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Yes. The number and types of cannabis businesses allowed in the City are outlined below:
No. Because of COVID-19 Shelter in Place Orders, the Community Development Department is not open to the public. All applications are required to be submitted either through the mail or electronically. For electronic submittals, staff will contact the applicant to arrange payment via credit card.
You must submit an application for a Zoning Verification Letter to determine whether the potential business location meets ordinance requirements, including required separation from sensitive uses.
To download an application for a Zoning Verification Letter, click here.
To download a map showing potentially eligible cannabis facilities, click here. Please note that determination of eligibility can only be obtained through a Zoning Verification Letter.
Pre-Application. All applicants must submit a Pre-Application during the identified application period on forms provided by the City. A physical location is not required to be identified during the Pre-Application process, but will focus on the qualifications of the applicant team, general security requirements, and operations plan, among other things.
Interview. The City will interview up to 3 more applicants than the number of available permits for each business category. The applicants invited to interview will be those with the most competitive Pre-Application package. Business invited to interview must pay the additional interview fee within 5 business days of notification of interview.
Conditional Use Permit. The most competitive applicants after the interviews will be invited to apply for a Conditional Use Permit to establish a cannabis business. The applicant will have 6 months to secure a physical location and obtain approval of all required local and state permits.
The City will only accept applications for cannabis permits during specific application periods.
The revised ordinance only requires background checks for owners and managers.
The Live Scan process involves submitting fingerprints to the DOJ, which will review for criminal offender record information (CORI). CORI reports will be provided to the City of Watsonville for the sole purpose of determining eligibility for operating a cannabis facility. Those who do not meet criminal history eligibility requirements will be disqualified.
To download a request for Live Scan form, please click here.
Yes, all owners, managers and employees must be issued an identification badge from the Police Department, in accordance with WMC Section 14-53.208. No owner, manager or employee shall engage in any activities associated with a cannabis facility without first obtaining a valid identification badge.
Here are the steps for obtaining an identification badge:
The fees for the cannabis application process are:
The City of Watsonville adopted an ordinance to mitigate the barriers to equity within the commercial cannabis market place for populations that have been negatively or disproportionally impacted by cannabis criminalization and for pursuing aid from compassionate cannabis care programs. The ordinance can be found here. Equity applicants are those that have submitted documentation to the City in compliance with the Equity Ordinance that prove that they have been negatively impacted by cannabis criminalization and from pursuing compassionate care programs.
In order to qualify as an equity applicant or equity business, please refer to the application for equity status.
One permit from each cannabis business category is set aside for equity applicants, so that equity applicants will only be competing against other equity applicants for that license. Equity applicants are exempt from paying application fees.
Cannabis Use Permits are not transferrable. They are issued to a business entity and do not run with the land. If a Cannabis Use Permit is surrendered or revoked, the City may open up an application period for applicants to apply for that permit.
The City requires a modification of your Use Permit anytime there is a change in ownership of the business.