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SEC. 104.06.  ISSUANCE OF LICENSE.
   (Amended by Ord. No. 186,703, Eff. 7/10/20.)
 
   (a)   Storefront Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity.  With respect to an application for a License for Storefront Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity or for Microbusiness Commercial Cannabis Activity that includes Storefront Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity, DCR shall either deny the issuance of the License with no hearing at any time during application processing, or, within 90 calendar days of the date DCR deems the application complete, make a recommendation to the Commission to issue the License.  The date of the recommendation shall be the date when DCR transmits its report to the Commission for consideration to be scheduled at a future Commission meeting.  DCR shall process applications specified in this subsection consistent with the Social Equity Program processing specified in Section 104.20(c)(4)(i).  Except as otherwise permitted under Section 104.07, Type 10 Licenses shall be limited to only Social Equity Applicants, as defined in Section 104.20(a) and (b), until January 1, 2025.
 
   1.   DCR may deny, with no hearing and based upon written findings and evidence in the record, the issuance of a License where the Applicant fails to meet any of the requirements of Article 5 of Chapter X of this Code, or for any of the following reasons:
 
   (i)   The Applicant's Business Premises is substantially different from the diagram of the Business Premises submitted by the Applicant, in that the size, layout, location of common  entryways, doorways, or passage ways, means of public entry or exit, or limited-access areas within the Business Premises are not the same;
 
   (ii)   The Applicant denied DCR employees or agents access to the Business Premises;
 
   (iii)   The Applicant made a material misrepresentation or false statement on the application, or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact or any documentation required by the Department;
 
   (iv)   The Applicant failed timely to provide DCR with additional requested information, including documentation;
 
   (v)   The Applicant was denied a license, permit or other authorization to engage in Commercial Cannabis Activity by any state or other local licensing authority due to any illegal act or omission of the Applicant;
 
   (vi)   Issuance of a License would create a significant public safety problem as documented by a law enforcement agency;
 
   (vii)   The Applicant's Business Premises is located in a Community Plan Area which has reached Undue Concentration, unless the City Council has adopted written findings that approval of the License application would serve public convenience or necessity, supported by evidence in the record;
 
   (viii)   The Applicant failed to adhere to the requirements of this article or the Rules and Regulations;
 
   (ix)   The Applicant engaged in unlicensed Commercial Cannabis Activity in violation of Section 104.15;
 
   (x)   The Applicant's Business Premises was the site of Unlicensed Commercial Cannabis Activity, in violation of Section 104.15, on or after January 1, 2018;
 
   (xi)   Temporary Approval has been revoked; or
 
   (xii)   The Applicant is ineligible for a License under Section 104.03.
 
   2.   DCR's decision to deny the issuance of the License is final and effective upon the close of the 15-day appeal period if not timely appealed to the Commission by the Applicant as provided in Section 104.10.  There is no further appeal to the City Council.  A final denial of a License or exhaustion of all administrative appeals shall terminate any active Temporary Approval.
 
   3.   If the decision by DCR is to recommend approval of the application, then the Commission shall make the determination whether to issue the License after it conducts a public hearing. Notice of the public hearing shall be made pursuant to Section 104.05(b).  Prior to making its decision, the Commission shall accept and consider written information submitted and oral testimony.  The Commission shall consider the decision by DCR to recommend approval of the application, the written summary of the community meeting prepared by DCR, the record before DCR and any written information and oral testimony timely provided to the Commission.
 
   (i)   The Commission may deny the issuance of the License for any of the reasons stated in Section 104.06(a)(1) of this article, based upon written findings and evidence in the record.  The Commission's decision to deny the issuance of the License is final and effective upon the close of the 15-calendar day appeal period if not timely appealed to the City Council by the Applicant as provided in Section 104.10.
 
   (ii)   The Commission may approve the issuance of the License with written findings and evidence in the record to support that the Applicant and Business Premises meet the restrictions of Article 5 of Chapter X of this Code.  The Commission may impose conditions to address public safety concerns based on findings and evidence in the record. The Commission shall not approve the issuance of a License for an Applicant with a Business Premises located in a Community Plan Area of Undue Concentration unless the City Council has found that approval of the application would serve public convenience or necessity.
 
