The first licensed and legal medical marijuana dispensary is ready to open its doors in Desert Hot Springs.
The Sun Grow dispensary awaited its final approval from the city Thursday afternoon. The pot shop,at the corner of Palm Drive and Dillon,is one of three dispensaries set to open in the city.
“It’s been a very long process. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re very excited for it now,” said Lonnie Saenz, Sun Grow operations manager.”People have been stopping by, they see us when they’re driving by. We’re in a perfect location for that.”
The process of welcoming medical marijuana dispensaries faced some opposition, however 75 percent of voters supported a 10 percent salestax on pot last November.
“That means they’re open to the health and wellness aspects of the community. It’s really about providing that medical benefit,” said Desert Hot Springs mayor Adam Sanchez.
“There is a high need for it. I know there are a lot of patients with different illnesses. Cannabis is their alternate,” said Saenz.
The shops are expected to give the city a much needed financial boost.
“The city will be receiving 10 percent of the revenue from the dispensaries. For us, once we get all three running in the city, we can benefit easily over $200,000 of revenue to begin with,” said Sanchez.
Sun Grow is also putting people to work. Twelve employees have been hired so far and as business grows the owner expects to hire more.
“Financially, we’re going to give back to our city. This is going to be the poster child for medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the Valley, hopefully,” said Saenz.
Sun Grow will celebrate its grand opening next Thursday.