Long Beach Will Begin Accepting Medical Cannabis Business License Applications in Days

The application period for a license to legally sell medical cannabis will soon initiate in Long Beach. Entrepreneurs can apply beginning on January 23, 2017. According to California’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, recreational licenses won’t be available statewide until early 2018.

“We are strongly encouraging applicants to read through the application materials before contacting city staff with questions on the application process,” Assistant City Manager Ajay Kolluri told the Signal Tribune. “Applicants should also check in with the website regularly in order to ensure they are working with the most up-to-date information.”

Long Beach’s Financial Management Department offers a website listing all of the requirements. The web portal will be reinforced with a hotline for additional guidance. Applicants must pay the business license bureau an application fee of $226.45, plus a live scan background check with the Long Beach City Police Department. Those who were part of the city’s 2010 lottery winners will have until July 24 to apply. Priority Group 1 will have first dibs and includes 2010 lottery winners that stayed in their original locations. The application period for all others is only January 23-February 23. Business license applications must be submitted in person at the Business Services Division on the seventh floor of City Hall.

Last November, Long Beach voters approved two measures, which outline cannabis tax regulations. Per Measure MM and city-sponsored Measure MA, the city of Long Beach will collect:

Six to eight percent of gross receipts for medical marijuana dispensaries(with a minimum of $1,000 per year)

Eight to 12 percent of gross receipts for recreational marijuana dispensaries
Six to eight percent of gross receipts for processing, distributing, transporting, or testing marijuana and marijuana-related products
$12 to $15 per square foot for marijuana cultivation.
A statement on the website noted that the tax rates for marijuana businesses “will be set at the lower end of the ranges.”

The move by the City of Long Beach signals a change of pace surrounding medical cannabis dispensaries. Long Beach’s 2010 lottery system was eventually ruled unconstitutional and cannabis collectives were banned. In 2012, nearly every collective within city limits was shut down or driven underground as a delivery business. Long Beach’s current zoning code does not yet allow recreational sales.