**Reminder: West Hollywood Cannabis Business Licenses are only valid for the individuals that will be named on the screening application and license and are not assignable to other operators. West Hollywood Municipal Code Section 5.70.060 says that any assignment of a West Hollywood Cannabis Business License or attempt to sell or assign a license renders the license null and void. Contact Code Compliance or Business Development if you have any questions.**
FEBRUARY 15, 2019 UPDATE
CITY COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA ITEM FEBRUARY 19, 2019
On the City Council meeting agenda for Tuesday, February 19, 2019, there will be an item regarding cannabis. Specifically, staff will provide an update on the cannabis business license screening application process, the City Council will consider an amendment to the City’s Cannabis Use Ordinance to extend the date by which temporary cannabis use permits can be issued, and the City Council will consider whether to grant the existing four medical dispensaries adult-use licenses through until December 31, 2019 and will continue a discussion from December 17, 2018 on whether to change the number of cannabis business licenses in any of the five business license categories. The item is number 6A on the Council’s agenda for the night. The complete agenda and staff report can be found here:
APPLICATION EVALUATION COMMITTEE PUBLIC MEETING
The City will be holding a public meeting of the application evaluation committee at 1pm on Thursday, February 7th, at West Hollywood City Council Chambers (625 N San Vicente Blvd). The committee members have never met or discussed their scores with one another, and we have determined that the committee should conclude the screening proucess by convening a public meeting to collectively discuss and certify the results. On February 7th, the Committee will meet, take public comments, deliberate, and finalize and certify the results of their review and scoring of the cannabis screening applications. The official agenda, City staff report, and draft resolution on the action item (review and certification of the committee scores) will be posted below 72 hours before the meeting (Monday at 1pm).
As a part of the public meeting process the City will make copies of the top ranking applications available to the public for review (prior to the meeting), so that the public can inspect the documents that were the basis for the committee’s scores. Copies of the top sixteen scoring applications in each license category (eight in the medical category) will be available for in-person inspection at the City Clerk’s office starting Monday, February 4th at 1pm until Thursday, February 7th at 1pm. These applications will not include any financial information, security plans, or sensitive private information, as this information is exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act. The applications will be available during business hours and photography will not be permitted in the inspection room. Interested individuals will be able to review the applications, but will not be permitted to take copies with them at that time. The application scores will also be available for inspection in the City Clerk’s office. The redacted applications will be available for inspection moving forward by appointment, and copies of the redacted applications may be released to requestors at a future date under the Public Records Act.
TOP SCORING CANNABIS APPLICANTS
On November 20, 2017, the West Hollywood City Council adopted a Cannabis Ordinance allowing a variety of different cannabis businesses to be licensed in the City. The ordinance included eight licenses in each of the following categories, Adult-Use Retail, Medical Dispensary, Consumption Lounge (Smoking, Vaping, Edibles), Consumption Lounge (Edibles Only), and Delivery Services.
The City of West Hollywood has undertaken a robust, merit-based selection process for cannabis applicants. The City received over 300 screening applications from over 120 different applicants for a limited number of licenses. Each screening application was required to describe the applicant’s business plan (including, how their business model was innovative, their connection to West Hollywood, proposed operations, social equity, and product offerings), interior and exterior design concept, security plan, and experience.
Each application was personally scored by each member of the City’s five-member Cannabis Application Evaluation Committee. The City Manager selected five Evaluation Committee Members with diverse/unique perspectives and a wide breadth of experience in cannabis, hospitality, design, business, local government licensing, social justice, drug policy reform, as well as familiarity with West Hollywood. Once all of the Evaluation Committee Members were finished scoring, the five evaluation committee member scores for each application were averaged. The top scoring applicants in each license category are shown in the PDF below:
The top eight scoring applicants in each license category are eligible to move forward in the process of securing a business license from the City. Within the next few weeks, every applicant will receive a letter from the City notifying them of the results. The averaged scores for each applicant are shown in the five PDF documents below (one for each license category).
We were truly impressed by the quality and caliber of the applications that the City received. Many of the proposed businesses were unique, innovative, and world class. We also want to say how excited we are to soon have consumption lounges in the City, many of the top concepts will be the first of their kind in the country, if not the world. We want to express our sincere gratitude to all of the applicants for wanting to locate and do business in the City of West Hollywood, your participation and support of this process has helped to make it successful, and solidify the future success of the cannabis industry in West Hollywood.
- Adult-Use Retail (Application Scores) [PDF]
- Medical Dispensary (Application Scores) [PDF]
- Consumption Lounge (Smoking, Vaping, Edibles) (Application Scores) [PDF]
- Consumption Lounge (Edibles Only) (Application Scores) [PDF]
- Delivery (Application Scores) [PDF]
Non-West Hollywood based Cannabis Delivery Licenses
These delivery licenses are for businesses located outside of West Hollywood who wish to deliver cannabis into the City. The City will begin accepting applications for these licenses on or around November 13, 2018.
Below are links to the Cannabis Delivery Business License application documents for businesses located outside of West Hollywood. Please review them carefully and fill them out completely. Failure to submit all required documentation will result in your application being delayed or denied.
- Non-WeHo Based Cannabis Delivery Business License Application
- West Hollywood Insurance Requirements for Cannabis Delivery Businesses
We thank you for your patience with this process, all of the applications combined total more than 20,000 pages in length, so while the committee members are diligently working to review and score all of them, it is taking some time.
The last of the compliance letters to applicants will be sent out (via mail and email) on Friday, August 31st. If you have not received a compliance letter by Wednesday, September 5th, please email John Leonard at email@example.com for a copy of your letter. As described in previous updates, these letters are based on a preliminary review of each application for compliance with the basic submittal guidelines. Applicants will either receive a letter notifying them that their application was in compliance with the submittal guidelines and was forwarded to the Evaluation Committee for review and scoring, or that there was an issue with their application. For those applications with an issue, the applicant may have the opportunity to correct the item (depending on the issue), which will be detailed in the letter.
