The Final Countdown: Planning Department Accepting Applications Until Friday 12/30 at 4 P.M.

Ever since Humboldt County passed its Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance, establishing a framework for cultivators, manufacturers, testers, dispensaries, distributors, and transporters (whew!) to apply for local land use permits, one date in particular has loomed large: December 31, 2016.  Well, New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday, so make that date December 30, instead.  Two weeks from Friday the Planning Department will accept the last applications for permits under the ordinance. 
Some in the community will point out that the Planning Department’s August 23rd deadline for submitted a Commercial Cannabis Activity Registration form came and went, and the Department later announced that they would accept registration forms and applications that had not met that deadline.  Do not expect the same to occur regarding the December 30 deadline.  Pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement reached in a civil suit against it, the County has agreed not to issue any permits under the ordinance for applications filed after December 31, 2016 until it completes a full Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”).  An EIR on the ordinance is likely to last well over a year – possibly several – meaning that if a landowner or tenant in the marijuana industry hopes to be compliant with local law, a precondition of applying for a state license once those are available beginning January 1, 2018, this is your one shot in Humboldt County to be at the front of that line.
We at Janssen Malloy LLP are working diligently to prepare applications to meet this fast-approaching deadline.  Unlike August 23, there will be no second chance if an applicant fails to meet this crucial deadline.