So you want to open a medical cannabis dispensary? Depending upon which state in which you reside, the chances can be zero and are typically pretty low. In most cases, the process is overseen by the state in terms of getting a license, but cities and counties play a big role in terms of zoning requirements. California hasn’t yet implemented the recently passed laws, so the entire process is governed at the local level.
In San Francisco, with only 22 licenses, the odds of obtaining a license are slim. There is no process that allows a license to be transferred, and applying for one takes a long time and is difficult to obtain due to very tough zoning laws. Chris Roberts of SF Weekly tells the remarkable story of how some companies have figured out a creative way to buy their way in:
Here’s the workaround: Purchase a building with a dispensary. Either evict the dispensary or, for a price (cash under the table) have the dispensary permit transferred to you, the new owner. Then, start selling California’s biggest cash crop.
Roberts credits Oakland real estate developer Marty Higgins for this tactic and shares the details of several transactions in which sub-par real estate has sold for a huge premium due to it domiciling a licensed dispensary. The tiny location at 4811 Geary Boulevard pictured above is estimated to have sold for $3.5mm, with Harvest replacing The Hemp Center.
Read Chris Roberts’ “How to Buy a Cannabis Dispensary”: http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/news-marijuana-cannabis-legalization-medical-marijuana-cannabis-industry-harvest-harvest-on-geary-marty-higgins/Content?oid=4313552