Over a year has passed since the state of California legalized sales of recreational cannabis to adults over the age of 21, yet not a single dispensary location has opened in Riverside County. After much anticipation, Riverside’s county Board of Supervisors approved 69 total permits open for cannabis businesses this July. The 69 issued permits consist of 50 cultivation facility permits and 19 dispensary permits for physical retail location cannabis sales.
Applicants were evaluated through a 400-point system in order to properly assess the better-suited applicants who applied for the cannabis permits. Those who applied for permits and pledged to locally own, hire, and pay employees above minimum wage received additional points in the assessment process.
Juan Perez, Riverside County Assistant CEO, stated: "This is the first year of implementation of the program. We’ll be starting a new program in January of next year and prior to January we’ll be going back to the Board of Supervisors to seek direction on how we want to handle the program. That could include either additional regulations for proposals or possibly considering proposals that weren’t selected this year.”
Out of the 69 applicants, not a single one of them chose to apply for delivery-only business, despite a plethora of cannabis delivery businesses in the rest of California. Riverside cannabis businesses will also pay a Riverside County public-benefit fee on top of the standard cannabis excise tax. The public-benefit fee is setup to fund cannabis regulations within Riverside and to continue enforcement against illegal cannabis businesses within the county.
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