The changes will put off formal adoption by a few weeks, but city cannabis business regulators expect that the eight applicants could be selected by November. It would take one to three years for them to actually open up for business.
All eight licenses will be reserved for “equity” business owners that have lower net worths, whose family has been affected by the war on drugs or who meet other metrics outlined in the city’s cannabis equity program. The city established this program because all 32 of the city’s allowed retail storefronts have already been claimed.
The city already has 156 equity applications in the pipeline, and the council wanted to ensure that eight of those applicants will end up opening a dispensary by adding a moratorium on new people applying.
“We’re talking about 156 applications and only eight people are going to get licenses,” Councilmember Al Austin said. “Tomorrow, once this is announced, you’ll probably get another 50 applications. The people that have been in this process should be rewarded.”
Councilmember Cindy Allen’s proposed change would require potential business operators to propose a 10-year business plan and require equity owners to maintain majority control of the dispensary for 10