Pot shops

MORE TIME — The Plum Tree Collective is one of five Rosamond marijuana businesses asking the Kern County Board of Supervisors for a six-month extension to the period they may continue to operate, from May to November. The board will consider the extension during its meeting Tuesday afternoon in Bakersfield.

ROSAMOND — Five Rosamond mar­ijuana businesses who were al­lowed to continue to operate for a limited time following the coun­ty ban in order to recoup their in­vest­ments are seeking another six-month extension from the Kern Coun­ty Board of Supervisors.

They already had received one six-month extension from the orig­inal November 2018 date for clo­sure.

The Board will consider the re­quests as appeals to earlier Plan­ning and Natural Resources De­part­ment decisions during Tues­day’s meeting, beginning at 2 p.m. in the county offices at 1115 Trux­ton Ave. in Bakersfield.

Planning staff has recommended against allowing all five businesses to continue their operations beyond the May 24 date, according to the staff report.

Kern Coun­ty banned all com­mer­­cial marijuana bus­i­ness ac­tiv­ities in the un­in­cor­por­ated areas in October 2017, but a handful of medical use dispensaries were given time for an orderly shut down, with certain conditions they had to meet. Most have not met those conditions.

Marijuana outlets have long been an issue in Rosamond, where they have pro­lif­er­ated, particularly in the traditional downtown bus­i­ness district along Dia­mond Street and Sier­ra High­way.

The five Rosamond businesses in question are: Vape and Bake, 2689 Sier­ra Highway, Unit B; AVDC, 1733 Sierra Highway; Tanner Vest Col­lective, 2753 Diamond St.; The Plum Tree Collective, 2873 Sierra High­way; and Organic Health So­lu­tions, 1315 Rosamond Blvd., Suite A.

Businesses like these that were al­lowed to stay open long enough for an orderly clo­sure were con­sid­ered “legal non-conforming” bus­­­i­ness­es because they were es­tab­lished under an earlier ordinance and prior to the county’s May 2016 mo­ratorium on new or relocated dis­pensaries.

The ordinance banning mar­i­juana businesses in unincorporated areas has pro­visions for these bus­i­ness­es previously deemed legal to have a year to close down, as required by federal law to allow the bus­i­nesses to recoup their investment following the change in laws.

“Amortization does not mean you get to stay in bus­i­ness forever. Amor­tiz­ation means that we give them a period of time to make smart business de­cis­ions to wind down their business and recoup what­ever in­vest­ment they made,” Kern County Planning Dir­ect­or Lorelei Oviatt told res­idents during a Rosa­mond Municipal Advisory Com­mittee meeting in December.

While allowed to con­tin­ue operating during an or­derly shut down, these out­lets also were required to “get legal,” she said, by ob­taining building permits and state licenses. The coun­ty started this process of advising the businesses what they had to do in De­cember 2017, complete with a checklist.

However, the businesses appealing the decision to the Board of Supervisors this week did not acquire the necessary building per­mits or licenses, according to the staff report.

Without the building per­mit, they can not apply for a state license. Without a state license, the state has the power to close them down as well, Oviatt said.

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