Southern California

Why is this SoCal community only licensing one marijuana distributor — with a ‘lifetime’ permit?

Baldwin Park could enter into another lifetime development agreement with its lone-permitted marijuana distributor, Rukli Inc.

The first development agreement with the city and Rukli entered into in December was to set up operations at 14824 Ramona Blvd. The terms of that agreement were changed twice, from a lifetime deal to 49 years to 20 years in duration.

Baldwin Park’s Planning Commission could approve a lifetime development agreement for the city’s lone marijuana distributor, Rukli Inc., at 4150 Puente Avenue, where a man unloads a van, despite the fact that a similar agreement for another location was pared down to a 20-year term. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

However, the City Council approved a second location for Rukli to operate out of 4150 Puente Ave., and the development agreement for that location that the city Planning Commission is set to decide on at its meeting Wednesday is again set to exist in perpetuity without further review, but with a condition: “as long as owner or successor in interest to the property complies with obligations under this agreement,” according to a city staff report.

Baldwin Park is currently facing a lawsuit that claims the city granted Rukli a monopoly.

When pressed at the April 18 council meeting to opine whether Rukli represents a monopoly, Tafoya hedged.

“I would not use the word monopoly, but we are forcing 14 other companies to use this company,” Tafoya said at the meeting.

The commission is also set to review three other development agreements for three businesses that intend to cultivate and manufacture cannabis — The Grown Folks Inc., W&F International Corporation and Tier One Consulting — with each of those agreements limited to 15-year terms.