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Permitting process for four marijuana retail sales shops in Encinitas in the early stages

Only one of the four applicants has started the city or state paperwork, city staff report

FEB. 26, 2023 5 AM PT

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Only one of the four lottery winners for city cannabis retail sales permits actually has started the paperwork process to obtain the required permits, so it’s going to be a while before any shops open in Encinitas, city officials report.

Mayor Tony Kranz asked for a status report at the end of Wednesday’s City Council meeting, saying he wanted to dispel some of the “chatter” in the community about when the cannabis shops will start operating.

In 2020, Encinitas voters approved Measure H, which permitted four cannabis retail sales businesses, as well as cultivation, manufacturing and distribution businesses, subject to certain regulations and restrictions. Last fall, the city held a lottery for the four retail sales permits.

Only one of the four lottery winners has since started submitting the required city paperwork to get a permit, city senior planner Evan Jedynak said Wednesday as he provided the status report. The situation is the same for the required state paperwork, he added.

The four lottery-winning sites proposed for retail cannabis sales are:

  • 1038 S. Coast Highway, a mid-block location in downtown Encinitas. The north end of that block contains the Fish Shop, while the south end is home to the Encinitas Ale House. The cannabis business operator would be Siesta Life Encinitas LLC;

  • 1030 N. Coast Highway, a Leucadia location that’s just south of Diana Street and a bit north of Le Papagayo restaurant. The operator would be SGI Encinitas AP LLC;

  • 583 S. Coast Highway, a downtown spot that’s on the east side the highway, just north of the E Street intersection and within the same block as Death by Tequila, The Roxy and the Encinitas Cafe. The operator would be Humanity Encinitas 4 Inc.;

  • 211 N. El Camino Real, a site that’s just south of Cotixan restaurant and just north of a self-serve car wash. It’s between Mountain Vista Drive and Via Molena. The operator would be Ecrencinitas4 LLC.

The applicant that’s proposing to open on El Camino has started the city paperwork process and submitted a proposed building plan, Jedynak said as he showed a photograph of the building plan. Meanwhile, operators of the proposed 1038 S. Coast Highway location have started the separate paperwork process with the state Department of Cannabis Control, Jedynak said.

In order to obtain their city permits, the businesses will need to submit an operations plan, detailing how they plan to handle deliveries, customer check-in and operating hours; a neighborhood plan, detailing how they will handle odor mitigation and waste management; and a security plan.

Council members and four public speakers said Wednesday that they wanted to make certain the city’s cannabis shop regulations were well-enforced and the businesses were not selling to minors. Kelly McCormick, who is involved with the San Dieguito Alliance for Drug-Free Youth, said she has heard some California shops are selling “blackmarket” cannabis products, in addition to permitted, taxed items. She said the city needs to plan for regular inspections and enforcement issues at the shops.

The mayor said he wants to make certain people are not lining up outside the shops, waiting to get in. In other cities, that’s become a problem because the potential customers are then approached by dealers of black-market products, offering to sell them cheaper, unregulated products, Kranz said.


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