Supervisors Approve Cannabis Outlet in East Hemet

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County supervisors Tuesday approved licenses for a cannabis retail outlet in East Hemet, within a two-story commercial building from which both on-site and mobile sales are planned.

Following a public hearing, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 — with Supervisor Karen Spiegel absent — to authorize Cake Enterprises to establish a dispensary at 43613 E. Florida Ave., just west of the Ramona Expressway.

The facility will be situated in a 1,785-square-foot suite, where adjoining businesses include a women’s hair salon, a barbershop, a photography studio and an appraisers’ office, according to the county Transportation & Land Management Agency.

The outlet will provide on-site marijuana distribution seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., as well as mobile sales and deliveries, available seven days a week, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

TLMA officials said in documents that there will be full-time armed security at the location, which will feature “a secure check-in reception area and lobby, a cannabis sales area, a secure vault for product storage, waste disposal room, employee break room, office and security room.”

There was no open public opposition to the outlet, which is the second to be approved by the board in the unincorporated community within the last three years.

Under its 10-year conditional use permit and development agreement, Cake Enterprises will be required to make a first-year public benefits payment to the county totaling $33,560. An ongoing annual payment of $35,800 will also be owed, increasing by 4% every year.

The payments are intended to offset the costs to the county of providing additional law enforcement, street maintenance and other services in and around the site.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposal last November and forwarded it to the board for final consideration.

Since 2020, including the latest permit authorization, the board has granted 24 conditional use permits for cannabis businesses in unincorporated communities, seven of which have opened their doors. In addition to East Hemet, operations have been authorized in Bermuda Dunes, Coronita, Green Acres, Highgrove, Mead Valley, Temescal Valley, Thousand Palms and Winchester.

Under Ordinance No. 348, which contains provisions of the county’s Marijuana Comprehensive Regulatory Framework of 2018, there are a series of steps laid out that prospective businesses must take to be eligible for permits. Safety and health safeguards are part of the regulatory stipulations.

Under an ordinance approved by the board in March, operators must submit applications to the California Department of Cannabis Control within 60 days of obtaining a conditional use permit from the county. Otherwise, their permits could be revoked. However, there is no deadline for when the state processes and approves or denies an application, which TLMA officials have acknowledged can take almost a year.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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