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Please see the questions below that were asked at the Orientation Meeting on June 23, 2021. The answers were pending staff review and discussions. You may watch the entire Orientation Meeting video recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ1Xg7OlqDE
LOCAL PREFERENCE QUESTIONS
Section B, #8 of the Application Procedures & Guidelines says, “Describe to the extent to which the cannabis business will be a locally owned enterprise and the owner(s) reside within the City of Ventura. In order to qualify for this criterion, an owner must have lived in the City of Ventura for at least one year and/or before Nov 1, 2019.” Are both living in Ventura for one year and living in Ventura before November 2019 criteria?
The Application Procedures & Guidelines are modified to remove the portion of Section B, #8 that reads, “and/or before Nov 1, 2019”. A revised document is being posted.
Section B, #8 will now read: “Describe to the extent to which the cannabis business will be a locally owned enterprise and the owner(s) reside within the City of Ventura. In order to qualify for this criterion, an owner must have lived in the City of Ventura for at least one year.”
The Ownership Acknowledgement form states, “In order to qualify for the full points relating to the local preference criteria, the business entity must have ownership that meets the respective eligibility factors and hold at least 51% ownership interest. The local preference criteria are identified in the Application Procedures & Guidelines for a Cannabis Business Permit in Appendix A, Section B (8).” Is this 51% local preference requirement part of the merit-based point system and what is the point value? The scoring criteria currently does not appear to reflect the requirement. Is this separate than the points allocated for local ownership? Is there a certain percentage of ownership required for the local requirement on the application?
The 51% local preference requirement is part of the merit-based system (Application Procedures & Guidelines Appendix, A, Section B (8).). We will not be providing the point value or % points breakdown for the Commercial Cannabis Business Permit Application other than the points provided for each section. It is the intent of the City to award appropriately for each criterion but the City does not desire that an application fail due to not meeting the local preference criterion. Applicants who do not qualify for the local preference will still have the opportunity to be competitive in the overall scoring.
Does a City of Ventura business owner satisfy the 51% local preference requirement or is this strictly in regard to being a resident?
Simply being a City of Ventura business owner does not qualify for the local preference; the applicant must reside in the City of Ventura to satisfy the local preference requirement.
APPLYING IN TWO APPLICATION PERIODS (IN NON-COASTAL ZONE AND THEN COASTAL ZONE)
If an applicant applies in the non-Coastal Zone, will they be able to see their score along the way? If they get feedback in the first application period, this might give an advantage to those who then apply in the second application period.
The City does not plan to release scoring during the initial application period. Upon conclusion of the first application period, information submitted to the City is a matter of public record and the City cannot control how applicants or other members of the public will use this information.
How will the point system address soft buffers and the definition of youth centers?
Applicants are advised to refer to the Chapter 6.420 for the definition of youth centers and use their best judgment in addressing issues related to youth centers in their application.
COMMUNITY BENEFIT “GAG ORDER”
Will there be a gag order on the list of specific organizations or individuals for the community benefit like in other cities, or will they be able to be listed?
No, it is not currently prohibited to share the name of an organization or individual for the community benefit, however, applicants should be responsible in contacting nonprofits and companies about an application and in the use of their name and likeness.