Cannabis Businesses in Merced

City Announces Cannabis Dispensary Application Rankings and Schedules Planning Commission Public Hearings for September 18 & 19, 2018

The City of Merced received 22 complete applications for retail cannabis dispensaries in March 2018. Only four dispensaries may be approved under the City’s cannabis ordinance.   The Planning Commission has already approved 10 cannabis business permits for manufacturing, cultivation, and distribution operations (see below).

A Selection Committee of City Manager Steve Carrigan, Police Chief Chris Goodman and Director of Development Services Scott McBride reviewed the applications and scored them based on criteria established by the City Council.   All the proposed business owners were subject to a detailed background check by the Police Department.

A total score of 100 points was possible for each application. Points were awarded based on non-discretionary facts, such as public/neighborhood outreach programs, parking, business hours, previous experience and qualifications of the owners, access to capital, inclusion of certain safety features and local residency. There were 29 points awarded at the discretion of the Selection Committee based on enhanced security measures, community benefits, and other outstanding features above the minimum requirements of the applications.

The total scores of the reviewers were divided by three for an average score. The applications were ranked based on that average score.

The top four applications will be scheduled for public hearings before the Planning Commission at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, and Wednesday, September 19, 2018,  in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center (City Hall), 678 W. 18th St.

The scores and rankings are as follows:

Commercial Cannabis Business Permit Applications for Dispensaries

TOTAL SCORE

AVERAGE SCORE

RANKING

CCBP #18-06R ("Blue Fire") at 1975 W Olive Ave

295

98.333

1

CCBP #18-10R ("Green Door") at 811 W Main St

292

97.333

2

CCBP #18-17R ("Manzanita") at 1594 W 18th St

289

96.333

3

CCBP #18-14R ("Harvest of Merced") at 863 W 15th St

285

95.000

4

CCBP #18-21R ("Medallion Wellness") at 808 W 16th St

269

89.667

5

CCBP #18-30R ("Jiva Life") at 1020 W Main St

255

85.000

6

CCBP #18-22R ("7 Fingers Cannabissary") at 1220-30 Martin Luther King Jr Wy

254

84.667

7

CCBP #18-11R ("Merced Pharmers Market") at 1112 W 16th St

246

82.000

8

CCBP #18-29R ("Nourish Health Merced") at 221 W Main St

244

81.333

9

CCBP #18-08R ("Bang Mingo") at 1850 Yosemite Pkwy

240

80.000

10 (Tie)

CCBP #18-05R ("Elev8 Wellness") at 235 W Main St

240

80.000

10 (Tie)

CCBP #18-13R ("Empire Health & Wellness") at 245 W 16th St

224

74.667

12

CCBP #18-09R ("Natural Supplements") at 127 W El Portal Dr

216

72.000

13

CCBP #18-07R ("Gateway Wellness") at 145 Riggs, Ste A

213

71.000

14

CCBP #18-25R ("Valley Pure") at 1180 Olivewood Ave

202

67.333

15

CCBP #18-26R ("Tamcu Investments") at 227 W Main St

201

67.000

16

CCBP #18-23R ("Kings Valley Wellness") at 850 W Main, Ste A

199

66.333

17

CCBP #18-12R ("Merced Healing Center") at 948 W 15th St

187

62.333

18

CCBP #18-24R ("Earth Source Healing") at 1035 W 14th St

179

59.667

19

CCBP #18-16R ("Sierra Gold Cannabis Co.") at 35 W 23rd St

168

56.000

20

CCBP #18-20R ("Veteran Medication 22") at 3317 M St

157

52.333

21 (Tie)

CCBP #18-18R ("Merced Pain Relief") at 946 W Main St

157

52.333

21 (Tie)

 

The Following application was disqualified:

CCBP #18-15R ("Aleafiate") at 1471 Yosemite Pkwy

213

71.000

DQ

 

A map of all the cannabis dispensary applications is below.

Non-Retail Cannabis Applications Approved (August 2018)

The City of Merced is very pleased to note that the 10 non-retail applications for cannabis businesses (including cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution) were approved by the Planning Commission in August 2018.  Detailed information about those applications can be found on the Planning Commission page at the link below for the Planning Commission meetings of August 8 and 22, 2018.  A map of the locations is included below.

