27 July 2016
Here’s the MJ Biz Daily article
Amid Avalanche of Hype, Desert Hot Springs Medical Cannabis Industry Faces Challenges
Long-time cannabis entrepreneur Greta Carter made a big career decision recently: She sold her Seattle marijuana business, gave up her Washington State residency and moved to Desert Hot Springs, California.
“I thought I could get a much better return on the time and money in California than in Washington,” Carter said.
Carter is one of many cannabis entrepreneurs planting their business stakes in Desert Hot Springs, which is hoping to become a major cultivation hub for the marijuana industry.
As the first municipality in California to authorize and regulate cannabis cultivation in 2014, Desert Hot Springs has gone from a sleepy, nearly bankrupt town to a marijuana magnet where scores of entrepreneurs are launching operations or exploring how to get a foothold in the market.
Several large-scale projects and many more smaller ones are being built out as entrepreneurs look to build several million square feet of cultivation space in the town, generating a fair amount of buzz within the industry and throughout California.
Town officials have won praise for their mostly canna-business friendly regulations, and many entrepreneurs see it as an ideal place to set up a cultivation operation given its proximity to the massive Los Angeles market.
But for all the hype, not a single cultivation business has opened yet, entrepreneurs are running into infrastructure issues and some industry insiders question whether many of the projects will come to fruition.
Getting into the town’s cannabis cultivation industry isn’t cheap: Carter estimates that it requires in the high seven-digit figures.
Yet there are still plenty of entrepreneurs looking to get involved.
Carter and her financial partner are building a 30,000-square-foot cultivation site in Desert Hot Springs and also bought a building in nearby Cathedral City, which recently approved a cultivation ordinance. Carter and other observers estimated that about 90% of the cannabis entrepreneurs in the area are from California, and the rest from other states, including one prospector from Germany.
Along with the business opportunities, Carter sees a chance to help shape the town’s and California’s marijuana regulatory system.
“California is where Washington State was three years ago,” Carter said. As examples, she pointed to “undefined state regulations” and many municipalities putting moratoriums on marijuana business.
At the moment, Desert Hot Springs has agreements with six developers who are renovating existing buildings for cultivation, and all should be open in a few months, said the city’s mayor, Scott Matas.
The town also has agreements with another six developers who have purchased land on which they plan to construct their grow sites from the ground-up. It’s less clear when these operations will get off the ground.
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Desert Hot Springs Medical Marijuana Defense Attorney
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Marijuana Defense Lawyers in Desert Hot Springs, California – Listing by Lawyer Legion