Legal marijuana is on its way back to Long Beach.

LB Green Room is on pace to open some time in the coming week, manager Adam Hijazi said. The business is in the same location, on Seventh Street near Rose Avenue, where it operated during an earlier period when city government regulated dispensaries, before deciding to ban the shops in 2012.

The dispensary site housed political operations at times during the period when City Hall banned dispensaries, Hijazi said. Supporters for the 2016 ballot measure that allowed LB Green Room and other dispensaries to open in Long Beach campaigned at the site, which is on the now on the verge of receiving its business license.

[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section” curated_ids=””]A City Hall official confirmed LB Green Room is likely to be Long Beach’s first licensed dispensary under current law. Receiving a license could be a significant development in a city that has spent several years contending with the issue.

“We’re very humbled and fortunate to have the city’s and the voters’ and the community’s trust, at least the majority of them, to push these cannabis regulations forward,” Hijazi said.


LB Green Room’s interior is dominated by elements of cool gray stone, pale woods and a large glass window set inside the wall that separates the dispensary’s waiting room from employees responsible for checking would-be customers’ identification and medical recommendations. California voters’ approval of Proposition 64 last November means recreational sales are set to be legal in 2018, but in the meantime, California law still requires cannabis users to have medical recommendations in order to buy marijuana products.

As of Friday, LB Green Room did not have any products on display. Hijazi said he plans to provide such goods as marijuana flowers, vaporizer cartridges, edibles, tinctures and other cannabis-infused projects.

The Green Room announced plans to open soon as the first licensed dispensary in Long Beach since last year’s votes to allow and tax cannabis. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

The average marijuana dispensary has 15 to 25 employees, Hijazi said. LB Green Room is starting off with about 10 workers, and Hijazi said the place will be a union shop. United Food and Commercial Workers provided significant financial support to Measure MM, the local ballot measure allowing a dispensaries to return to Long Beach, and the organization has identified the marijuana industry as a potential source of new union members.


California voters first approved medical marijuana in 1996, but the initiative did not spell out how state and local governments could go about regulating the marijuana providers. Federal law continues to ban marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance.

Long Beach’s City Council approved an ordinance regulating dispensaries in March 2010. Later that year, city officials held a lottery to determine which dispensaries could operate within city limits.

The council acted to shut down dispensaries in 2012. A subsequent process involving the Planning Commission’s effort to draft a new ordinance, a special community task force and further City Council debate ended with council members failing to agree on a marijuana law.

That cleared the way for Hijazi and others in the Long Beach Collective Association to promote Measure MM. The voter-approved law ties the number of permissible dispensaries to the city’s population, so 32 outlets are allowed for the time being. The law also gave priority to applications from cannabis providers who won the 2010 lottery.

A public lottery for 10 would-be providers who do not have priority status is set for Sept. 28, said Ajay Kolluri, assistant to the city manager.

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