Planning Commission Staff Reports

The City's schedule for considering Cannabis Business Permits is below:

Application Update--July 2018

The City received a total of 30 applications for Commercial Cannabis Business Permits (CCBP) during the initial application period (March 5-26, 2018).  Those applications include 24 for retail sales/dispensaries (23 of which are combined adult use/medical dispensaries with delivery and 1 medical only with delivery), 2 for cultivation, 2 for manufacturing, and 2 for distribution.  (No applications for testing were received.)  4 additional applications for non-retail uses were subsequently received--1 for cultivation, 2 for distribution, and 1 for manufacturing, bringing the total up to 34.  After checking all the applications for completeness and Phase I requirements, all but 1 application passed and moved onto Phase II, bringing the total to 33 with 10 being non-retail and 23 being retail.

Please note that CCBP's for retail sales/dispensaries are limited to only 4 per the City's Ordinance.  Therefore, the City expects to award those 4 retail sales permits from the 24 initial applications received, so it is likely that any dispensary applications received after 3/26/18 will remain on a Waiting List indefinitely.  Since there is no limit on the number of cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, or testing CCBP's., the City will continue to accept applications for those uses and they will be processed as time permits after the 10 applications above for other uses are processed.

Phase 2 involves detailed background checks of all owners for all applications and review by the City's Selection Committee of retail sales/dispensaries to determine the top 4 candidates to move onto Planning Commission public hearings.  For all other uses, Phase 2 will involve the detailed background checks prior to being scheduled for Planning Commission public hearings.

Cannabis Location Web Mapping Tool Now Available

The City of Merced is excited to launch our Cannabis Location Web Mapping Tool! This tool will help you determine if a particular site is suitable for a cannabis business. By typing in the street address, you will be able to see what the General Plan and Zoning Designations are, if the site is near a sensitive use (i.e., schools, daycare centers, youth centers, etc.), and link to the Cannabis Business Land Use Table to determine if the site is eligible for a cannabis business. Please visit this site and use this tool prior to contacting the City to determine if a site is eligible.

Also, please note the following disclaimer:

"Use of this online tool is intended for informational purposes and is not binding confirmation that a property complies with any or all aspects of the City of Merced’s requirements to obtain a Commercial Cannabis Business Permit. Determinations of zoning compliance, distance from sensitive uses, and other requirements will be made by the Planning Department of the City of Merced in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Merced City Council in Ordinance 2480. "

The City of Merced does not have jurisdiction over properties outside its City Limits. To avoid confusion, any property that is searched for outside of the Merced City Limits will return no results.

All Properties within 1,000 feet of a school are shown as “Properties with Inappropriate Zoning for Cannabis Activities” at this time. This is because Dispensaries/Retail Sales are impermissible at this distance. However, some other Cannabis Activities are permissible so long as they are not within 600 feet of a school. This may mean that another Cannabis Activity (Manufacturing, Testing, Cultivation or Distribution) may still be appropriate based on distance from other sensitive uses and the information in Table 20.44-1, Commercial Cannabis Business, from the Merced Cannabis Ordinance 2480.

For any questions regarding this web application, the information contained herein, or regarding the Commercial Cannabis Business permit application process, please contact the City of Merced’s Planning Department at planningweb@cityofmerced.org, by calling 209-385-6858, or in-person on the 2nd Floor of the Merced Civic Center at 678 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 95340 between the hours of 10AM to Noon and 1PM to 5PM Monday through Friday.

Link to Cannabis Location Web Mapping Tool:
http://bit.ly/CityofmercedCannabisOrdinance


Merced Will Begin Accepting Applications for Commercial Cannabis Business Permits (March 5-26, 2018)--NOW CLOSED!

The City of Merced is pleased to announce that the initial application period for Commercial Cannabis Business Permits will be from Monday, March 5, 2018 through Monday, March 26, 2018.  Please see the flyer below for details.  THE INITIAL APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED!

