Three Marijuana businesses have obtained state licenses to operate in Encinitas

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Three marijuana businesses have obtained state licenses to operate in Encinitas

Encinitas Extends Contract with Marijuana Business Consulting Firm.

Council increases funding for consulting company to do marijuana business background checks, site inspections, compliance visits.

Three of the four businesses that won a city-organized lottery in 2022 allowing them to open marijuana shops in Encinitas now have their state permits.

And, one of them is nearing completion on its construction work, city senior planner Evan Jedynak told the City Council Wednesday, Jan. 24.

After his update, council members unanimously voted to extend the city’s contract with the consulting company managing its marijuana business situation. HdL Companies, a La Brea-based business that assists cities in various states with marijuana business compliance issues, now will continue to be under contract with Encinitas until June 30, 2025.

Encinitas voters approved a citizen-sponsored ballot measure in 2020 that permits the four cannabis retail sales stores as well as cultivation, manufacturing and distribution businesses, subject to certain regulations and restrictions.

The new total cost of the multi-year, consulting agreement is expected to be no more than $648,400, an increase of $79,500 from the previous arrangement, which was altered in early 2022 after the city received a whopping 207 applications for its marijuana business lottery, far more than the 25 it had initially forecast. Noting the costly consulting work price tag, Councilmember Bruce Ehlers stressed Jan. 24 that all of the city’s marijuana business-related expenses will be borne by the businesses themselves through licensing fees and sales taxes.

“We’re already starting ahead,” he noted, mentioning that Encinitas collected $1.35 million in fees from the 200-plus applicants who entered the city’s lottery to win one of four business licenses.

The four successful lottery winners were:

  • The Cake House, which will be at 583 South Coast Highway. It’s the closest to reaching opening day, city employees said Jan. 24. It has its required state license and is nearing completion on its building construction work.
  • ECR Encinitas4 LLC, located at 211 North El Camino Real. It has its state license and has begun construction work.
  • STIIZY, located at 1030 North Coast Highway. It has completed its city building plan check. Construction work is “imminent,” but the business has not yet received its state license, city employees said.
  • Siesta Life Encinitas LLC, located at 1038 South Coast Highway. Its building plan check is underway and it has obtained its state license.

Council members also agreed Jan. 24 to start the process that will ultimately allow one medicinal marijuana, delivery-only business to open in either the city’s business park or light industrial zones. A new state law, which went into effect Jan. 1, requires the city to allow at least one medicinal marijuana delivery company, city employees said. Councilmember Joy Lyndes said she wanted to meet the requirements of that law, but allow no more than one delivery business. Others on the council agreed.

In other action Jan. 24, the council approved:

  • A contract with Retread Incorporated for it to operate the Buena Creek Navigation Center, a facility that will offer temporary housing and social services to homeless adults. Under an arrangement with the city of Vista, Encinitas will receive 25 percent of the soon-to-open facility’s beds and Vista will have 75 percent. The proposed site, which includes four buildings, one with 12 beds set aside for Encinitas’ use, is on South Santa Fe Avenue, just outside the Vista city limits.
  • Changes to the city’s athletic field usage policy, including creating a three-strike, disciplinary system for times when field renters violate city field use policies by failing to turn off the field lights or forgetting to re-lock access gates.

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