   (iii)   The Commission's decision to approve the issuance of the License is final and effective upon the close of the 15-day appeal period if not timely appealed to the City Council by the Applicant or any other person aggrieved by the decision, as provided in Section 104.10.
 
   (b)   Non-Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity in a Business Premises Less than 30,000 Square Feet or Non-Storefront Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity.  With respect to an application for a License for Non-Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity where the Business Premises is less than 30,000 square feet or Non-Storefront Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity, DCR shall either deny the issuance of the License with no hearing at any time during application processing or, within 90 calendar days of the date DCR deems the application complete, approve the issuance of the License with no hearing.  Prior to making its decision, DCR shall consider written information submitted by the public and other interested parties.  DCR's decision shall be based on written findings and evidence in the record to support that the Applicant and Business Premises meet the restrictions of Article 5 of Chapter X of this Code.  DCR may approve the issuance of the License with the imposition of conditions to address public safety concerns.  DCR shall process applications specified in this subsection consistent with the Social Equity Program processing specified in Section 104.20(c)(4)(i).  Except as otherwise permitted under Section 104.07, Type 9 Licenses shall be limited to only Social Equity Applicants, as defined in Section 104.20(a) and (b), until January 1, 2025.
 
   1.   DCR's decision to approve or deny the issuance of the License is final and effective upon the close of the 15 calendar-day appeal period if not timely appealed to the Commission by the Applicant or any other person aggrieved by the decision, as provided in Section 104.10.  A final denial of a License or exhaustion of all administrative appeals shall terminate any active Temporary Approval.
 
   (c)   Non-Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity in a Business Premises 30,000 Square Feet or Larger.  With respect to an application for a License for a Non-Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity in a Business Premises 30,000 square feet or larger, DCR shall either deny the issuance of the License with no hearing at any time during application processing or, within 90 calendar days of the date DCR deems the application complete, make a recommendation to the Commission to issue the License.  The date of the recommendation shall be the date when DCR transmits its report to the Commission for consideration to be scheduled at a future Commission meeting.  DCR shall process applications specified in this subsection consistent with the Social Equity Program processing specified in Section 104.20(c)(4)(i).  Except as otherwise permitted under Section 104.07, Type 9 Licenses shall be limited to only Social Equity Individual Applicants, as defined in Section 104.20(a) and (b), until January 1, 2025.
 
   1.   DCR may deny the issuance of the License based on written findings, evidence in the record, and for any of the reasons listed in Section 104.06(a)(1).  DCR's decision to deny the issuance of the License is final and effective upon the close of the 15-calendar day appeal period if not timely appealed to the Commission by the Applicant, as provided in Section 104.10. There is no further appeal to the City Council.  A final denial of a License or exhaustion of all administrative appeals shall terminate any active Temporary Approval.
 
   2.   If DCR recommends approval of the application, then the Commission shall make the determination whether to issue the License after it conducts a public hearing.  Notice of the public hearing shall be made pursuant to Section 104.05(c)(3).  Prior to making its decision, the Commission shall accept and consider written information submitted and oral testimony.  The Commission shall consider the decision by DCR to recommend approval of the application, the written summary of the community meeting prepared by DCR, the record before DCR and any written information and oral testimony timely provided to the Commission.  The Commission may approve the issuance of the License based on written findings and evidence in the record to support that the Applicant and Business Premises meet the restrictions of Article 5 of Chapter X of this Code.  The Commission may also impose conditions to address public safety concerns.  The Commission may deny the issuance of the License based on written findings, evidence in the record and for any of the reasons stated in Section 104.06(a)(1) of this article.
 
   3.   The Commission's decision to approve or deny the issuance of the License is final and effective upon the close of the 15 calendar-day appeal period if not timely appealed to the City Council by the Applicant or any other person aggrieved by the decision, as provided in Section 104.10.  A final denial of a License or exhaustion of all administrative appeals shall terminate any active Temporary Approval.
 
