CA: WeHo Rolls Out Licenses For Cannabis Consumption Lounges

Photo Credit: AP Photo

West Hollywood released details on how to secure one of the 40 coveted licenses required to open a cannabis-related business. Yesterday’s announcement outlines the process which will result in a significant expansion of the city’s cannabis industry. This includes cannabis consumption areas, or lounges which are spaces to consume cannabis products. WeHo is planning for a total of 16 consumption lounges, where consumers can actually smoke or vape cannabis or eat THC-infused foods or beverages.

The city is preparing for a rush of applications, and the process begins with screening all proposed cannabis businesses. There are no requirements to have a brick and mortar location before applying, and each application will be evaluated and rated by an independent five-member committee. In November, West Hollywood City Council adapted a Cannabis Ordinance with specific criteria that must be met by each applicant during the screening process.

Businesses will receive a score and will be thoroughly reviewed. If approved, the next step is to obtain a business license from the City of West Hollywood then find a physical location. There’s one more hurdle: ensure the license complies with existing zoning.

Finally it goes to the Business License Commission, which can approve or reject the cannabis business license and institute any conditions on the business. As with any venture, planning, building, and safety permits must be approved. There’s an additional license with the adult recreational use law, which requires a state-issued cannabis license before opening.

The screening application process commences May 2 and goes until May 31, and the cost is $9,880 for a single cannabis business license. For consumption lounges, there are two types. The first will allow cannabis smoking, vaping, and ingestion on-site. The second type will allow edibles to be consumed on-site, but only at businesses that sell cannabis products. If businesses want more than one cannabis license, it will need to pay an additional application fee.