Pot shop push: Retail dispensary owners aim for May 1 opening in Ontario

Dan Cummings, Ontario Community Development director, reviews one of many applicant statute lists for Ontario’s numerous marijuana sites on Monday morning.

ONTARIO — The race is on to open up retail marijuana dispensaries in Ontario and a city official says some owners are hopeful to open by May 1.

To date, eight conditional use permits have been approved for retail marijuana dispensary sites in Ontario. Seven of the applicants have signed land use compatibility statements, which is one of the many state requirements for any site where marijuana use, retail, wholesale or processing is involved.

“As of March 4, Segreto LLC, [some sites owned by] Hotbox Farms, East Lane Holdings LLC, Golden Thumb Farms, and Burnt River Farms LLC have completed their LUC forms,” Ontario Community Development Director Dan Cummings said on Monday.

“Once the LUC forms are complete, the businesses can start the state licensing process,” he said.

Segreto should be the closest to opening their locations at this point, according to the community development director.

Cummings said Segreto has called for inspection of framing, which is pending. As of Monday, Cummings said, he only has one site with an approved building permit: Segreto.

This means that entity can start remodeling its location, or building a new site, if that’s what’s required.

“We have been working on it — no one else has their building permit approved. I’m kind of surprised,” Cummings said.

He said people have been in there doing some demo work and remodeling, which does not require a permit.

“I think most of them are hung up right now waiting on their engineers and architects to get their plans completed, so they can submit them. So far, no one has submitted the plans for any structural permits,” Cummings said.

Golden Thumb Farms, with eight proposed sites in Ontario had its conditional use permit approved by Cummings; the appeal period for that permit ends Thursday.

All the rest of the applicants have made it through the appeal process. Cummings has seen 12 applications, and said he is being told that he should see another application for a conditional use permit submitted later this week.

Two applicants, Hotbox Farms and Golden Thumb Farms, don’t have their LUC forms signed, according to Cummings.

“The reason Golden Thumb Farms hasn’t completed their LUC forms is because they still have to complete a partition. However, they have submitted three land use applications, but because their location is within Ontario’s urban growth area, they have to be annexed in before owners can complete their LUC form. Hotbox Farms is somewhat behind on their permits,” Cummings said.

“But only time will tell who opens first. … With all the construction and licensing done, I think that’s cutting it close [for a May 1 opening]. They’re gonna have to get moving, “ Cummings said. “There has not been big progress made for these sites yet.”

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