testing, distribution, and cultivation), the application process is expected to be quite competitive. Preparation is, therefore, extremely important to secure you cannabis permit in the City of Pomona. 

If you have any questions about how to prepare a local cannabis business permit application or about the status of the City of Pomona’s permitting process, please contact the cannabis industry permitting and licensing attorneys at Rogoway Law Group today.

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