East BayGovernmentNews

Contra Costa Co. extends application deadline for cannabis businesses

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The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday morning to extend the application timeline for entrepreneurs seeking land use permits for cannabis-based businesses like retail storefronts, commercial grows and manufacturing operations.

Interested parties will have to submit a letter of intent, with information about the parcel where the operation in question would be based, and a $500 application fee to cover the county’s processing costs by 4 p.m. Thursday, April 4.

Those individuals whose plans meet the county’s requirements will be invited to submit a full proposal, and those will be due by 4 p.m., Thursday June 27.

The move met with broad support from stakeholders during public comment, with only one potential applicant expressing opposition, in large part because he had already invested in real estate and anticipates that a longer application timeline will delay the full implementation of his business plan.

Every other person who addressed the issue during public comment supported the board’s decision to extend the timeline, with some saying they look forward to the competition.

The move came in response from public comment at a meeting in December during which several people argued that the initial Feb. 14 deadline for letters of intent, which would have passed this Thursday, did not provide enough time to address concerns related to finding real estate where these businesses can be established.

Ashley Bargenquast, a Martinez-based attorney specializing in cannabis regulations for the law firm Tully and Weiss, said the extension will make it easier for applicants to secure properties by the deadline. For more information about the application process go to https://bit.ly/2RZ4hCX.

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