By Brian Whitehead | | San Bernardino Sun
Published: February 21, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Updated: February 22, 2019 at 6:08 pm

For about three hours Thursday, Feb. 21, dozens of applicants pitched their businesses to city leaders

San Bernardino awarded 16 commercial cannabis licenses late Thursday, Feb. 21, concluding a yearlong, and at times confusing and messy, application process.

After hearing from dozens of applicants over three hours, city leaders approved five retail permits, five microbusiness permits, four cultivation permits, a manufacturing permit and a distribution permit. There still is an outstanding license, as city law granted council members the authority to hand out 17 this first go-around.

Though permits were approved this week, those receiving them still must acquire the required land-use approvals or entitlements for the site at which they intend to open. City staffers are expected to update the council on that progress in April.

Also in April, city leaders will consider an ordinance increasing the total number of commercial cannabis permits they can award the next time.

“We have some good folks in this room,” Councilman Henry Nickel said following Thursday’s vote, “and I’d like to see you doing business in this city.”

Those to receive retail licenses include Empire Connect; Pure Dispensaries; Have a Heart; JIVA; and PTRE Management. All five will open in the 3rd Ward, which Mayor John Valdivia represented before being elected mayor last year. The southern ward presently has no council member, though a special election is scheduled for May.

Microbusiness licensees include prospective 3rd Ward businesses Orange Show Cultivators (cultivation/manufacturing/distribution); Nibble This (retailer/manufacturing/distribution); SOCA Farms (retailer/cultivation/distribution); and Central Avenue Nursery (retailer/cultivation/distribution). Nibble This will open a second location, to be retailer/manufacturing/distribution, in the northwestern 6th Ward.

The four to receive cultivation permits include Accessible Options, in the southeastern 1st Ward; 14 Four and GWC Real Estate Services, in the 3rd Ward; and Organtix Orchards, in the 6th Ward.

AM-PM Management, in the central 2nd Ward, received the manufacturing permit and Blunt Brothers, in the 3rd Ward, was awarded the permit for distribution.

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