Code enforcement, not sheriff, to license cannabis businesses

Cannabis business licensing in San Diego County will move from the Sheriff’s Department to the county’s Planning & Development Services, substantially lowering fees for the service.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to transfer responsibility for the licenses for existing legal marijuana businesses, switching it from a law enforcement to a code enforcement function.

“Many other jurisdictions have made similar transitions or established new cannabis licensing programs housed within planning or development services departments,” the board letter on the item said.

The decision is part of a broader plan to expand cannabis licensing in the unincorporated county. It affects the five existing legal marijuana operations but doesn’t include measures to authorize or regulate new businesses.

Until now, the sheriff’s deputies have been responsible for conducting background checks on personnel with cannabis businesses, as well as safety, security and compliance inspections of their operations. Under the new system, code enforcement officers will perform those tasks, using the same Live Scan system that deputies have used.

The change will cut license fees by about two-thirds, from $49,460 under the Sheriff’s Department to $16.673 with Planning & Development Services, and will take effect on Dec. 16. Business operators will receive prorated refunds for the difference between the fees they have already paid this year and the reduced fees under the new system.

Although they don’t all agree on plans to expand cannabis operations in the unincorporated area, supervisors said the change would free up the sheriff’s deputies time

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Foreign business groups in China war as new Xi term begins

SHANGHAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Overseas business groups in China expressed on Monday wariness about President’s Xi Jinping’s newly unveiled leadership team and his stated priorities, with some urging against greater state intervention in the market.

Eric Zheng, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, told Reuters the chamber was “encouraged” by a commitment to deepening reform and opening up expressed in Xi’s speech at a Communist Party Congress that concluded on Sunday.

“However, at a time when China’s economy faces a challenging environment, we are concerned that the use of non-market tools such as government subsidies to support the state sector could be counterproductive,” he said.

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Xi secured a precedent-breaking third leadership term on Sunday and introduced a new Politburo Standing Committee stacked with loyalists, triggering a sharp slump in mainland and Hong Kong stocks as investors sold on fears that economic growth would be sacrificed for ideology-driven policies.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement it was taking a “wait-and-see” approach to the impact of the Congress as major policy announcements would likely not surface until March 2023, when the party convenes for annual meetings known as the “two sessions.”

While the European business group was positive on remarks Xi made on environmental protection, it said it wanted more clarity on how China planned to remain committed to reform and opening up but also how it would “stay independent and self-reliant”.


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