Despite calls from recreational marijuana opponents for more delays, the Encinitas City Council adopted a retail cannabis fee schedule on Wednesday night, taking a step closer to implementing last year’s voter-approved measure.
Last November, Encinitas voters passed Measure H, which allows for the zoning and regulation of cannabis retail, cultivation, manufacturing and distribution. In August, the city approved a resolution in compliance with the measure, which included an amendment to the city’s Local Coastal Plan that was sent to the California Coastal Commission for approval.
While the state commission has not approved the update and a timeline for their decision is unclear, the council was able to move the process after the council adopted a fee schedule for the registration, application and regulation of cannabis businesses during its Wednesday meeting.
Fees include registration ($6,527.83), application ($4,712.38), an annual regulatory fee ($12,157.82) for licensees, appeals of rejected applications and annual financial audits — covering 100% of the city’s costs incurred from these processes, according to city staff.
The proposed fees were approved in a 3-1 vote this week, with Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz opposed and Mayor Catherine Blakespear absent.
Kranz, who has been open with his criticism of Measure H, said the public should have more say in the process.
“All I can say is that the disaster that has been Measure H is on display here tonight,” Kranz said. “I think the key here is a little transparency and public participation.”
The City of Encinitas plans to hold a public workshop on the measure in late November or December after it has the chance to finalize its process. However, some anti-cannabis activists asked the city to postpone the fee process until after that workshop.
Published: October 23, 2021
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