Medical Cannabis

Company that sued Costa Mesa over cannabis process, with permit in hand, drops case

Cannabis retailer Catalyst will move into two suites of the commercial building located at 170 E. 17th St. in Costa Mesa, after receiving a conditional use permit Monday.  (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

A cannabis retailer that sued Costa Mesa over its application process got the green light this week to open a dispensary on 17th Street and has agreed to pay the city’s legal fees as part of a legal settlement.

RD x Catalyst-Costa Mesa claimed in an August 2021 complaint members of the City Council defied the mandates of Measure Q — a 2016 ballot measure legalizing retail cannabis sales — when they allowed City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison to determine how permits would be reviewed and granted.

When the process was rolled out, cannabis companies already conducting legal businesses in the fields of manufacturing, testing and distribution in an industrial “Green Zone” were allowed to submit applications ahead of most new enterprises.

City officials planned to process applications in groups of 15 and, when Green Zone businesses filled the first 15 slots, Catalyst sought a restraining order to halt the process pending a determination in the case.

Damian Martin, left, and Elliot Lewis, who rented a property on Costa Mesa’s 17th Street to open a dispensary, sued the city over its application process. One year later, with a different location, their permit was granted.   (Courtesy of Nathan Avila)

A judge denied the request, allowing the city to continue reviewing applicants and scheduling public hearings before the Costa Mesa Planning Commission for retail cannabis conditional use permits.

On Monday, Catalyst Chief Executive Elliot Lewis appeared before commissioners with plans for a retail dispensary occupying two units of a commercial building at 170 E. 17th St., currently leased by Coast Sewing & Vacuum Center.

The new business is anticipated to serve from 175 to 300 customers per day and gross more than $2.5 million in 2023, generating $179,630 in tax revenue for the city.

Lewis described how his team planned to hire unionized employees, restripe the site’s legal nonconforming parking lot, plant six new trees and build a sidewalk along nearby Fullerton Avenue, in addition to tackling significant interior work within the two units.

He said having a dispensary in the commercial building would not only drive up foot traffic to surrounding businesses but add a level of security that could help with vagrancy issues observed on the site.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Sara Cardine on Los Angeles Times

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Published: September 30, 2022

The post Company that sued Costa Mesa over cannabis process, with permit in hand, drops case appeared first on L.A. Cannabis News.

Sally Anderson

Sally is a Masters in Business Administration by education. After completing her post-graduation, Sally jumped the journalism bandwagon as a freelance journalist. Soon after that she landed a job of reporter and has been climbing the news industry ladder ever since to reach the post of editor.

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