Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers Group and Zen Healing Collective are the two current West Hollywood cannabis dispensaries that fell just short of getting the scores necessary to qualify for one of the city’s eight recreational cannabis licenses.
A list of those who applied along with their scores shows that L.A. Patients and Caregivers Group (LAPCG), which is at 7213 Santa Monica Blvd., ranked No. 9 and Zen Healing Collective, which operates from 8464 Santa Monica Blvd., ranked No. 10 among 88 applicants. MedMen, another current dispensary that is located at 8208 Santa Monica Blvd., ranked No. 13. Alternative Herbal Health Services at 7828 Santa Monica Blvd. ranked No. 17.
The current license holders will be able to continue selling medical cannabis, which requires buyers to present a doctor’s prescription. They were granted a temporary recreational sales license during the application process. Those licenses will expire in July.
The West Hollywood City Council was informed in December that none of the current medical cannabis dispensaries had qualified for a recreational cannabis sales license, however the names of the winners and the ranking of the existing cannabis businesses was not revealed.
Several City Council members argued that the city should expand the number of licenses from eight to 10 to accommodate the two local businesses that fell just short of qualifying. Those who qualified were determined by an independent group appointed by the city manager whose five members evaluated the more than 300 applications for eight licenses in each of five categories. The evaluation was based on a list of criteria approved by the Council.
City Councilmember Lauren Meister objected to increasing the number of licenses solely because some local applicants didn’t qualify,
While the City Council agreed last year to limit the number of licenses to eight in each category, some council members argued at the December meeting that the city should find a way to accommodate the existing local cannabis businesses that didn’t rank high enough to qualify for a license. However, Meister argued that “It’s not a fair practice if you change the rules because you don’t like the outcome.”
Mayor John Duran noted that with the current temporary recreational cannabis sales licenses expiring on March 28, it is likely the city would have no recreational cannabis retailers until those who qualified completed the complex process of finding a location and obtaining a business license. The Council agreed in December to reconsider adding more licenses this year. Since then the state Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has extended the temporary recreational cannabis sales license for LAPCG to July 16 and the for the other three WeHo cannabis businesses until July 25.
Local cannabis business AHHS filed applications for a license in each of two other categories: operating a cannabis lounge for smoking and vaping and operating a local cannabis delivery business. However it failed to qualify for either, ranking No. 20 among the 75 applicants a smoking and vaping cannabis lounge license and No. 13 out of 60 applicants for the delivery license.
LAPCG qualified for a license for operating an edible cannabis lounge, ranking No. 4 out of 21 applicants in that category. However it failed in its application for a cannabis delivery license, ranking No. 11 out of 60 applicants.
Zen Healing Collective did qualify for a delivery license. However it was unsuccessful in its application for a local smoking and vaping lounge license, ranking 11 out of 75 applicants.
MedMen failed to qualify for one of eight licenses for a smoking and vaping lounge, however it came close with a ranking No. 9 of 75 applicants.
EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated that the expiration date for temporary recreational cannabis sales licenses for West Hollywood stores was March 28. The state Bureau of Cannabis Control has extended that date into July, as noted in the story above. The story also erred is stating that AHHS filed for a cannabis edible license license. The story has been updated to clarify who applied for what.