The city of Chula Vista waited until April 20 to celebrate the opening of the city’s first legal cannabis dispensary.
“This is Chula Vista’s first legal cannabis retail dispensary,” said Andres Camberos, CEO of Grasshopper Dispensary. “A long work in progress. After a long expected time. “
Camberos was flanked by dignitaries – including Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas – who cut the ceremonial red ribbon in front of Grasshopper.
Salas joked about nibbles but was serious about the problems Chula Vista has faced with illegal pot deals in recent years.
“At one point we had up to 20 illegal pharmacies open at the same time,” said Salas. “You know, these illegal ones were such a nuisance to our community. It was just ugly things. We know they allowed minors. “
Chula Vista police said they have closed 74 illegal pot stores in the past three years alone. Grasshopper is the first legitimate company to go through the city’s intensive approval process.
“How hard was it?” Camberos asked. “I mean, it was incredibly difficult.”
Camberos, who said it took two years to get there, added that the pharmacy would have at least two security guards 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He also pointed out that surveillance cameras would record video from every angle inside and outside the facility and that the location was in an industrial park away from homes and schools.
“Delighted to be the first to bring you legal cannabis in Chula Vista,” said Camberos, smiling from behind a face mask. “You know, that’s a win for her too.”
Chula Vista could eventually have 12 pharmacies across the city. There will be no more than three in any ward, and only two of the three in a ward can be a shop front. The third could be a warehouse or a distribution facility.
When the city began this process two years ago, the city administrator’s office said it could mean more than $ 6 million in sales tax revenue.
“We’ve put some pretty high taxes on the industry and that will benefit our community,” Salas said.
Currently, a city spokeswoman said seven applications are going through the approval process.
“Here the public said it was okay now,” concluded the mayor.