   (d)   Temporary Approval.  DCR may, at its discretion, issue a Temporary Approval to engage in Commercial Cannabis Activity at a Business Premises location provided that the Applicant pays the Temporary Approval Application Fee for each Commercial Cannabis Activity, pursuant to Section 104.19, and the following requirements are met: (1) the Applicant receives authorization from the State; (2) the Business Premises location passes an Initial Inspection; (3) there are no fire or life safety violations at the Business Premises; (4) the Applicant submits the required attestations, as determined by DCR; and (5) the Applicant indemnifies the City on a form provided by DCR.  These requirements do not apply to Temporary Approvals issued under the authority of Sections 104.07 and 104.08.  Applicants and Licensees subject to Section 104.20 shall also provide all business records and agreements necessary to demonstrate that the Social Equity Individual Applicant owns the minimum Equity Share required under Section 104.20(a)(2).  Issuance of a Temporary Approval does not create a vested right in the holder to either an extension of the Temporary Approval, or to the issuance of a subsequent non-temporary License.  Temporary Approval authorizes the Applicant to conduct Commercial Cannabis Activities, but does not waive or otherwise circumvent other City requirements or necessary permits from the City or other public agencies, including, but not limited, to a Certificate of Occupancy, health permit from the County of Los Angeles, or authorization from the State.  If at any time during the processing of an Application it is discovered that an Application has been improperly prepared or required information has not been submitted in accordance with the Rules and Regulations, upon notification to the Applicant, processing shall be suspended and shall not continue until the Application has been corrected or the required information provided.
 
   1.   DCR may immediately suspend a Temporary Approval without a hearing based upon written findings that an Applicant's use of or conduct at the Business Premises poses an imminent threat to life or public safety.  DCR's written findings shall conform with Section 104.13(c).  After suspension, the Applicant may request an administrative hearing pursuant to Section 104.14.
 
   (e)    CEQA.  Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
 
   1.   CEQA Definitions.  The following definitions shall apply in this subsection:
 
   (i)    "CEQA" means the California Environmental Quality Act, California Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et seq.  (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15353.)
 
   (ii)   "Environment" means the physical conditions which exist within the area which will be affected by a proposed project including land, air, water, minerals, flora, fauna, ambient noise, and objects of historical or aesthetic significance.  The area involved shall be the area in which significant effects would occur either directly or indirectly as a result of the project.  The "environment" includes both natural and man-made conditions.  (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15360.)
 
   (iii)   "Lead Agency" means the public agency which has the principal responsibility for carrying out or approving a project.  The Lead Agency will decide whether an EIR or Negative Declaration will be required for the project and will cause the document to be prepared.  Criteria for determining which agency will be the Lead Agency for a project are contained in Section 15051.  (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15367.)
 
   (iv)   "Project" means the whole of an action, which has a potential for resulting in either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment as defined by CEQA Guidelines Section 15378.
 
   (v)   "Responsible Agency" means a public agency which proposes to carry out or approve a project, for which a Lead Agency is preparing or has prepared an EIR or Negative Declaration.  For the purposes of CEQA, the term "Responsible Agency" includes all public agencies other than the Lead Agency which have discretionary approval power over the project.  (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15381.)
 
   (vi)   "Significant Effect on the Environment" means a substantial, or potentially substantial, adverse change in any of the physical conditions within the area affected by the project, including land, air, water, minerals, flora, fauna, ambient noise, and objects of historic or aesthetic significance.  An economic or social change by itself shall not be considered a significant effect on the environment.  A social or economic change related to a physical change may be considered in determining whether the physical change is significant.  (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15382.)
 
   2.   Upon submission of an Application containing a complete project description for a License, and payment of all applicable fees, DCR shall consider whether the Project has been subject to prior environmental review under CEQA and, if not, what form of environmental review for the License is appropriate.  If DCR proposes to act as the local Lead Agency under CEQA, DCR shall prepare, or oversee the preparation of, the appropriate CEQA document which may include: reliance on one or more categorical or statutory exemptions, a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration, an environmental impact report, a sustainable communities environmental assessment, an addendum or other document provided by CEQA.  The Commission or its designee shall consider and adopt the CEQA document prior to issuance of the License.  If a Significant Effect on the Environment is identified, the Commission or its designee shall adopt one or more findings, supported by substantial evidence in the record, consistent with Public Resources Code Sections 21081 and 21081.6, and CEQA Guidelines Section 15091.  Alternatively, if DCR acts as a Responsible Agency under CEQA, the Commission or its designee, prior to approval of a License, shall consider the Lead Agency's environmental document and make the findings required by Public Resources Code Section 21081, and CEQA Guidelines sections 15096(g)-(h), 15050(b).