Calling it an issue of consistency and fairness, Costa Mesa City Council members Tuesday unanimously reaffirmed the Planning Commission’s approval of a permit for a marijuana manufacturing and distribution facility and went a step further by removing a restriction on its operating hours.
The Planning Commission last month awarded Pivot Naturals LLC a conditional use permit to operate in a 5,283-square-foot industrial space in Suite 101 at 3595 Cadillac Ave.
The council upheld that decision but reversed a condition limiting the facility’s hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The condition differed from previous commission approvals of other marijuana-related facilities in the area, which included the ability to operate up to 24 hours a day if demand warrants.
A majority of planning commissioners said they felt it was appropriate to exercise caution.
“We should have been a little bit more conservative in the operating hours [with previous applications] because of the unique nature of land use in this particular part of the city,” Commissioner Carla Navarro Woods said at the panel’s Sept. 24 meeting.
But council members said they didn’t see a compelling reason to impose different standards in this case.
Another concern the council raised was that restricting Pivot Naturals’ operating hours could put the business at a competitive disadvantage.
“It’s just a question of fairness,” said Councilman John Stephens, who brought up the matter for council review.
“To me, this is a common-sense vote,” agreed Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor.
According to documents submitted to the city, Pivot Naturals intends to process cannabis oils into a powder for use in a variety of products, including tablets, food and beverages.
Under Costa Mesa’s voter-approved Measure X, such businesses are allowed to open in a specified area north of South Coast Drive and west of Harbor Boulevard.
Even with the conditional use permit in hand, Pivot Naturals will need final city fire prevention, finance and building safety approvals, as well as a local marijuana business permit and business license, before it can open. State approval also is required.