Entrepreneurs who want to grow cannabis, make things with the plant, and package, distribute or sell products to retail customers will soon be free to do all of that in Santa Ana.
New rules that become effective at the end of the month will allow businesses to cultivate, manufacture and distribute pot products in the city’s industrial zones. Sales of cannabis for medical or recreational use were already permitted.
Santa Ana is the county’s only city to allow retail sales, and now it is the only to allow every step of the process. In April, Costa Mesa became the first to allow manufacturing, distribution and testing of recreational marijuana and La Habra also recently approved distribution warehouse facilities, but most other cities have stuck with strict prohibition of commercial enterprise.
“For us, we see it as an economic development tool,” Santa Ana spokesman Jorge Garcia said. “We’re looking to capture the artisans that are going to come in, the scientists that are going come in, the high-paying jobs.”
The number of cannabis businesses is expected to start small and grow over time, eventually earning the city a projected $12.5 million to $14.5 million a year, Garcia said.
Businesses are required to have a security plan to prevent crime, and state requirements mean they need special air filtration so a grow operation can’t be smelled throughout the neighborhood.
Applications for new cannabis businesses should be available in early June.
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