Costa Mesa officials have set prices for licenses and fees to run the cannabis business, expecting to receive $ 1 million annually



It remains to be seen exactly how much income the Costa Mesa could get from retail cannabis under the voter-approved Measure Q, but according to a new collection schedule approved by the city council this week, the new permits could generate $ 668,040 a year.

Council members gave their first approval on Tuesday decree regulation of cannabis dispensaries, a plan that has been refined on numerous occasions by elected officials and city planners.

The language will return for a second reading and then be put to a vote, which will trigger a 30-day waiting period before becoming law, after which cannabis owners will be able to apply for a permit to do business in Costa Mesa.

For this reason, it was important to not only promote the regulation, but also set price benchmarks for conditional use permits, new marijuana business permits, and the cost of employee badges required by the city.

“I’m glad we’re doing this at the same time,” said Pro Tem Mayor Andrea Marr on two separate points. “Let’s start formalizing this process so that we can open these businesses.”

Terry Madsen, CEO of ClearSource Consulting, shared a proposed pay structure based primarily on the labor cost of city staff to process, analyze and make decisions on cannabis-related claims.

The timetable not only sets costs for new establishments under measure Q, but also regulates the permitting fees for establishments that currently produce, process and test cannabis in the industrial green zone, in line with the earlier measure X.

“These fees are based on payment for services,” Madsen said. “We are trying to offset the city’s costs of providing direct services.”

The collection schedule approved on Tuesday indicated that new commercial marijuana licenses under measure Q will cost $ 19,732, while operators of measure X will have to pay $ 20,380. Conditional use authorization will cost cannabis retailers an additional $ 18,499, while cannabis industrial plants will pay $ 21,529, less than the $ 27,508 they have charged historically.

Biennial business permit renewals will cost between $ 16,000 and $ 17,000, while required employee badges will cost $ 631 per badge for businesses using measures Q and X. Changes to permits will also incur minor fees ranging from $ 1,300 to $ 3,099 according to the table of fees.

Madsen said the most conservative estimate is that 15 new Measure Q businesses will be online and have about 150 employees. Taking into account the permits and fees under Measure X, the city can generate about $ 1,065,000 per year – enough to fully recoup the time and staff resources used to process requests.

Such income would be different from what Costa Mesa earned from taxing the sales of retail cannabis dispensaries, which Measure Q estimates could generate more than $ 3 million a year.

At the close of the meeting on Tuesday, councilors contemplated a long, difficult journey bringing Measure Q to life.

“We spent some time and it was a little back and forth, but it was worth it,” said Mayor John Stevens, adding that voters approved the Measure Q with 65% of the vote.

“We will have legal, safe, regulated products sold by excellent companies,” he continued. “And we are going to increase the income that can be used for future generations.”

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