The Santee City Council will hear a Cannabis Business update at next week’s council meeting. The full agenda is available here.
Part of what will be discussed includes the application process, previewed below. Other zoning, fiscal responsibility and inspection elements will also be discussed.
There are four phases to the application process, which are detailed in the Procedures. Below
is a brief summary of the phases.
Phase I: Determination of Eligibility
After submittal of the applications, the City will move to Phase 1 where staff will review the
applications to ensure that all materials were submitted and all limitations on submittals have
been met (e.g. no more than 10% ownership for more than one application, only two
applications per property).
Phase II: Application Evaluation and Review
Once applications are determined to be complete, staff will review and score each application
using a merit-based system. The top applicants from Phase II, as determined by the City
Manager, may be eligible to advance to Phase III.
Phase III: Interviews
The top applicants from Phase II will be forwarded to the Staff Evaluation and Interview
Committee, designated by the City Manager. Using a merit-based system, the Committee will
score the interviews and provide a ranking for the purpose of determining which applicants
will move forward to Phase IV.
Phase IV: City Council Interviews and Final Decision
No more than ten qualifying applicants that advance from Phase III will be presented to the
City Council for their consideration. The City Council will interview the applicants and make a
final determination, which, if any applicants, would be awarded a permit.
There is an appeal period provided at the end of each phase. In order to ensure an unbiased
evaluation, staff will be soliciting proposals for a hearing officer to hear and timely resolve any
appeals that are filed.
Staff is currently finalizing the anticipated cannabis fees. They are estimated to be:
Application Fee: $17,000 – $20,000
Annual Regulatory Fee: $28,000 – $30,000
Appeal Process Fee: $9,000 – $11,000
Zoning Verification Letter: $100 – $150
Since the adoption of the ordinance, questions have been asked about three topics. First,
there has been a question regarding the buffers around sensitive use locations. Santee
Municipal Code requires a 900’ buffer from sensitive use locations in the City of Santee. In
addition, State of California law requires a 600’ buffer from sensitive use locations, with an
allowance for local jurisdictions to be more or less restrictive. Therefore, under Ordinance
602, there is a 900’ buffer from sensitive use locations in the City’s jurisdictional limits and a
600’ buffer for sensitive use locations outside of the City’s boundary.
Another question has been raised regarding allowing manufacturing uses alone and not
attached to a micro business. The previous Council direction was to allow four retail licenses
(including a microbusiness with retail store front), unlimited laboratory uses and unlimited
microbusinesses without storefront retail activities. The proposed Procedures were
prepared based on these specific policy decisions of the Council. Should City Council want
to allow manufacturing uses alone, the Ordinance would need to be amended and brought
back to the City Council for consideration. This could be done without a need to delay the
Procedures, which do not address manufacturing uses.
The third question raised relates to the zones where retail locations are allowed. The previous
City Council direction was to only allow locations in the Light Industrial (IL) and General
Commercial (GC) zones. The City Council considered, but ultimately rejected, permitting
retail locations in the Neighborhood Commercial Zone. If City Council wants to allow
cannabis uses in other zones, the Ordinance would need to be amended and brought back
to the City Council for consideration. Such a change would delay the adoption of the
C. NEXT STEPS AND TIMELINE
Staff will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Department to secure background services and
solicit proposals for arbitration in the event of an appeal. Once both have been secured, staff
will return to City Council in early 2024 for consideration of the Procedures and application
D. STAFF RECOMMENDATION
Receive the update and move forward with finalization of the Procedures for City Council
a. Application Procedures Manual
b. Cannabis Business Permit Application
c. Financial Responsibility, Indemnity and Consent to Inspection Agreement
d. Property Owner Consent/Landlord Affidavit
e. Zoning Verification Letter
f. Draft Resolution Adopting the Appeal Process