The City of Commerce just released its Commercial Cannabis Permit Application and held its Prospective Operator Workshop. If you weren’t able to attend, here is a City of Commerce Guide to Cannabis Licensing.
The first thing you need to consider, if you haven’t already, is what kind of commercial cannabis business license you will apply for. Below is a list of the licenses the City will be issuing:
- Non-Storefront Retail Delivery
Deadlines and Fees
Once you’ve decided on what type of commercial cannabis business license to apply for, the other important things to remember are the deadlines and fees.
Applications can only be submitted in-person and by appointment. You can request an application submission appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The window for application submission is from October 15-26, with the last day for application submission appointment requests on October 22.
There is a non-refundable fee of $13,025.00 application fee. If you are considering applying for a microbusiness license, the City is requiring that applicants pay an application fee for each type of activity.
According to state regulations, microbusiness can have up to four (4) specified license types and a minimum of three (3). That being the case, you will have to pay at least $39,075.00 for a microbusiness license with three (3) licensed activities.
Other fees that will need to be paid to the City that are refundable are:
Payments will be received in the form of Cashier’s Checks or Money Orders, or business checks that must be made out to the City of Commerce.
General Owner Information
Any type of license application will require owner information such as name, contact details, SSN or EIN, percentage of ownership, and other general information that should be gathered together for easy reference. There is also a brief questionnaire section that must be filled out regarding convictions, prior cannabis license revocations, etc.
You will also be required to initial statements declaring the nature of your cannabis business operations.
Qualifications and Experience
The application includes a portion where the company’s members, who have had experience in the industry, and any other relevant qualifications must be listed. It is important to showcase the strengths of each team member who will provide a sound, professional, and compliant contribution to the success of the cannabis business’ operations.
This section presents itself as a checklist of requirements you will need to put together and submit as part of the application.
The Known Premises portion refers to property that is readily available and accessible. It requires highly technical documentation that should be done by professionals, such as an architect and a certified civil engineer.
Unknown Premises refers to a proposed property that has yet to be acquired, either through a lease or purchase. Since the location is not yet finalized, this section requires information about how you will go about securing it including, finances, feasibility, and your commitment to the City.
This entire section focuses on the facility’s operating procedures that cover the following:
- Non-Laboratory Quality Control
- Point-of-Sale and Track and Trace
- Cultivation Methods
Be sure to address each requirement listed on the application for each type of license type you are applying for. Failure to do so could disqualify your application.
Every business needs a business plan- and commercial cannabis businesses are no different. Part of the City’s application requires that a business plan specifically address the day-to-day operations, compliance with local and state laws, a schedule that includes a narrative of the timeline for all proposed construction, a budget, proof of capitalization, and a pro forma for at least three (3) years of operation.
Proposed Community Benefits Program Plan
Every locality wants to know that your cannabis business will help improve the surrounding neighborhood and community. In this application, the City may require your company to engage in designated programs, provide funding to specific initiatives beyond the designated City amount, staffing plan, labor peace agreement, and maybe even take part in a Mixed-Use Development Bonus that will incubate a local small business, co-locate with another small, local business, or propose other mixed-use developments.
Disclosure of Financial Interests
You will need to disclose and provide all the information associated with groups or individuals with a financial interest in the company. These groups or individuals could be:
- Financial institutions whose interest constitutes a loan
- Those whose interest is through a diversified mutual fund, blind trust, or similar interest
- Those whose interest is through a lien, security interest or property encumbrance
- Those whose share of the company stock is less than 5%
Labor Peace Agreement
If your company will have more than 20 employees, you will need to enter into a labor peace agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UCFW). This is done to ensure that all employees receive livable wages and helps to improve the quality of their lives.
You will need to get a Seller’s Permit from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. This can be done online or in-person at any of their field offices. Registering in-person at a field office provides for same day permit issuance.
Limited Waiver of Sovereign Immunity
You will have to waive any sovereign immunity defense you or your company may have in the event that a federally recognized tribe asserts their immunity over the company and its operations.
Development Agreement Proposal
You will need to review and sign the provided Development Agreement Proposal by the City. If you feel that you disagree and/or would like to change anything, you may redline the proposal by striking through or underlining sensitive language. You will also need to prepare a narrative identifying at least five (5) topics from the agreement proposal that you propose distinguishes your application from the rest.
You may provide additional relevant information about your or your team’s involvement in the City- either as a tenant, business owner, or resident. You may include the length of time, and the total estimated contribution to the City via taxes and fees.
Provide a signed Cannabis FAQ Fact Sheet Acknowledgement Form with the application. Failure to do so could disqualify your application.
There is an Environmental Data Form and Noticing Form that must be submitted in the event that there is a need for an Environmental Impact Report.
Background Check Authorization
Don’t forget to include your Background LiveScan Authorization when submitting your application. Each owner will need to provide a signed and completed form.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to sign and date the actual application form. Getting all these documents together will be tedious and the smaller details may be overlooked. The best way to ensure that everything is done properly and efficiently could be by engaging a team of professionals to help you through this process.
If you want to get some more information about the licensing process and how a professional consultant can help you get your license, contact a team member today!