The Pasadena Star News Reports

Nitu’s company is competing for one of six dispensary slots. But the so-called green zone in Pasadena is small: Buffers around schools and residential areas further limit the number of suitable storefronts, a pool that’s already small because of other cannabis-specific challenges.

The result may be that only a few dispensaries open in Pasadena next year, industry experts say.

“We’ve studied everything. When you look through Pasadena,” Nitu said, “there really isn’t much.”


How tough is for a retail marijuana business wanting to locate in Pasadena? If six dispensaries do open, that would represent less than 5 percent of all applicants. You’d have a better shot getting into Caltech.

“Pasadena has been the most competitive city that I’ve ever been in,” Nitu said. “This is definitely the most competitive one by far.”


Seven cities in Los Angeles County allow recreational marijuana sales: Bellflower, Culver City, L.A., Malibu, Maywood, Pasadena and West Hollywood. Orange County has one: Santa Ana. Outside of the desert, the Inland Empire has three: San Bernardino, Moreno Valley and Lake Elsinore, in addition to unincorporated areas in Riverside County.

The result is Pasadena will be the closest place to purchase marijuana for the millions who live between here and Rancho Cucamonga — making it a legal weed destination, at least for a time. Pomona is finalizing its regulations for legal sales.

‘The city received a total of 128 applications for all types of legal marijuana businesses. Of those, 122 were for retail sales.

Architect Mark Gangi noted that all eyes are on Pasadena.

“A lot of times Pasadena will do something and then the rest of the small cities in the San Gabriel Valley say, ‘What’s Pasadena doing?,” he said. “Pasadena’s going to have a big impact on how this gets implemented in the region.”

Read the full report at