Want a medical pot permit in Costa Mesa? That’ll be $50,000 please.

Costa Mesa is the first city in Orange County to allow medical marijuana manufacturing, testing and distribution. But its openness doesn’t come cheap. At an April meeting, city officials said licensing fees would cost between $50,000 and $55,000.

The high price tag, according to city officials, is meant to make up for the cost of implementing Measure X, which was ushered in by voters in November. With the high fees, Costa Mesa can “weed out” bad operators and remain “the cream of the crop” for medical marijuana, said Assistant City Manager Rick Francis.

At least we know Francis is good with puns.

The marijuana industry doesn’t seem happy about the fees, but it looks like they’re going to take them in stride. Attorney Andrea Bird, who represents a number of marijuana business owners in California, agreed it would help limit the city’s industry to the highest quality enterprises.


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