Cannabis consultancy HdL to receive shorter contract with San Bernardino, CA

20 May 2019 3 min. read
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While it may not be for the five years cannabis consultancy HdL had desired, San Bernardino, California’s City Council has approved an extension of the firm’s contract with the city. HdL will receive a six-month contract, with an additional six months to be potentially added at a later date. The shortened contract was proposed to keep the process of cannabis business licensing running smoothly while simultaneously allowing other consulting firms the chance to offer their services.

Should the five years have been approved, HdL would have stood to receive more than $750,000. That number drops to approximately $165,000 for a year’s work, including $17,100 for work already completed. The contract will be paid using fees collected from various cannabis businesses during the commercial licensing process.Cannabis consultancy HdL to receive shorter contract with San Bernardino, CA

HdL plays a core part in the approval of commercial cannabis businesses in the city. Along with city officials, the firm’s consultants objectively score applicants as part of a review process. Sixteen businesses were given the green light in February. Two applicants are currently in the review process. HdL will assist the city in ensuring that all applicants’ plans comply with state regulations. It will also “conduct on-site business compliance inspections for each permitted cannabis operation; conduct annual financial audits of each business to verify the accuracy of the revenue reported to the city; and provide city staffers up to 30 hours of technical assistance and subject matter expertise,” according to the Sun.

“HdL, we believe, is the most technically adept in the industry right now,” Michael Huntely, San Bernardino’s community and economic development director, said in an interview with the San Bernardino Sun.

The cannabis industry is currently a hot topic in North America, where increased legalization has led to a wealth of business opportunities as well as heightened consumer interest. According to a study by A.T. Kearney, 76% of American consumers would be open to trying legal cannabis as a therapeutic product. Meanwhile, an analysis by Deloitte found that the Canadian legal marijuana market could grow to $4.3 billion in 2019.

Canada's burgeoning cannabis industry also has its eyes on the international market. A recent report from accounting and consulting firm MNP revealed that the country is in a prime position to steer the emerging sector, especially in Europe, which in the next five years is set to become the world’s largest legal cannabis market.

Related: New Zealand cannabis start-up seeks $20 million in funding