Thousand Oaks City Council will discuss adding another medical dispensary during tonight’s city council meeting. The city chose Legendary Organics as its sole medical dispensary on July 10, 2018. Legendary Organics was one of five (5) entities that submitted applications in early 2018. The city is now considering allowing LEAF Dispensary, which received the third-highest score, as a second choice.
Leaf Dispensary approached the city council in April of 2019 claiming that Legendary Organics failed to open a dispensary by the December 31, 2018 date it had promised the city. Leaf Dispensary also claimed that, 8 and a half months later, Legendary Organics failed to file its application with the state, resubmit building plans with the city and provide an opening date for the city. Leaf Dispensary asked the city to draft an ordinance to permit a second medical cannabis dispensary in the city.
Thousand Oaks looks prepared to grant Leaf Dispensary’s request. The city directed staff to enter into an Operations Agreement with Leaf Dispensary in September 2019 and evaluate the proposed site at 2400 Willow Lane. A positive vote at tonight’s meeting could mean a quick resolution to the city’s problem.
The slow opening of potential licensees is an issue faced by many California cities. The regulatory permitting process, construction build-out, and the final city site approvals are causing significant delays in the opening of new stores. The lack of revenue drains capital and other resources. Some license holders are selling before the businesses become operational due to capital constraints or just to turn a profit.
Cities and counties are also hurting from the lack of tax revenues. California cities and counties must address how to speed up the permitting process while ensuring that they choose quality businesses that will maximize revenues in a compliant manner. The failure to do so will impact the industry’s growth as building out the framework becomes a gamble for municipalities.