San Diego Creates Cannabis Permitting Bureau

San Diego is the latest California city to establish a city-specific agency dedicated to licensing and regulating businesses in the cannabis space.

Full story after the jump.

San Diego, California is creating a Cannabis Permitting Bureau that will centralize the permitting processes while also enforcing the city’s industry regulations, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The agency is set to have a near-$1 million annual budget and nine full-time employees.

P.J. Fitzgerald, an assistant deputy director in the Development Services Department, said the bureau would be doing “proactive code enforcement when necessary” and would revoke permits for “bad actors” if necessary.

Currently, the city only takes enforcement measures when it receives a complaint, the report says. To fund the bureau, the city is considering raising industry-associated fees.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of dispensaries in San Diego reached 20 and five more have received city approvals. Of the 20, 13 of those dispensaries were approved in 2015 and are operating under conditional-use permits which expire the year, according to Fitzgerald, and seven of those have begun the renewal process. Production facilities – which include indoor cultivation and edible-making facilities – weren’t allowed in the city until 2017; currently there are 11 operational production facilities, five of which are brand new, he said. In all, city officials have approved 40 such businesses but 29 are in the approval process.

In March, the city Economic Development Committee heard proposals on social-use lounges but the full city council has not voted on whether to allow on-site cannabis consumption licenses.

Los Angles, San Francisco, and Sacramento also have city-specific agencies to regulate the cannabis industry.

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