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Encinitas has selected four cannabis merchants for permits to sell, manufacture, cultivate and distribute marijuana in the city. Stock photo
Encinitas has selected four cannabis merchants for permits to sell, manufacture, cultivate and distribute marijuana in the city. Stock photo
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Four cannabis retailers selected to operate in Encinitas

ENCINITAS — Nearly two years after voters approved a citizen’s initiative allowing cannabis retail sales in the city of Encinitas, municipal officials on Friday selected four cannabis enterprises for licensure in a lottery with more than 200 applicants.

The four winners were Siesta Life Encinitas LLC, which will be located at 1038 S. Coast Highway; SGI Encinitas AP LLC, located at 1030 N. Coast Highway; Humanity Encinitas 4 Inc., located at 583 S. Coast Highway, and Ecrencinitas4 LLC, located at 211 N. El Camino Real. 

“I’m definitely very excited to get the news of winning the first lottery ball out there, it was one of the happiest moments of my life,” said Bertin Porcayo, owner of Siesta Life Encinitas. “It was a long journey to get to that point for me and my group. So long I’ve been in this industry. (The permit) was really awarded to the right group that did things right and won that lottery fairly. We didn’t try to take advantage of stacking applications at certain properties like others did. We did it the right way.” 

In 2020, local voters approved Measure H to allow the sale, manufacture and cultivation of cannabis in the city. Nine months after the initiative passed, the Encinitas City Council adopted an ordinance consistent with the measure before seeking approval from the California Coastal Commission due to amendments to the city’s Local Coastal Plan.

While the final lottery selection was random, preference out of the original 200 applicants was given to entities with at least 12 months of experience as a cannabis business owner, 36 months as a pharmaceutical business owner and 18 months as a local merchant.

Applicants who met these criteria were placed into the lottery’s highest tier, totaling 171 merchants, and all four winning merchants were selected from this group.

“The lottery to select the four retail locations was very well-managed by city staff,” said Councilman Tony Kranz. “It took a long time to work through the hundreds of applicants to determine which would be part of the lottery, but the end result is that there are now four finalists under review. There’s still some work to do before any of the stores open, but getting the details worked out is important.”

Winning business owners were excited to receive a highly-coveted opportunity to offer cannabis products in the small coastal city but also acknowledged their responsibility to the community as a cannabis retailer.

“We’re enjoying this weekend, just celebrating, and then come Monday morning, there’s a lot of work to be done to open doors in Encinitas,” said Porcayo. “We plan to be the local cannabis shop and be the role model on how to conduct cannabis business in Encinitas for the benefit of citizens and neighbors and the people of Encinitas.”

Aaron Magagna, owner of Ecrencinitas4, emphasized his company’s ties to the area as the owner of several shops across the San Diego region.

“We’re ecstatic with the outcome, and we look forward to serving our Encinitas community,” said Magagna. “We’re a San Diego-based company based out of Ocean Beach with locations in City Heights and Miramar. We work well with all communities we do business in. We commend Encinitas on processes thoroughness and straightforwardness. We’re very grateful to be a family in business and this is a big move for us. We’re excited to come to Encinitas.” 

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