STATE LICENSING/LOCAL PERMITTING
Our firm has a proven track record in gaining local approval for our clients, and more importantly, a tool kit of proven approaches that clear the politically pathways. And, once our clients obtain appropriate local approval, we will then help them obtain state licenses beginning in 2018 and beyond (see below). There are steps cannabis operators can take right now to help them get local approval and later, a state license.
The local permitting process has many facets and stages: educating elected officials, identifying key stakeholders, gaining approval from local elected and private partners to open up the local permitting process, and drawing help from our statewide network of respected and ethical connections – in industry, in government and in the community-based organizations.
We initiate conversations with city attorneys, planning commissioners, and others with control or influence over policy. Because of our positive relationships with members of both political parties, and because of our reputation as straight shooters, we are often able to move those conversations to action.
In Humboldt County, for example, our work in connecting to local Supervisors and other elected officials, and with well-known and respected political consultants and professionals, helped create the nation’s most comprehensive local cannabis cultivation and manufacturing ordinance.
But as we noted above, local permitting is only the beginning of the process, albeit the harder step, since State licensing is less about changing attitudes and more about whether our clients have the capital, management and administrative skills, and common-sense to meet the State’s relatively stringent requirements. State applicants for state license will have to have a strong team and should be well-funded to meet the objective list of State requirements. There is no lottery and no hard limits on the number of licenses to be issued. And, legally, like a liquor license or a driver’s license, a license to commercially make, cultivate, test or distribute cannabis is a “privilege” that can be taken away if not honestly obtained, nor honesty maintained.
CA has not yet opened up the state licensing process. That occurs in 2018. But, we will be preparing our clients now, as we are already doing, to gain an advantage when when they start applying. We have experience in working on state license applications such as Illinois, and similar process in CA jurisdictions. Combined with our expertise in the liquor-licensing world, our staff of lawyers, political consultants, and expediters will be able to get our clients their state cannabis licenses promptly.