The first cannabis retailer in Oxnard was supposed to be gearing to open right about now. Instead the city is back to square one, getting ready to accept applications from prospective retailers.
On Tuesday, the City Council, during its penultimate meeting of the year, unanimously approved an ordinance that restarts the cannabis retail program. Applications in the competitive process will be accepted starting Friday.
It’s an about face to a much scrutinized process that started last year. The coronavirus pandemic and a City Hall computer virus pushed back the original March deadline to May. Last month, following interviews with selected businesses, the process seemingly ended when 10 applicants found out they will receive a permit; while 40 were denied.
However, those who were denied were not informed of their rights to an appeal. For this administrative error, the city chose to start over. The city will also add more allotted permits into the mix, for a total of 16 permits, instead of 10.
“To suggest that one minor issue would eliminate all the hard work and the taxpayer dollars supporting their efforts is difficult to accept,” Hernandez said. “We abided by the rules set forth by the City Council and planning department. We respected the process and we played fair.”
Hernandez and others urged council to keep their word to the 10 applicants who were originally awarded the permits while fixing the appeals process for the other applicants who chose to reapply.
Published: December 03, 2020