Update on Cannabis Business License Screening Application Process
(Future updates will be posted on this webpage on the 1st and 15th of each month as necessary)
Cannabis Update September 14, 2018:
No substantive update at this time.
The Cannabis Application Evaluation Committee members continue to score the applications. We are hoping that their review will be complete in late October, but this timeline may adjust as we move forward. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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