What was once on the forefront of the Hanford City Council’s collective minds and agendas seems to have now faded into the background.
In the two months since Council last discussed commercial cannabis manufacturing in the city, little progress has been made in the industry in Hanford.
Things seemed to be going full steam ahead in November 2017 after Council approved a total of 21 cultivation, manufacturing and distribution permits to three cannabis companies: Caliva, Genezen and Premium Extracts.
Plans seemed to halt in April, however, when Council made the 4-1 decision to not let the companies produce adult-use, or recreational, cannabis. The companies wanted to move away from the approved medical-only cannabis because state regulations enacted in December are expected to cause a significant shrinkage in the medical cannabis market.
During the same meeting, Council approved ballot measure language for the Nov. 6 general election that would ask voters if they want to tax commercial cannabis businesses that locate in the city. This was a move Council was intent on doing since starting the city’s journey into the cannabis industry and the measure doesn’t specify between medical or recreational cannabis.
Since April, Community Development Director Darlene Mata said two of the permittees have begun the conditional use permit process: Premium Extracts and Caliva.
Having a conditional use permit means the companies can go inside their respective buildings and do some work, but it’s not as extensive as a building permit.
So far though, Mata said no building permit applications have come in. She said the companies have one year to apply for a business permit from the date they applied for the conditional use permits.
Rand Martin, vice president of governmental affairs at Caliva, said there was very little update he could give on the company’s future in Hanford.
“We’re still looking at our options,” Martin said.
Requests for comment from Premium Extracts officials were not returned.
Mata said she has not heard from Genezen officials. Internet research reveals the company hasn’t posted anything on its various social media accounts since October 2017 and the company’s website cannot be reached.