Once again…a form is not authoritative. As I previously stated, having had numerous conversations with John Ford, the Humboldt County Director of Planning and Michael Richardson of his staff. This is the actual text of an email we had sent to Mr. Ford and his response.
From: Jordan Zoot
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 9:34 AM
To: Ford, John
Subject: Humboldt County Planning - Policy & Procedure For California Bureau of Cannabis Control “BCC” License Applications
We are a CPA firm that represents a number of Humboldt County businesses in the cannabis industry that have applied for temporary licenses with BCC. The specific businesses have commenced the process of obtaining all of the various permits, licenses, and documents with Humboldt County Planning and any other associated county and state agencies. We have received denials from BCC for the temporary licenses due to the lack of final approvals from Humboldt County. My understanding, from a number of sources is that where a business has filed with the county, and has made a good faith effort to move as quickly as possible to complete the requirements that supposedly, your office has issued some type of interim permit or “special” permit to the business, or contacted BCC directly to inform them of sufficient progress and approval from your agency so that the BCC, CDPH or CDFA would issue a temporary license.
We fully understand that such “interim” or special permit or the equivalent would not in any way change any of the obligations and responsibilities that the business would have viz Humboldt County Planning or any other agency. However, being able to obtain that type of document from your office would provide a substantial and important assistance to the business in its efforts to fulfill its obligations.
Rather than approach you with a dozen or more specific business’s application, though it would be much more efficient to request broad guidance which we can take back and apply to an entity by entity basis. We would appreciate your guidance, which we would obviously treat as non-binding and for informational purposes for:
Applicants for Cultivation License
Applications for Micro Businesses that may involve cultivation together with Manufacturing, Distribution or Retail
Any one of the Manufacturing, Distribution or Retail
I am licensed as a California CPA # 132647 and a substantial portion of our practice involves Humboldt County businesses, so we want to do everything we can to assist your effort. Thank you in advance for your time and attention. If it would be easier, my direct dial phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
His response was:
Ford, John [email protected]
Hi Mr. Zoot:
The following summarizes each category you listed:
· Applicants for Cultivation License – We have offered Interim Permits to applicants whose applications for existing cultivation were deemed complete prior to July 14, 2017. We are in process of modifying the cannabis ordinance to allow interim permits to the remaining existing cultivators whose applications are deemed complete. These are being used to obtain state licenses.
· Applications for Micro Businesses that may involve cultivation together with Manufacturing, Distribution or Retail – The current ordinance does not provide for a Micro Business as a use type, so unless the applicant has obtained separate permits for all the applicable uses associated with a Micro Business we are not clearing approval of state licenses for Micro Businesses.
· Any one of the Manufacturing, Distribution or Retail – There are no interim permits for these activities, but he has placed a priority on getting these processed.
I hope this answers your questions
We can leave it to anyone reading this to reach their own conclusions about my background vs the “California Cannabis CPA”. My concerns are for the industry as a whole, rather than seeking to sell a particular piece of real estate. It would be fascinating to see the extent to which your sell would be willing to provide reps an warranties with respect to zoning and license approval in a purchase contract…but that clearly goes to a specific transaction which isn’t where this discussion should be headed.