On September 28, Long Beach city officials held a drawing to fill the remaining available slots for medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Co-Owner Adam Hijazi and his partners celebrated the grand opening of their medical marijuana dispensary, Long Beach Green Room, on September 30. Located at 1735 E. 7th St., the shop is the first dispensary since the city banned them in 2012. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Larry Duncan)

 

Using a lottery machine, City Clerk Monique DeLaGarza drew balls corresponding to addresses requested on dispensary applications. The first 10 picks did not violate buffer zone requirements that state dispensaries cannot be located within 1,000 feet of each other.However, several of the chosen addresses were requested on as many as a dozen applications, so a second drawing was conducted to select the businesses that would be awarded licenses for those addresses.

 

The following are the lottery winners:

• CDAC Cherry Inc., 1940 E. Del Amo Blvd., 90807

• DBO Investments I LLC, 1365 W. Pacific Coast Hwy., 90810

• Elevated Experience Inc., 6150 Cherry Ave., 90805

• George Pinto, 1319 W. 14th St., 90813

• Gold Flora Partners LLC, 5630 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., 90814

• Healing Design Collective, 1621 E. Spring St., 90807

• LBC Cannabis Club, 3730 E. Broadway, 90803

• Long Beach Wellness Center, 5900 E. Spring St., 90815

• Ryan Burns Collective, 2800 E. 4th St., 90814

• Ryan Cameron Rayburn Collective, 2115 E. 10th St., 90804

 

These businesses join the ranks of 22 priority applicants already approved to open medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Measure MM, a ballot measure approved by Long Beach voters in November, repealed the city’s ban on medical dispensaries, allowing a total of 32 to open in the city, along with an unidentified number of cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and laboratory testers. The application processes for the other sectors are still underway.

 

Two days after the lottery marked the opening of Long Beach Green Room at 1735 E. 7th St. The shop is the city’s first fully licensed medical dispensary since 2012, when the city enacted the previous ban.

 

“Overall, it’s been very good just to be open. We did start getting patients on the first day,” Adam Hijazi, co-owner of Long Beach Green Room, said. “[Patients] are just happy that it’s back here in the city, there is safe access and they don’t have to travel so far for medical cannabis. Everyone has been very thankful.”

 

Hijazi said regulating the cannabis industry is the safest way to ensure users, both medical and recreational, are purchasing products that have been tested and are safe. He explained that whether marijuana is banned or not, residents always find a way to procure it. So, instead of forcing them into dark alleys or drug dealers’ apartments, allowing licensed shops – which lab test products, pay taxes and have security protocols – is a simple matter of public safety.

 

In November, California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana sales beginning in 2018. It is now up to local government officials to determine if recreational businesses are allowed to operate in their respective cities, a decision Long Beach has yet to make.

 

“I’ll just say that we are happy that medical has taken off. Medical cannabis is a very important element of the cannabis community,” Hijazi said. “We’ve always advocated for medical. But at the end of the day, whether it’s medical or recreational, I always believe that regulation is better than no regulation.”

 

For more information, call 562/570-5150 or visit www.longbeach.gov/finance and select the Business Info tab.

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