The Council Voted Unanimously To Establish The Fees Under Measure X, An Initiative Local Voters Approved In November.

(File photo) Luke Money Contact Reporter Itll take about $49,000 in permit fees to open a medical marijuana business in Costa Mesa, City Council members decided Tuesday. The council voted unanimously to establish the fees under Measure X, an initiative local voters approved in November. The measure allows businesses that research, test, process and manufacture some medical marijuana products to open in the area north of South Coast Drive, west of Harbor Boulevard, south of MacArthur Boulevard and east of the Santa Ana River, though not in South Coast Collection. Cultivation and retail sales of marijuana and marijuana products are still prohibited. Those hoping to open businesses allowed under Measure X will have to obtain both a medical marijuana business permit and a conditional use permit. The latter requires approval from the city Planning Commission. The fee for the business permit Marijuana Stocks will be $21,525, while the conditional use permit will cost $27,508. Annual business license fees and the cost of background checks required for owners and employees would be on top of that. According to Assistant City Manager Rick Francis, the fees are based on estimates of how much city staff time and resources will be necessary to process applications for medical marijuana businesses. As this is new territory for Costa Mesa, staff will keep records of how much time actually goes into the process, Francis said. We may come back to the council at a later time to further refine the fees were assessing here, he said.

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