Lake Elsinore City Council voted to adopt its Cannabis Municipal Code authorizing manufacturing and cultivation with accessory uses in specific Manufacturing zones within the city during its regular meeting Nov. 28.
Lake Elsinore Community Development Director Grant Taylor gave a brief presentation to the city on the ordinance which allows for the cultivation, processing and distribution of cannabis in the city.
According to Taylor, the new ordinance goes into effect Dec. 28 with the city scheduled to begin accepting applications Dec. 29.
“We will be fine tuning the application and review process,” he said. “We have some all-hands meetings set up and will be ready by Dec. 29.”
Taylor said stand-alone dispensaries will not be allowed under the new ordinance.
“It can only be an accessory use to a conditionally permitted manufacturing or cultivation facility,” he said, adding the rule was only applicable to certain zones that did not include commercial.
Deliveries are allowed, he said, but only as an accessory to the aforementioned manufacturing or cultivation facilities, not as a standalone.
Taylor said that uses will only be permitted in light industrial districts and only five permits will be issued per district, for 10 permits total, within the city. The cost for the conditional use permit application is $5,601 and a Cannabis Business Permit Fee will be established early in January.
“All this should be ready by the first of January in 2018,” he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Johnson wondered about the permitting fees and asked Taylor if he could further explain them.
“The conditional use permit runs per land, but the cannabis use permit is individual persons, so you can’t transfer it,” he explained adding they would be ready to accept applications Dec. 29, but wouldn’t be fully ready until Jan. 1, when the state is scheduled to begin issuing permits for recreational cannabis businesses.
The grows, cultivation, manufacturing etc., can only take place indoors, Taylor said.
“The dispensary has to be strictly accessory,” he said.
Councilman Daryl Hickman said he knew nothing of the product, but he heard it had an odor as it grows and was concerned about filtering the exhaust. Taylor said there would be a loop exhaust system and that each license was allowed a maximum of 22,000-square-feet and 99 plants.
Councilman Steve Manos asked about the development fees and how they would work for those who choose to embark in the cannabis business.
“The development fee has got to be negotiated,” Taylor said. “We want to recover costs that are associated with law enforcement, code enforcement infrastructure. This is unchartered waters. We are probably going to run into some mitigation issues that we didn’t foresee and the development agreement will help us to cover this cost.”