HANFORD — The cannabis application period closed Monday, meaning companies are one step closer to finding out if they will be allowed to obtain permits to do business in Hanford.
The application period opened Aug. 2 and gave medical cannabis businesses a full two months to perfect their applications.
The Hanford City Council decided in July that the number of permits allowed would be capped at 26, with eight freestanding facility permits and two cannabis campus permits. Each campus can have eight individual permits.
As of Tuesday, Mata said she has no idea how many businesses applied. She said the applications were sealed away as soon as they came into the office and have now been taken to the police department for safe keeping until the three-phase review process starts.
Larry Thacker, CEO of San Jose-based Caliva, said the company submitted its application Monday.
“We made the decision months ago that Hanford was the right partner,” Thacker said. “We’re committed to Hanford and making sure both sides are successful.”
Thacker said city staff did a good job on developing an application process that was “strict and delineated” in what it expected from the cannabis companies. He said he’s looking forward to working with the city through each of the phases.
The first phase in the application process is preliminary and will include background checks and criminal history. This is why the applications have been taken to the police department, Mata said, because they contain sensitive and confidential information.
This preliminary determination of eligibility costs the businesses $4,252, plus a $135 Live Scan fee and $300 background review.
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The second phase, which will cost the businesses $1,689, includes ranking each submitted application according to location and its individual business, neighborhood compatibility, safety and security, air quality, labor and employment plans.
Only the applicants who receive 80 percent or more on the city’s scoring scale will move on to the third phase.
The third and final phase will cost the businesses $2,241 and includes another ranking system based on community benefits, enhanced project safety and environmental benefits.
The scores from the second and third phases will be combined and the top applicants will be forwarded to City Manager Darrel Pyle, and he will take the applicant recommendations to the council for final approval and awarding of permits.
The awarding of permits will cost businesses an additional $1,102.
Mata said the review of the applications should start sometime this week and expects the decisions to be taken to council sometime in November, though the schedule is tentative.
Caliva is moving rapidly through the planning and development process, Thacker said. He said the company is finalizing various engineering studies and sitting down with the proper consultants who will help them through the large-scale Hanford project.
“We’re feeling really good,” Thacker said. “We hope to break ground by the end of the year.”