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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Pot Dispensaries Are Getting Closer

Dec 20, 2023 02:33PM ● By Michele Townsend

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The City of West Sacramento (COWS) held a second workshop to obtain guidance from City Council on the process and requirements that will be established for those interested in obtaining a Cannabis Retail License. This is the license needed to open a cannabis dispensary in West Sacramento. The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) has of course established a set of guidelines and requirements to do any kind of cannabis business, but cities have room to establish their own policy considerations on top of state laws.

West Sacramento has been trying to figure out the specifics on how licensing will be defined. They have worked out most of those details and soon will be accepting applications. There will be two types of licensing applications: Equity and General Cannabis Retail License applications. An equity application will be an application from someone who resides in a disadvantaged neighborhood or someone who may have been arrested for cannabis when cannabis was illegal. That is to say, having this type of arrest record will not automatically disqualify you.

West Sacramento City Council is insistent that they want to initially give those people that qualify for an equity application a head start on the licensing process. This does not guarantee that their license will be approved prior to anyone else’s (there are too many reasons for possible delay from either side), but it should give them a good chance. The City is just trying to give “the little guy”, or newcomer, a chance to get established before someone who already has a string of dispensaries comes in and is already prepared for the process because they’ve been through it before.

Those that don’t qualify for an equity application will have to file a general application. In the recent workshop, the Council spoke with David Tilly, Principle Planner of the Community Development Department, about details. The Council was very clear that they want the equity applications handled first. “The staff is just the nuts and bolts of how you will receive applications,” David said. “We just follow the direction from the council.”

Equity applications are expected to be available in January of 2024, with a tentative date for General applications availability beginning January of 2025. For further questions and information, as well as assistance programs that may be available, please contact the Community Development Department at 916-617-4645 Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. Walk-in services are available 10am-11am and 2pm-3pm Monday through Friday.