Costa Mesa Outlines Process for New Medical Marijuana Enterprises

We now have a better idea of how Costa Mesa’s new medical marijuana measure will play out.

Costa Mesa officials have outlined the city’s implementation process and oversight for medical marijuana businesses allowed under a voter-approved medical marijuana measure.

On Wednesday, nearly 70 residents and business applicants were given an overview of the six-step application process, proposed fees and permits needed to operate medical marijuana businesses allowed under Measure X.

Measure X passed with 54.6 percent of the vote in November. It allows medical marijuana testing, transportation and research facilities to operate in a designated industrial zone of the city. In return, the city will impose a 6 percent annual tax on their gross receipts.

Residents and industry insiders were unsure how the process would work in terms of applications, fees and approvals. They received answers to at least some of those questions Wednesday.

After applications are submitted to the city, background checks will be conducted on the principals of prospective businesses, followed by a request for a conditional use permit, which can take up to 12 weeks to obtain.

The process could take longer depending on the complexity of the backgrounds checks and if improvements need to be made on the business property.

The Planning Commission will review each CUP, which is awarded on a discretionary basis, before making a decision. Denials can be appealed to the City Council, which has the final say on who gets approved.

Read more about the process here.


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