HANFORD — How much is too much? As Hanford prepares to dive head-first into the cannabis business, the City Council decided how many cannabis permits the city is willing to take on.
Council approved a resolution that established the application procedures, fees, forms and permits for the commercial medical cannabis industry.
As opposed to the council meeting on July 5, where there were plenty of comments from the public against cannabis, only a few people spoke Tuesday night against bringing the cannabis businesses to the city.
The July 5 vote to allow commercial medical marijuana businesses to locate in Hanford’s Industrial Park solidified the Council’s intent to move forward, despite criticism from the Kings County Sheriff and city residents.
Community Development Director Darlene Mata said the application period for interested cannabis businesses is anticipated to begin Aug. 2 and go through Oct. 2, after which no more applications will be accepted. After receiving all the applications, city staff will conduct a three-phase review process.
Mata said the first phase in the application process is preliminary and will include background checks and criminal history. The second phase includes ranking each submitted application according to location and its individual business, neighborhood compatibility, safety and security, air quality, labor and employment plans.
Only the applicants who receive 80 percent or more on the city’s scoring scale will move on to the third phase, Mata said. The third phase includes another ranking system based on community benefits, enhanced project safety and environmental benefits.
The scores from the second and third phases will be combined and the top applicants will be forwarded to City Manager Darrel Pyle, Mata said. From there, Pyle will take the applicant recommendations to the council