Riverside County California Issues First-Stage Approval To 69 Would-Be Cannabis Operators

Supervisors established rules for unincorporated areas

Sixty-nine applicants have cleared the first hurdle to becoming the first legal cannabis ventures in unincorporated Riverside County.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 2 is set to review the applicant list, which includes 24 retailers, 30 cultivators and 15 other marijuana-related ventures. If the board approves them, the applicants would have 120 days to apply for a conditional use permit with the county.

The would-be marijuana entrepreneurs want to capitalize on rules set up by the county last October. At the time, Riverside’s regulations were considered among the most permissive in California, allowing a wide-range of cannabis-oriented businesses.

The new rules – set for a region that has long been a hotbed of illegal cannabis stores and grows – were established after the 2016 passage of Prop. 64, which legalized recreational marijuana for individuals and gave cities and counties in California the right to establish their own rules for cannabis-related businesses.

The new rules also are aimed at striking a balance between the rights of prospective business owners who might generate tax revenue for the county, and residents who can be overwhelmed by noxious odors and other nuisances associated with marijuana cultivation.

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