A series of hearings the Costa Mesa Planning Commission held to decide whether to grant required permits to four proposed marijuana manufacturing and distribution facilities concluded without public comment Monday and ended with unanimous approval of all of the requests.
While commissioners asked questions related to the more technical aspects of the proposed businesses — including the manufacturing processes and equipment entailed — they OK’d the applications with no debate.
The decisions, which are final unless appealed to the City Council within seven days, award conditional use permits to the following:
- Aureus LLC, which is looking to manufacture cannabis concentrates, particularly oils intended for use in vaporizer cartridges, in a 5,556-square-foot industrial space at 3505 Cadillac Ave., Building A;
- SW Ventures LLC, which would operate out of a 7,178-square-foot space at 3505 Cadillac, Suite F5, and extract and purify oil from raw cannabis material that could then be used in vape cartridges or transported elsewhere for sale;
- TEVA Labs, which plans to open in a 7,543-square-foot space at 3595 Cadillac, Unit 103, and use extraction and refinement processes to create a variety of cannabis products;
- Distillate Co. LLC, which would use a 6,120-square-foot space at 3520 Cadillac, Suite E, for cannabis extraction, “winterization” and distillation to create oil that can be used in vape cartridges, creams and other topical solutions.
“Vape pens are about 30% of the marketplace right now, so you see a lot of the guys here in Costa Mesa looking to put their product into the vape pen,” said Jim Fitzpatrick, a former planning commissioner and a consultant for three of the applicants.
Under Costa Mesa’s Measure X, businesses that research, test, process and manufacture some marijuana products are allowed to open in a specified area of the city north of South Coast Drive and west of Harbor Boulevard.
Cultivation and retail sale of marijuana products are still prohibited in the city.
Receiving a conditional use permit is far from the end of the road for the applicants. They still need to secure city fire-prevention, finance and building safety approvals so they can finalize their local marijuana business permits and obtain a Costa Mesa business license. They also need state approval to operate.
Since local voters approved Measure X in 2016, the Planning Commission has granted conditional use permits to 17 marijuana businesses. Another nine applications have been submitted, according to city records.