Sick! Santa Monica’s OG Dispensary Finally Pops Up After Getting Greenlit for Years

Sick! Santa Monica's OG Dispensary Finally Pops Up After Getting Greenlit for Years

Yo, what’s up? My name is Dan and I’m here to tell you about the first medical cannabis dispensary with a permit opening in Santa Monica, California. You may think that with all the delivery services and dispensaries in Venice and surrounding areas, this ain’t no big deal, but this is the first time Santa Monica has issued a permit for a medical cannabis retailer.

According to the McReynolds firm, Santa Monica “severely limits” the number of medicinal cannabis retailer permits. They’ve only issued two licenses for medical cannabis retail in the whole city! Local Cannabis Company, owned by Calyx Peak from Massachusetts, will be the first permitted dispensary. It’s also Calyx Peak’s first outlet west of Kansas City, Missouri.

The permit was granted over a year ago in October 2021, but it took six years from the initial application in December 2017 for this dispensary to finally open. Calyx Peak CEO Erin Carachilo said, “It’s six years on from when they decided to do this and look where the market for cannabis is right now. And not a lot of people have medical cards because they don’t need them anymore. Since we’ve opened, we’ve only had about a 20 percent conversion rate. I think it’s closer to 10 percent, but you can see how far off that is. It’s people just not wanting to wait.”

Harvest of Santa Monica was also approved in January 2022, but it hasn’t opened yet. The City of Santa Monica currently allows medical dispensaries with limited on-site cultivation and light manufacturing operations requiring no volatile solvents. Medical cannabis manufacturing, testing, distribution, and stand-alone commercial cultivation are not permitted.

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Last November, Santa Monica voters approved Measure HMP with a 66.79% “yes” vote to implement taxes for non-medical cannabis retailers, medical retailers, and all other licensed cannabis businesses. They’re unique in that their measure includes retailers of products containing all psychoactive cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp. However, city lawmakers are currently discussing the possibility of growth in the market. One issue is that lots of medical cannabis patients in California simply stopped getting their medical cannabis recommendations because the same products are legal for adults 21 and over without an annual fee.

“We’ve got the doors open, so that’s a start, then we’ll look at how to change this thing. We should be able to do both medical and regular sales. Medical customers should have access to medicine and shouldn’t have to pay the same taxes, I 100 percent believe that,” said Carachilo. “Most stores should be doing five to nine million a year, that’s normal. This area should easily make 10 million, especially given how many visitors come to Santa Monica. And that’s the other thing because a medical card is needed, it’s restricted to only residents in California. I can’t shop here, right, because I don’t have a California license or ID.”

Calyx Peak Chief Corporate Development Officer Howard Keum told the Santa Monica Daily Press that “Santa Monica is still working off the antiquated medical-only rules,” adding that it’s time for the city to get up to speed and graduate to adult-use cannabis possibilities.

The Local Cannabis Company is located on 925 Wilshire Blvd. The dispensary’s official grand opening will be held on Saturday, June 24. So if you’re in the area and looking for some legit cannabis products, hit up this place and see what they’ve got! Peace out.

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