11 cannabis operators invited to apply to locate in unincorporated Contra Costa

The Artist Tree proposes to operate at 4100 San Pablo Dam Road. (Image provided by County)

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday invited 11 cannabis operators — four proposing to operate storefront dispensaries and seven proposing cultivation sites — to apply for land use permits to operate in unincorporated areas.

They include three proposed cultivation operations in North Richmond: at 505 Brookside Drive (Cas Rasta Farms), 801 Chesley Ave. (Magic Flower Gardens, LLC) and 703 Chesley Ave. (703 Chesley LLC).

Also invited to apply to operate is The Artist Tree, a storefront cannabis retail dispensary proposed for 4100 San Pablo Ave. in El Sobrante. The property, currently a smoke shop, would undergo significant improvements under Artist Tree’s proposal.

The supervisors say all proposals will undergo ample vetting by County staff and neighbors before they can move forward. The 11 selected applicants have until March 9 to submit their applications.

In June 2018, the Board passed an ordinance amendment allowing for the establishment of four storefront cannabis retailers, 10 commercial cannabis cultivators and two commercial cannabis manufacturers in agricultural zones in unincorporated areas. In February this year, the county invited cannabis entrepreneurs to submit proposals.

Dozens of submitted proposals were reviewed and ranked by a multi-department panel of County staff members.

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, who represents West County, did not support a proposal for a storefront retail operation at 801 Chesley Ave. in North Richmond. He said a well-run dispensary at 4100 San Pablo Ave. in El Sobrante would be an improvement from the existing smoke shop.

The other three storefront retail proposals selected to apply were Authentic 925 in Pacheco, Embarc Contra Costa in unincorporated Martinez and Element 7 in Bay Point.