Five cannabis companies are vying to be among the first local stores and grow processors in the city of Guadalupe after the commercial cannabis application period expired in mid-November.
Guadalupe City Council will conduct interviews with final applicants during a special session on Jan. 18 after months of preparation and investment of over $ 10,000 through various applicants.
Among the applicants are Lompoc-based pharmacy The Roots; Mr. Nice Guy, who has 25 pharmacies in Oregon and California; HerbNJoy, whose handful of delivery and retail stores include a pharmacy in Goleta; Element 7, a chain of pharmacies with storefronts in Marina and Rio Dell; and the San Luis Obispo based breeder SloCal Roots.
City Administrator Todd Bodem said the city council could select one or more applicants, depending on suitability, to advance operations in Guadalupe.
“That was so new territory for us, we had no idea what to expect,” said Bodem about the city’s decision to open the application process. “They will certainly choose one, but depending on the quality and quantity of the applicants, the city council will conduct interviews.” [applicants] and decide if they’ll do more than one. “
He added that the storefronts won’t take shape until summer at the earliest.
The local presence of cannabis retailers will not only provide access to Guadalupe and Santa Maria residents who typically go to pharmacies in Arroyo Grande or Grover Beach, but will add another source of income for the city to collect sales tax, according to Bodem.
Initial conservative estimates suggest the city could make between $ 150,000 and $ 350,000 annually from a local cannabis industry. Guadalupe has only been in the black in recent years after facing heavy financial debt, and cannabis could further improve the city’s economic condition.
“We see cannabis as an opportunity to diversify our sales portfolio. It’s not a game changer, but an opportunity for the city to act more strongly, ”said Bodem.
The process of approving cannabis sales in the city began with the adoption of an ordinance on the commercial cannabis trade in May, which was drawn up with the help of the cannabis consultancy HdL. A permit application deadline started in early October and resulted in inquiries from about 10 companies, five of which actually filed applications, Bodem said.
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While applications for retail were due on November 15, the city extended the application deadline for non-retail companies such as manufacturers and growers indefinitely due to the increased workload to ensure due diligence.
As part of the $ 10,500 application, potential candidates were also required to identify a proposed location within the appropriate business park. All five of the proposed locations are within a two block section of Guadalupe Street.
Applicants were required to submit a detailed business plan and information on neighborhood compatibility, safety, owner qualifications, and the potential benefits their business could bring to the community.
“We chose Guadalupe because we are familiar with the area; it’s in our back yard. We hope to expand to the entire Central Coast.” [as] it becomes available, “said Castañeda.
Applicants who receive final approval from the city council in January must enter into a community service agreement with the city that sets out their plans for public relations and education, community service, fee payment, and other terms and conditions.
“They will look at all of the things these applicants are willing to give to the city,” said Bodem.
Following this step, applicants must apply to the city council for a conditional use permit for their planned business location before they can start building their storefront or cultivation center.
Bodem said the city will also do a thorough screening of all applicants to make sure there are no “bad actors”.