US (CA): Application process for cannabis businesses finalized in National City

Cannabis businesses looking to open up shop in National City will soon have a chance to apply with the city. The City Council recently approved a weighted application process that places a focus on local ownership, as well as ideas for how the incoming cannabis industry can offer benefits to the community.

In May, council members approved the city’s cannabis ordinance, marking National City as the first in the county to allow consumption lounges. The ordinance allows for six permits to be issued for retail sales, cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, and transportation of cannabis and cannabis products in industrial zones and tourist commercial areas west of Interstate 5. At least one of those six permits must be for lounges. 

Based on a point system, applicants would have to score 90% of 3,000 total points to proceed to phase three. They will be scored based on their business model, plans for labor and security, community benefits, the owner’s qualifications, neighborhood compatibility, and proposed location. The initial proposal was that applicants must score at least 80% of the total points to qualify, but council members raised that threshold to 90% to ensure that the city is receiving the most qualified applicants.

A big component of the application process emphasizes preference on local owners or residents who have lived in National City for at least three years before November 9 of this year.

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