The submittal period for cannabis business license screening applications closed on May 31, 2018. The City received a total of 313 screening applications from 122 different applicants (most applicants submitted applications in multiple categories). The following number of applications were received in the five different license categories:
|Consumption Lounge (Smoking, vaping, edible)||81|
|Consumption Lounge (edible only)||22|
During the months of June and July, the City reviewed all of the applications for basic conformance with the submittal guidelines. This review is complete and applicants will be receiving a mailed and emailed letter stating whether their application was deemed complete and forwarded to the application evaluation committee for review and scoring. For applications that were not yet deemed complete, the applicant will receive a letter shortly detailing any issues with the submittal. In some cases, the applicant will not be able to resolve the issue (by way of example only, a late submittal or failure to pay the application fee). For any such application that is not accepted as complete, the applicant will be allowed to request a refund of their application fee. Applicants should receive their letters by the middle of August. Please do not be alarmed if you do not receive a letter immediately. Given the remarkable response to the City’s call for applications, it takes time to review all of the applications and process individual letters to 122 applicants. Please be patient as we work through this process.
The application evaluation committee members began their review of applications in late July. We do not yet know when their review will be complete. During future updates (to occur on the 1st and 15th of each month) we will be able to provide a better estimate of when we believe review will be complete, and when the City can announce the top scoring applicants in each category.
Thank you again for your patience as we move through this exciting process.
Green Light for Cannabis Businesses in the City of West Hollywood
The City of West Hollywood has been at the forefront of the national discussion about decriminalizing the use of cannabis and the City has a long track record of supporting cannabis use for medicinal purposes and, more recently, in supporting adult-use cannabis.
To respond to the passage, in 2016, of California Prop. 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, the City of West Hollywood engaged leading experts from California and Colorado and convened discussions throughout 2017 to inform the creation of public policy regarding cannabis businesses.
In November 2017, the City of West Hollywood approved an Ordinance to approve amendments to the municipal code and zoning ordinance to regulate cannabis land uses.
The City’s Ordinance makes the City of West Hollywood one of the only cities in the region authorizing business licenses for consumption areas, where cannabis can be purchased and consumed on-site.
On April 16, 2018, the West Hollywood City Council approved amendments to the City's ordinance. You can view these changes here.
The Ordinance allows the cannabis use business licenses listed below.
The top eight applicants in each category will be chosen by an Evaluation Committee to move forward in the Business License application process. If chosen, the applicants will then require the approval of a Zone Clearance followed by approval of a business license by the City’s Business License Commission. Cannabis licenses may be applied for in the following categories:
- Eight (8) Adult-Use Retail Business Licenses;
- Eight (8) Consumption Area (smoking, vaping, ingestion) with On-site Adult-Use Retail (sales of products to be consumed on-site) Business Licenses;
- Eight (8) Consumption Area (edible ingestion only) with On-Site Adult-Use Retail (sales of products to be consumed on-site) Business Licenses;
- Eight (8) Medical-Use Dispensary Business Licenses; and
- Eight (8) business licenses for cannabis delivery services located in West Hollywood and no limit on the number of business licenses issued for cannabis delivery services that are located outside the City limits and deliver cannabis to customers within the City of West Hollywood.
From 2009 to 2017, the City of West Hollywood had four (4) medical cannabis establishments in operation. Under the City’s adopted ordinance, these four dispensaries may choose to continue to operate Medical-Use Dispensaries at their current location subject to the approval of a state license. If all four choose to continue operations, then an additional four (4) Medical-Use Dispensary Business Licenses will be available beginning in 2018.
The following individuals are members of the City’s Cannabis Application Evaluation Committee:
- Sam Baxter
- Lynne Lyman
- Neil Hall
- Cynthia Wang
- Kathleen Rosenow
As a reminder, applicants (or their representatives) are prohibited from contacting any member of the Application Evaluation Committee or the Business License Commission in any way. Any violation will result in the dismissal of the applicant’s screening application. Additionally, applicants should be aware that all Application Evaluation Committee members are required to immediately report any attempted contact by an applicant (email, phone, in person, by mail, etc..) to the City Manager.
If an Application Evaluation Committee Member has a personal or business relationship with an applicant, they are required to notify the City Manager and recuse themselves from scoring the application.
- Screening Application: Information Packet (4.26.18)
- Screening Application: Submittal Checklist
- Screening Application: Applicant/Owner Information Form (updated)
- Screening Application: Weighting Criteria (4.23.18)
- Screening Application - Questions and Answers (UPDATED 5.8.18)
- Commercial and Public Use Design Guidelines.
- Cannabis License Types and Application Process Information Sheet [PDF]
- Download the FAQs About Cannabis in the City of West Hollywood [PDF]
- Cannabis Reference Map
- Guide to Cannabis Map
Watch the West Hollywood Cannabis Business Screening Application Public Meeting that took place on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Adult-Use Retail Cannabis Begins in West Hollywood
The City of West Hollywood’s four existing Medical-Use Dispensaries have been authorized to allow Adult-Use retail sales at their current locations on a temporary basis beginning on Tuesday, January 2, 2018:
- Alternative Herbal Health Services (AHHS) / 7828 Santa Monica Boulevard
- The Los Angeles Patients & Caregivers Group (LAPCG) / 7213 Santa Monica Boulevard
- MedMen WeHo / 8208 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood
- Zen Healing / 8464 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood
FAQs: Cannabis in the City of West Hollywood