Application forms are available for download below in the folder entitled "Application Forms and Schedules."  (Please note that the applications were revised on 1/31/18 in order to include the Environmental Review Checklist, which needs to be submitted with the application.  The environmental application fee for a "Categorical Exemption" is $123 in 2018 and will apply to most applications.  However, if new construction is involved with your application, please contact Planning Staff to determine the appropriate level of environmental review.) 

If you would like to request a pre-application meeting with City Staff, please download the form from the January 26 workshop below and submit it to the Planning Division at planningweb@cityofmerced.org

 

Application Workshop (January 26, 2018)

On Friday, January 26, 2018, the City held a workshop to discuss the application process for Commercial Cannabis Business Permits.  The City was very pleased with the turnout of over 130 people interested in our application process.  The schedule for submitting applications, the application forms, and maps for determining the distance from sensitive land uses were presented at the workshop.  For a copy of the presentation and handouts from the workshop, please see the folder entitled "January 26, 2018 Application Workshop Materials" below. 

A web-based application for determining the distance from sensitive land uses will be coming soon...keep checking this page for information on the web-based tool.  In the meantime, we have found some errors in the maps that were displayed at the January 26 workshop so they have been removed from the website.   When the maps are back up, please note the following disclaimer:  "These cannabis maps were prepared for general inquiries only.  The City of Merced is not liable for any errors or omissions that may occur.  Official information for specific parcels or addresses should be obtained from the City Planning Division by sending the location to planningweb@cityofmerced.org  ."

City Council Approves the Cannabis Ordinance (Effective on January 3, 2018)

On November 20, 2017, the City Council held a public hearing on the proposed Cannabis Ordinance.  After the public hearing and discussing all the issues, the City Council, by a 5-2 (5 ayes, 2 noes) vote, introduced Ordinance #2480 with the following changes:  a) allowing dispensaries in the Neighborhood Commercial (C-N) zone; b) allowing dispensaries in the Light Industrial (I-L) zones; c) allowing volatile manufacturing in the Light Industrial (I-L) zone; d) allowing adult use dispensaries in the Commercial Office (C-O) zone; and, e) adding some language regarding the "Watson Advisement" regarding driving under the influence to the required signs to be posted in dispensaries.  The Ordinance was revised and came back to the City Council for a second reading/adoption on December 4, 2017.  That night, Ordinance #2480 was adopted and became effective 30 days later on January 3, 2018.  Various documents relating to the Cannabis Ordinance can be downloaded below, including the adopted Ordinance.  Ordinance #2480 replaced Ordinance #2464, adopted in 2016. 

At its December 18, 2017, meeting, the City Council held a public hearing and considered adoption of a resolution to establish application fees for Commercial Cannabis Business Permits as well as annual regulatory fees for monitoring and enforcement.  After the public hearing, the City Council adopted Resolution #2017-67 by a 7-0 vote.   Supporting documents are available for download below.

On January 16, 2018, the City Council adopted the Merit-Based Selection Criteria for Dispensaries/Retail Sales.  The final Merit-Based Criteria, adopted Resolution, City Council reports, and presentations are available for download below. 

Planning Commission Public Hearings (October/November 2017)

A study session was held by the Planning Commission on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, regarding the Draft Ordinance regarding Cannabis Businesses in Merced.  A public hearing before the Planning Commission was held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, but due some technical issues with the appointment of one of our Planning Commissioners, the public hearing was rescheduled for Wednesday, November 8, 2017, for the Planning Commission to make a recommendation to the City Council on the Draft Ordinance.  After the public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended to the City Council by at 5-1-1 (5 ayes, 1 no, 1 abstain) vote to approve the Ordinance as proposed with the addition of dispensaries in the Light Industrial (I-L) zone. 

Community Outreach

A number of public meetings have been held thus far to give input into the process of developing an ordinance and selection process for future medical marijuana businesses in the City.  A study session on Proposition 64 was held for the City Council on April 17, 2017 (presentation available for download below).  A Community Outreach meeting on medical marijuana issues in the City was held on May 9, 2017 (presentation and flyer available for download below).   A study session with the Planning Commission and City Council was held on July 5, 2017 (presentation is available for download below).  A second Stakeholder and Community meeting was held on July 12, 2017 (flyer and presentation available for download below). 

