By Cara Anderson
During the Chula Vista city council meeting on 1/6/18, city officials presented a draft ordinance for legal cannabis businesses in the city. The ordinance included requirements of dispensary applicants, restrictions for cannabis businesses, and details of proposed taxes.
The taxes proposed by Chula Vista include a 15% gross sales tax, as well as a tax of $10 per sqft of a facility. This tax is estimated to bring Chula Vista $6 million a year.
The city plans to allow twelve licenses. No more than eight of the licenses will be given to storefronts.
The remaining 4+ licenses will be given to delivery-only businesses. Chula Vista is the first city in the area to approve delivery-only dispensaries, which provide a great opportunity for business owners and patients who cannot drive or much less leave their home. Delivery-only dispensaries will be able to sell recreational and medical.
Chula Vista proposed some operational requirements and restrictions. For sales, Chula Vista proposed to limit the amount that can be sold per person per day, to have THC mg restrictions on edible products, and prohibiting the sale of cannabis-infused beverages.
The proposed advertising and marketing restrictions included will “apply to all persons, not just Licensees.” The city added that advertisements in the city shall not be near sensitive uses, contain false statements, nor can they be attractive to youth.
In the proposal, the city stated that dispensary owners cannot have a history of “unlawful activity,” though it may help that California is planning to remove cannabis-related offenses from thousands of state residents’ records. Another requirement that concerned the public is that dispensary owners must have business experience in legal cannabis or other controlled substances. Public comment was filled with criticism of that requirement; council said they would consider changing this requirement.
The city will reconvene to address changes on the measure proposal at a council meeting on 2/20. If the ordinance is passed, it will be voted on in June.