Correspondence from cannabis business owners and comments at last night’s City Council meeting by those representing them shed light on major issues the four existing medical cannabis dispensaries are likely to face over the next year, issues that might have an impact on the November 2020, City Council election.
One of those issues is whether a medical use-only cannabis dispensary can afford to stay in business. Another is whether changes in ownership mean that state and local licenses granted to the existing cannabis businesses — particularly the Farmacy Collective, the entity through which MedMen operates in West Hollywood – mean their existing state and local licenses are still valid.
The City Council last night agreed to grant the four existing medical cannabis dispensaries a second temporary extension of licenses they had been granted to also sell recreational cannabis. Those licenses were to have expired on Jan. 1, 2020, and now can remain in effect until Jan. 1, 2021.
The Council had voted in November 2017 to extend the existing businesses’ medical cannabis licenses and also grant them temporary licenses to sell recreational cannabis while the city went through the lengthy process of soliciting and evaluating applications for licenses in those and other cannabis business categories. At the end of the evaluation, none of the existing cannabis businesses, which call themselves the “Originals,” had qualified for the eight recreational cannabis licenses.
With last night’s vote, the extended licenses will be considered “provisional,” which means the city can terminate the licenses with six months’ notice. Meanwhile, the owners of the Originals will continue lobbying the City Council to grant them permanent recreational sales licenses despite their failure to qualify in the application process.
Published: October 22, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News