For the amount of attention the cannabis industry is given for its contribution to the state tax coffers, it seems strange to us that so little credit is being given to the industry for its massive contribution to local infrastructure. Part of the compliance process, in fact, the first step in the compliance process is obtaining local land use approval in the form of a LUCS- conditional land use approval. For most of the industry, the process of finding a suitable location, while arduous, was nothing in comparison to bringing that parcel of land into local compliance. For us, it meant taking down a perfectly good security fence, donating eight feet of the property on two sides to irrigated public greenspace, building a new (cedar) fence, and purchasing 200 feet of new sidewalk for the city. To the tune of approximately $50,000 of unanticipated start-up costs. To be fair, it does indeed look great, and if we were discussing the competence or dedication of city staff to their jobs and vision, it would be an easy A. But what it really is, is another in a long series of money grabs from ancillary public and private entities that see money in the industry before anyone has had a chance to do business, and are taking their cut before anyone has a chance to get on their feet.
And still, the industry persists, bringing thousands of acres of land and hundreds of urban sites into code compliance, beautifying neighborhoods, increasing local security, and then getting ready to turn over a huge chunk of would-be profit to local and state tax measures. All without a hum of complaint. It’s a noble thing, and one aspect of the process that’s working properly. We should all be making more noise about it.