On Thursday night, the Porterville City Council hosted a special meeting where they conducted interviews on the retail cannabis dispensary candidates whose Request for Proposal (RFP) scores qualified them for an interview.
During the interview, each candidate was to present their potential business and explain their qualifications, before opening up the interview for a question and answer period with the council. Six candidates were interviewed on Thursday night, but the Council will announce which two candidates will be awarded with licenses to operate a retail cannabis dispensary at an upcoming Council meeting.
Before the interviews began, City Attorney Julia Lew explained the interviews would be conducted randomly, and the candidates were encouraged to participate remotely. Each candidate would receive 15 minutes for an uninterrupted presentation. The city requested the presentation focus on the following elements: introducing the business and ownership structure, describing the primary qualities of their brand, listing which of their representatives and managers (if any) were local and which were not, describe what makes the business unique, listing qualifications of local managers and representatives, provide an estimated three-year plan, describe approach to safety, knowledge of the community benefits and outline what they will give back to the community if awarded a license.
Each presentation was to be followed by a 10 minute question and answer period, in which the candidates had already received the questions the Council would ask. The questions included how much experience each candidate had in the cannabis industry, how much experience each candidate had with a community benefit plan, and where each candidate saw the business in the next two to five years. Council member Virginia Gurrola did request tan additional question be added, in regards to how each candidate would comply with COVID-19 prevention measures. Three minutes would be allotted for each answer.