Seeds of Change

By Janis Collins

PHOTO: Brian Sweeney, IG: @sparked_interest_photography

The deadline for San Diego manufacturing and cultivation license applications is approaching on December 16th. The application process is a thorough, expensive, long-winded experience.

San Diego’s government website breaks the business types into three categories. Marijuana Production Facilities, Marijuana Outlets, and Marijuana Testing Facilities. These facilities must all be 1,000 ft from sensitive use areas such as “public parks, churches, childcare, playgrounds, libraries, minor oriented facilities, residential care facilities, and schools.” They must also be 100 ft from a residence.

Production facilities, by’s definition, are “individual or combined facilities engaged in the agricultural raising, harvesting and processing of marijuana; wholesale distribution and storage of marijuana and marijuana products; and production of goods from marijuana and marijuana products consistent with the requirements of the California Departments of Food and & Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, and Public Health.” It is prohibited to carry out retail sales or testing at production facilities.

We spoke to the CEO of Lyfted Labs, one of the production applicants who will be submitting his finalized paperwork by December 16th. Their production facility will be limited to one product; oil. Lyfted Labs aims to produce the highest grade hash pen possible.

“Anyone who has ever dealt with weed knows how overly, and maybe excessively,  regulated this industry is, compared to the actual risks involved in the manufacturing process. However, I would expect nothing less considering in one regard, the government is legalizing drugs. I suppose ‘I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth’. The nice thing is, as long as you have your local permits squared away, you can apply for a temporary license which is very simple, in comparison to the actual license. This will buy you 120 days. 90 more with an extension.”

-CEO of Lyfted Labs

Allowing cultivation and manufacturing in the city gives a fully regulated supply chain. Dispensaries will be able to take advantage of the local market with taking the risk of transportation away. As reported in the Union-Tribune, the first wave of applications came in a little over a week ago with 85% of the proposed locations being in Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa, and close to the Mexican border. Three years ago when the city was accepting applications for dispensaries people were waiting in line for up to a day. This year the city had implemented a lottery which, would determine who got to submit their applications first. The application and plans that needed to be submitted are costly. It was $9,000 just to cover the initial administration costs. With the state recently announcing rules for the locations, many applicants will be forced to pay to have their comprehensive site plans redone. For example, some applicants envisioned having manufacturing and cultivation all in one building. The state has now ruled each would require separate license holders and separate entrances and exits.

Gina Austin, a popular San Diegan attorney amongst applications, was quoted as saying “There were zero surprises — it was so smooth and easy, nobody sleeping on the sidewalks, nothing. I think the city did a great job.”