Hanford Awards Marijuana Permits for Industrial Zone

Three marijuana production companies, Caliva, Genezen and Premium Extracts, were all smiles at the November 7 Hanford City Council meeting — and it wasn’t because they were smoking their products. The trio of companies were awarded the coveted and limited commercial cannabis permits to manufacture pot in the Hanford’s industrial zone.

Staff with the City of Hanford reviewed the permit applications of five companies and three came out on top.

Caliva received three permits for cultivation, manufacturing and distribution at a 350,000 square foot facility on 47 acres. Premium Extracts received one manufacturing permit, and Genezen received 14 permits to cultivate, manufacture, and distribute marijuana and the one campus permit to operate at a 50 acre campus like facility.

Rand Martin, from Caliva, reminisced about how only a year ago, Hanford Community Development Director Darlene Mata and Hanford Police Chief Parker Sever toured their San Jose company, and now they’re going to be part of the Hanford family.

He added that after Hanford’s public hearing on November 21 the company will have everything they need to apply for the California State permit starting January 1.

Randy Knott from Genezen said that their company is looking forward to working with West Hills College in jobs creation in the marijuana cultivation industry. She said that workers sitting at ergonomic tables in a climate controlled environment would lengthen the careers of farm laborers.

Jose Rivas, founder of Premium Extracts, expressed that he thought Hanford’s permitting process was “fantastic” and that he is looking forward to moving back to town.

One of the two companies that were not recommended for a permit was Bridge the Gap, the only local company involved in the process. Bridge the Gap just closed escrow on a building in Hanford’s Industrial Zone and requested that the city council reconsider their application.

Council member Justin Mendes felt the application process was unfair to the smaller companies who may not have the slick interviewing skills as the big city companies. He didn’t think it was fair that every other industry in Hanford can request an appeal except the pot industry.

Other council members agreed the possibility of an appeal should at least be considered. Mata said the city staff would research a possible process and would bring it back to the city council at the next meeting.

Conditional Use Permits ((CUP) are anticipated to be approved for the three companies at the public hearing on November 21. Any company that is involved in the marijuana industry has to apply for a CUP no matter where they are located.

The hearing will also establish the “Cannabis Division” and establish the Cannabis Permit fee focusing on full cost recovery of any city expenditure in developing the process.

Most importantly, the hearing will review the language for the cannabis tax that will be on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

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