Pasadena’s Cannabis Licensing Under Scrutiny

You can add Pasadena to the list of cities facing tough questions about their cannabis licensing process.

As the Pasadena Star-News reports, regulators are under scrutiny over how they awarded six retail cannabis licenses last year. Three independent scorers were supposed to evaluate the businesses, then scores would be totaled and averaged. The licenses would go to those with the highest marks. But documents reveal that only one individual signed each application. And there was little independence after all.

The process has bothered some on the city council.

“I can’t go to sleep with a good conscience about this process,” Councilman Tyron Hampton told the Pasadena Star-News. “There were supposed to be three scores, totaled and averaged. That’s the law. … Unless they can show me the three scores, everyone needs to be rescored properly.”

Now the city is the subject of several lawsuits.

Some of California’s largest cities are facing heat over what may have been a compromised licensing process. Sacramento is currently the target of an FBI investigation. Los Angeles has suspended its permitting process amid scrutiny and Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced an audit of the cannabis regulation department.