COVID may slow down permitting process for cannabis business hopefuls

“Strong online sales are a bright spot for the industry

While COVID-19 has slowed down countless industries and even put a few — such as the tourism industry — to a temporary grinding halt, it’s also slowed down the local cannabis industry, making the already sluggish permitting process even slower and making it difficult for new businesses to come to fruition.

Sebastopol grower Mitcho Thompson had construction crews lined up and his final building permit check-off ready to go for his new business Phytomagic, a manufacturing company for cannabis-centric herbal products, and then the coronavirus reared its head and everything froze.

“Things definitely kind of stopped for a little bit and the city (Sebastopol) was only working limited hours, but they did really work with us and it still took a lot longer like several months longer than we had thought,” Thompson said. “We started this process two years ago in March and I didn’t think it would take that long. It was no one’s fault, but it is an emerging industry. We didn’t know what we were doing, the state didn’t know what they were doing.”

Now that the state and the county have slowly started to reopen, Thompson is finally starting construction on his long-awaited project.

“It was a little scary, but things have slowly unfrozen over the last month and construction starts next week,” he said.

While Thompson’s business is closer to seeing the light of day, Craig Litwin, principal and CEO of cannabis consultancy firm 421 Group, said many other business hopefuls are still stuck in the permitting and application process. …”

Continue reading to see Elyon CEO Ron Ferraro’s thoughts in the full article by

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