Proposition 64 was approved by California voters in November. It is a measure that will, at long last, allow residents to recreationally consume cannabis. Before Proposition 64, cannabis businesses were forced to operate under a not-for-profit basis, in accordance with state measure SB 420.
Thankfully, Proposition 64 will change this nonsense. The measure enables businesses to sell both recreational and medicinal cannabis for profit in Cali. Many real estate investors interested in the cannabis industry are trying to get a leg up on the competition by snatching up properties in cities which allow legal weed operations, such as the City of La Mesa. These investors have a particular interest in properties that are zoned for cannabis use.
Naturally, many owners were initially leery to sell properties use as a pot business. Which is completely understandable, as the antiquated, failed war on drugs rages on at the federal level, with no particular end in sight – claiming billions of dollars and countless lives in the process. Fortunately for herb-friendly Californians, though, La Mesa voters helped to change the perception. Once the Measure U ordinance allowing dispensaries to operate was passed, attitudes changed. Money talks.
Even though there really shouldn’t be much of a difference if it’s legal, finding a property for your legal weed business is not as easy as finding one for an average retail location. Zoning laws and nearby locations would be two of the big factors in finding a location. In La Mesa and San Diego, city guidelines force a ‘buffer zone’ between dispensaries.
In early February 2017, the City of La Mesa officially began accepting applications for legal marijuana permits. Some hopeful and perhaps masochistic entrepreneurs were even lining up and camping outside of City Hall to be one of the first to beg permission to sell legal cannabis at a certain location. Of course since it’s government bureaucracy, few good things move quickly when the people want them to – so the approval process could take up to 14 months and recreational won’t be legal until January of 2018. For the remainder of 2017, businesses can only legally operate for medicinal sales.