A Study Session with the City Council and Planning Commission was held on September 12, 2017.  See below to download a copy of the agenda packet, which included a DRAFT ordinance (since revised, please refer to the November 8 Planning Commission packet), as well as the presentation.  The City Council and Planning Commission gave staff direction for modifications to the ordinance which would allow more commercial cannabis businesses in the City, including commercial cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and adult use dispensaries/retail sales as well as the medical dispensaries. 

Preparation of Operating and Licensing Regulations for Cannabis Dispensaries

In February 2017, the City of Merced hired SCI Consulting, Inc., to assist the City with the preparation of the operating and licensing regulations for the medical marijuana dispensaries. 

Cannabis

Section UL

00a--Application Forms & Schedules

0-Tentative Schedule for Cannabis Permits (Revised 7/6/18)
Revision Date: 7/6/2018 (90.7 KB)
More
Info
1-Cannabis Application Dates (March 5-26, 2018)
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (212.2 KB)
More
Info
2-Application Filing Fees
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (110.6 KB)
More
Info
3-CCBP Frequently Asked Questions
Revision Date: 3/21/2018 (44.5 KB)
More
Info
Cultivation Application Packet
Revision Date: 1/31/2018 (318.3 KB)
More
Info
Dispensary/Retail Sales Application Packet
Revision Date: 1/31/2018 (392.1 KB)
More
Info
Distribution Application Packet
Revision Date: 1/31/2018 (317.6 KB)
More
Info
Environmental Review Checklist--Needs to Be Submitted with All Applications
Revision Date: 1/29/2018 (73.9 KB)
More
Info
Indemnity Agreement
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (48.1 KB)
More
Info
Live Scan Forms
Revision Date: 2/21/2018 (438.2 KB)
More
Info
Live Scan Locations and Instructions
Revision Date: 3/8/2018 (54.7 KB)
More
Info
Manufacturing Application Packet
Revision Date: 1/31/2018 (324.1 KB)
More
Info
Testing Application Packet
Revision Date: 1/31/2018 (317 KB)
More
Info
Web-Tool for Sensitive Uses Flyer
Revision Date: 2/21/2018 (1.45 MB)
More
Info
Zoning Verification Form
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (62.3 KB)
More
Info

00b--January 26, 2018 Application Workshop Materials

Application Workshop Flyer Reminder--January 26, 2018
Revision Date: 1/19/2018 (211.1 KB)
More
Info
Application Workshop Flyer--January 26, 2018
Revision Date: 12/20/2017 (67.5 KB)
More
Info
Dates When Merced Will Be Accepting Cannabis Applications Handout
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (212.2 KB)
More
Info
January 26, 2018 Application Workshop Agenda
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (45 KB)
More
Info
January 26, 2018 Application Workshop Presentation
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (3.96 MB)
More
Info
Request for Pre-Application Meeting Handout
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (446.1 KB)
More
Info
Workshop Questions Handout
Revision Date: 1/26/2018 (444.2 KB)
More
Info

00c--Cannabis Tax Measure

Adopted Resolution (Consolidating Election)
Revision Date: 2/22/2018 (112.4 KB)
More
Info
Adopted Resolution Calling the Election (Tax Ordinance is Exhibit B)--Amended 3-8-18
Revision Date: 2/22/2018 (380.2 KB)
More
Info
City Council Admin Report on Tax Ordinance/Special Election--Feb 20, 2018
Revision Date: 2/21/2018 (3.4 MB)
More
Info
City Council Admin Report--Feb. 5, 2018 on Cannabis Tax Options
Revision Date: 2/6/2018 (281.6 KB)
More
Info
City Council Admin Report--Special Meeting (March 8, 2018)
Revision Date: 3/9/2018 (694.1 KB)
More
Info
City Council Presentation--Feb 20, 2018
Revision Date: 2/21/2018 (896 KB)
More
Info
City Council Presentation--Feb. 5, 2018 on Cannabis Tax Options
Revision Date: 2/6/2018 (2.07 MB)
More
Info

01--Adopted Ordinance (Effective January 3, 2018)

