Fixing San Bernardino's Cannabis Ordinance

I represent the prospective local applicants ECS Labs, Med Products Group, KP Investments, and 4th Street Dispensary. All were denied licenses despite satisfying every requirement, and all were denied based on an extremely questionable... Read more
I represent the prospective local applicants ECS Labs, Med Products Group, KP Investments, and 4th Street Dispensary. All were denied licenses despite satisfying every requirement, and all were denied based on an extremely questionable application “score”. All except 4th Street Dispensary and Med Products Group are currently parties to the pending lawsuit against the city, accusing it, inter alia, of invalid licensing and other unlawful acts. While my clients’ situations vary, they nevertheless are united in their frustrations with the current legal process. While such litigation is all too common in the emerging area of cannabis law, there is no reason why it must be this way. Ordinance MC-1464 borrows the vast majority of its language from previously-enacted municipal ordinances in other cities. Crucially, most of these ordinances were enacted prior to the establishment of comprehensive statewide law and regulations applicable to medical cannabis (let alone adult-use cannabis). As reflected in the purposes and findings of these ordinances, the policies were primarily an artifact of the absence of state enforcement - and with the passage of Proposition 64, codified by MAUCRSA, - have now been rendered largely irrelevant. By continuing these outdated policies, the city unintentionally doubles down on the barriers to entry into the emerging legal marketplace - with negligible corresponding public safety benefit. The most salient (and infamous) feature of Ordinance MC-1464 is its capping the number of businesses in the city to 1 permit per 12,500 residents, and requiring the city to enact a scoring and selection procedure to deal with the artificial supply limitation. It is important to note that no other business in the City of San Bernardino is subject to such an inflexible limitation. Not even liquor stores or adult businesses are capped in this manner, but rather are subject to specifically-tailored application requirements to ensure compliance and minimize public safety risks. Read less
San Bernardino, CA ( Local)
September 26, 2019
Submitted by: Matt Harrison

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Matt Harrison

September 26, 2019

We respectfully yet strongly request a new LRC meeting be scheduled, as soon as practicable, for the purpose of reviewing the urgent issues surrounding the cannabis ordinance and its implementation, specifically including the following issues, or equivalent:  

 1) Comprehensive review of MC-1464 to identify any... Read more

September 26, 2019

We respectfully yet strongly request a new LRC meeting be scheduled, as soon as practicable, for the purpose of reviewing the urgent issues surrounding the cannabis ordinance and its implementation, specifically including the following issues, or equivalent:  

 1) Comprehensive review of MC-1464 to identify any and all amendments, modifications or reforms to better achieve its stated purposes for the benefit of the city. Among the specific questions to be addressed should include:

 a) Whether the limitation and cap on businesses adds any value, given the changes in state law since the ordinance was first drafted, and if so, whether the council may consider an amendment to remove the cap and limitation, and under what conditions;

 b) Whether the ordinance could be redrafted in order to treat cannabis businesses in a manner similar to how other similar businesses are treated, such as liquor retailers, adult entertainment, wholesale processing and distribution, or agriculture, and the impact thereof; and

 c) Whether the ordinance can be redrafted in a manner that would also dispose of the ongoing litigation, including, but not limited to, reviewing the original applications as an initial condition prior to subsequent grants, and/or making use of nonconforming use provisions which could protect the city and minimize legal risk.

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Matt Harrison

September 26, 2019

We respectfully yet strongly request a new LRC meeting be scheduled, as soon as practicable, for the purpose of reviewing the urgent issues surrounding the cannabis ordinance and its implementation, specifically including the following issues, or equivalent: 

1) Comprehensive review of MC-1464 to identify any and all... Read more

September 26, 2019

We respectfully yet strongly request a new LRC meeting be scheduled, as soon as practicable, for the purpose of reviewing the urgent issues surrounding the cannabis ordinance and its implementation, specifically including the following issues, or equivalent: 

1) Comprehensive review of MC-1464 to identify any and all amendments, modifications or reforms to better achieve its stated purposes for the benefit of the city. Among the specific questions to be addressed should include:

 a) Whether the limitation and cap on businesses adds any value, given the changes in state law since the ordinance was first drafted, and if so, whether the council may consider an amendment to remove the cap and limitation, and under what conditions;

 b) Whether the ordinance could be redrafted in order to treat cannabis businesses in a manner similar to how other similar businesses are treated, such as liquor retailers, adult entertainment, wholesale processing and distribution, or agriculture, and the impact thereof; and

 c) Whether the ordinance can be redrafted in a manner that would also dispose of the ongoing litigation, including, but not limited to, reviewing the original applications as an initial condition prior to subsequent grants, and/or making use of nonconforming use provisions which could protect the city and minimize legal risk.

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December 12, 2019

ms. sonia carvalho: thanks for the brief discussion last night during the city council meeting regarding cannabis licensing opportunities for the litigants v. the city of san bernardino. per our conversation, i can certainly corral most if not all of the plaintiffs, along with legal... Read more

December 12, 2019

ms. sonia carvalho: thanks for the brief discussion last night during the city council meeting regarding cannabis licensing opportunities for the litigants v. the city of san bernardino. per our conversation, i can certainly corral most if not all of the plaintiffs, along with legal representation for a settlement conference at city hall.

cannabis licensing opportunties were moved from the LRC back to the main council for fast-tracking. further, a text from you indicated that you're willing to accept settlement agreements from plaintiffs. our attorney matt harrison (who represents multiple plaintiffs) have submitted a settlement agreement to you and chris moffitt. 

i am hopeful that matt brown can schedule this meeting at his earliest convenience. if this request needs to come directly from our attorney matt harrison, he will definitely make the same request.

mr. matt brown: please provide a date/time for the settlement conference, and i will send you a list of all the attendees. should you want to send the invitations to the individuals yourself, i can provide you a list.

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