City Council approves cannabis business application fees

A cannabis business wanting to open in Ventura will have to pay up to nearly $11,000 to have its application for a permit reviewed and processed.

The Ventura City Council Monday night unanimously approved a schedule of applicant fees aimed at enabling the city to recover the costs of the review process.

It will cost a business $8,844 for the first three phases of evaluating its application.

Background checks, meanwhile, will cost applicants $377.

The first three phases include determination of eligibility, application review and ranking, and review and interviews by a selection committee.

The city’s consultant, HdL, anticipates most applicants will make it through the first three phases, according to a city staff report.

If an applicant does not make it to Phase 3, it will receive a proportionate refund, the report says.

Applicants who are selected to continue to Phase 4 will need to pay an additional $1,482.

The final selection will be made by City Manager Alex McIntyre, the report says.

The Ventura City Council Monday night approved a schedule of fees that will enable the city to recover the costs of reviewing and processing applications from cannabis businesses wanting to open in the city.

It will cost an applicant $3,178 to appeal during any phase of the permitting process.

Yesania Anderson, a city management analyst, told the council the fees will fully cover the costs incurred by the city in evaluating the applications.

“This is aimed at full, 100% cost recovery,” she said.

She said Tuesday that according to HdL, such permit application fees aimed at full cost recovery are fairly standard among other cities.

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