00b--Adopted Cannabis Ordinance #2480
Revision Date: 12/6/2017 (2.19 MB)
More
Info
00c--Summary of Adopted Cannabis Ordinance
Revision Date: 12/6/2017 (110.1 KB)
More
Info
Commercial Cannabis Business Permit Process Flowchart
Revision Date: 11/6/2017 (622.2 KB)
More
Info

02--Cannabis Fees (Adopted Dec. 18, 2017)

Adopted Resolution #2017-67 (Cannabis Fees)
Revision Date: 12/20/2017 (193 KB)
More
Info
Cannabis Regulatory Fees Background Report (December 2017)
Revision Date: 1/8/2018 (293.3 KB)
More
Info
City Council Administrative Report (December 18, 2017)
Revision Date: 12/20/2017 (994.2 KB)
More
Info
City Council Presentation (December 18, 2017)
Revision Date: 12/20/2017 (781.9 KB)
More
Info
Public Hearing Notice for Establishment of Cannabis Fees (Dec. 18, 2017)
Revision Date: 12/6/2017 (87.1 KB)
More
Info

03--Merit-Based Selection Criteria (Jan. 2 & 16, 2018)

Adopted City Council Resolution #2018-01
Revision Date: 1/17/2018 (210.5 KB)
More
Info
Adopted Merit-Based Selection Criteria--Jan. 16, 2018
Revision Date: 1/17/2018 (140.5 KB)
More
Info
City Council Administrative Report--Jan. 16, 2018
Revision Date: 1/17/2018 (2.25 MB)
More
Info
City Council Administrative Report-Jan. 2, 2018
Revision Date: 12/27/2017 (883.5 KB)
More
Info
City Council Presentation--Jan. 16, 2018
Revision Date: 1/17/2018 (1.9 MB)
More
Info
City Council Presentation--Merit-Based Criteria-Jan2-2018
Revision Date: 1/8/2018 (1.97 MB)
More
Info

04--City Council Public Hearings (Nov/Dec 2017)

01--City Council Presentation--11-20-17
Revision Date: 11/21/2017 (4.64 MB)
More
Info
02--City Council Administrative Report--11-20-17
Revision Date: 11/21/2017 (6.96 MB)
More
Info
03--Administrative Report for 2nd Reading of Cannabis Ordinance--CC 12-4-17
Revision Date: 11/29/2017 (2.34 MB)
More
Info

05--Planning Commission Public Hearings (Oct/Nov 2017)

03--Planning Commission Staff Report for Nov. 8, 2017 (Includes Draft Ordinance at Attachment A)
Revision Date: 11/6/2017 (6.76 MB)
More
Info
Planning Commission Public Hearing Notice--November 8, 2017
Revision Date: 11/6/2017 (13.1 KB)
More
Info
Planning Commission Public Hearing Notice--Oct 18, 2017
Revision Date: 10/11/2017 (160.1 KB)
More
Info
Planning Commission Study Session Packet--Oct. 11, 2017
Revision Date: 10/11/2017 (142.7 KB)
More
Info
Planning Commission Study Session Presentation-Cannabis Businesses in Merced-PC10-11-2017
Revision Date: 10/12/2017 (4.88 MB)
More
Info

06--Community Meetings & Study Sessions (April-Sept 2017)

City Council/Planning Commission Study Session Packet-9-12-17
Revision Date: 9/14/2017 (483.3 KB)
More
Info
City Council/Planning Commission Study Session Presentation--9/12/17
Revision Date: 9/14/2017 (719.6 KB)
More
Info
Community Outreach Meeting Flyer-May 9, 2017
Revision Date: 4/27/2017 (30.8 KB)
More
Info
Presentation to City Council on Prop 64--April 17, 2017
Revision Date: 4/28/2017 (2.73 MB)
More
Info
Presentation--Community Meeting--May 9, 2017
Revision Date: 7/13/2017 (1.26 MB)
More
Info
Presentation--Planning Commission/City Council Study Session--July 5, 2017
Revision Date: 7/13/2017 (1.29 MB)
More
Info
Presentation--Stakeholders & Community Meeting--July 12, 2017
Revision Date: 7/13/2017 (302.6 KB)
More
Info
Stakeholder & Community Meeting Flyer--July 12, 2017
Revision Date: 7/13/2017 (36 KB)
More
Info