MNLA photo by Clancy O'Dessky

The owner of four marijuana dispensaries under development throughout Riverside County will ask the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to relax the payment terms required as part of the businesses’ conditional use permits, potentially enabling him to postpone satisfying a bill in excess of $1 million.

Sean St. Peter, operator of the Cannabis 21 chain, will be the subject of a public hearing focused on his operations in the unincorporated communities of Bermuda Dunes, Highgrove, Mead Valley and Winchester.

According to the county Transportation & Land Management Agency, St. Peter is seeking to modify development agreements tied to each of the four outlets, which the board authorized in 2020 and 2021.

The requested amendments would specifically strike a requirement that St. Peter satisfy all of the predetermined public benefit payments to the county “prior to the first grading permit or the first building permit” being issued. Instead, he is asking that the payments be required only as a “final condition prior to occupancy” of the businesses.

TLMA staff are recommending that the board accept the changes.

St. Peter owes the county a total of $444,871 under the development agreement for the Bermuda Dunes operation, $166,109 for the Highgrove location, $180,608 for the Mead Valley dispensary, and $260,454 for the one in Winchester.

The Bermuda Dunes outlet will be a 13,969-square-foot facility at 39225 Washington St.; the Highgrove business — the first one approved — will be a .33-acre vending site at Center Street and Stephens Avenue; the Mead Valley outlet will be on a 1.27-acre lot in the area of the Cajalco Expressway and Harvill Avenue; and the Winchester shop will be an 8,400-square-foot facility near California Avenue and Highway 74.

TLMA officials said that construction and renovations are in progress at several of the locations.

It was unclear why St. Peter was seeking the changes, other than delays in completing the projects.

The conditional use permits and development agreements for each are valid for 10 years.

Board Chairman Kevin Jeffries complained last year that most of the dispensaries that the board had authorized in unincorporated areas were behind in construction, and in the case of one in Lakeland Village, it effectively had been entirely abandoned, leaving behind a half-finished structure marred by graffiti and refuse.

Jeffries called for a halt to further permitting of cannabis outlets until the ones approved were further along in development. TLMA officials have not brought any permit proposals forward since.

The county’s 2018 Marijuana Comprehensive Regulatory Framework, codified under Ordinance No. 348, provides for steps that prospective businesses must take to be eligible for permits. Safety and health safeguards are part of the regulatory stipulations.

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