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Palm Springs plans to update cannabis regulations

During the first week of December, Palm Springs City Council delayed finalization of modified cannabis regulations covering odor control, distance requirements, tax incentives and more.

The postponement is until December 16 or January, 2020, and there’s no indication what the final regulations will be when they meet again. We’ll list highlights as currently proposed below. It’s a lot – but please feel free to give us a call or email to discuss how this might affect your cannabis business.

Palm Springs proposed cannabis regulatory updates:

A conditional use permit is no longer required for lounges – the proposed changes state that a lounge is now a permitted use.

Cannabis businesses will need to obtain all land use entitlements before applying for a Palm Springs Adult Use Cannabis Permit. This is reversed from the way things are now.

Odor control is subject to stricter, zero-tolerance enforcement.

  • For your first odor complaint, if you have all your paperwork and are following your city-approved odor control plan, you will get a WRITTEN WARNING and seven days to correct it.

  • If you cannot control the odor issues within 7 days, then all activity must cease until effective odor control measures are in place. For each subsequent month the issue remains unresolved, you will receive a $10,000 fine, and you cannot operate until it is fixed.

  • Your third citation gets you a $25,000 fine and your city permit revoked, and you cannot apply again for 12 months.

  • Verified odor complaints for illegal activities will result in revocation of any city permits plus a $25,000 fine – and this enforcement also applies if you are found not to be operating in accordance with a city-approved odor control plan.

  • If you are not following a city-approved odor control plan when you receive your first odor complaint, you get a CITATION, and a $10K fine, and you must correct the issue within 30 days.

Distance requirements may change, and all cannabis facilities will be subject to an Architectural Review.

  • Cannabis businesses not located in the newly designated Cannabis Overlay Zone must obtain a distance requirement waiver in the Palm Canyon corridor if they are located within 500 feet of another cannabis business or, for Cultivation and Types 6 and 7 Manufacturing, within 1000 feet of a residential zone.

  • Cannabis facilities can submit a waiver for the 500-foot separation distance requirements and for the 600-foot sensitive use distance requirements, but waivers for residential buffers are not available.

Separation distance requirements in the new ordinance will not affect those:

  • already lawfully operating as of the effective date of the ordinance.

  • not yet operating but have secured all administrative and land use entitlements to operate.

  • that have secured an administrative permit to operate and are the subject of a complete and pending entitlement application filed with the City as of 11/06/2019 (this date may change.)

City Council will grant tax incentives for cultivation businesses in the Cannabis Overlay Zone by the 10 freeway (but no other business types.)

Conditional Cannabis Permits at newly constructed buildings shall expire 24 months from the date of issuance if Business is NOT operational.

Conditional Cannabis Permits at existing buildings shall expire 12 months from the date of issuance if Business is NOT operational.

  • Two (2) Extensions are available in this situation but permit holder would have to demonstrate substantial progress towards becoming operational. The second extension if granted, will require the permit holder to pay a penalty of no more than $10,000.00. Conditional Cannabis Permit holders who allow their permit to expire are prohibited from applying for Conditional Cannabis Permit or an Adult-Use Cannabis Permit for a period of 12 months.

Manufacturing Type 6 and 7 are only allowed in the cannabis overlay zone with a CUP, while Type N or P licenses are conditionally permitted in ANY M-1-P zone.

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