Cannabis Permits Halted in Fairfield
The Fairfield City Council has hit rewind on its cannabis permitting process this month. The Daily Republic reports the issue was "based on concerns raised about how the company hired to review and score applications ultimately ranked those applications." That consultant was Brea-based HdL Companies, and the Daily Republic reports that the Council voted to terminate its contract with HdL on March 16 and that the city will be obtaining a full refund for services rendered.
There were a total of 14 applicants for the two retail permits at the start of the process. After scoring from both city staff and HdL, the pool was reduced to five finalists, each of whom scored above 91%. The measurement used to choose those finalists has since been abandoned. The Council will go back to the drawing board and interview all 14 applicants next month. Each of the applicants will be given 15 minutes for their presentation. A staff report has estimated that the new businesses could generate $265,000 to $385,000 in annual tax revenue.
One letter submitted to the council noted "we also believe it is important to the city to see and understand the significant discrepancies between the score, and what appears to be significant contradictions to what we as the applicant provided."
Councilmembers described the scoring mishap as "a real mess", among other characterizations. Read the full break down from the Daily Republic here.