Licensing Update: City of LA

Jay Lauren

The City of Los Angeles has released an interactive map of current retail locations, pending applications, and the areas that will have new retail licenses, to share with each community the neighborhood “impact” of licensing plans.

We’ve aggregated the data into a chart so you can see the counts by neighborhood and total number of retail licenses expected to be released. You can download the summary and access the interactive map as well via the following link. (CLICK HERE)

Highlights: The City of LA will become the legal Mecca of marijuana. (It always has been, only it’s now official.) Currently, the City has 181 licensed retailers, 52 applications pending, and plans to release 248 additional licenses, for a total of 481 licensed retailers in the City of Los Angeles. The entire state of WA has 504, by comparison, and Colorado has 509 retailers.

Winning location: closest to LAX airport, just off Century Blvd West (at Aviation) is a pending application for Organica. This location will likely be a taxi/UBER driver’s dream: we see this in Vegas now with drivers getting $10 referral payouts for each car of out of town visitors brought to stores.

Colorful names we like among application pending licenses: “Wellness-”, “Holistic-”, and “Caregiver-” named stores are still the most common, with an Rx every now and then. Standouts coming soon: McFlower Corporation (Wilshire) and Grateful Meds (Central City North).

Predictions?

  1. If the City holds a firm cap on 481: the cost of acquiring an existing business might increase. It happened in Denver when a cap on new licensing was placed: many original license holders saw the price increases as an exit strategy/opportunity, and sold their businesses within the first 18 months.
  2. Will LA get a marijuana mega-store? Will the future NFL stadium offer an opportunity for it? South Los Angeles will have the most licenses released (26), and the City border is not far from the stadium (which is in City of Inglewood). But, we’ve been in a real estate bubble since the city zoned our industry, which inflated rents and prices in “green zones”. Add to this real estate price increases that have been happening around the stadium. Inflated real estate prices might mean a mega-store won’t happen within easy reach of the new stadium. (Shame.)

Click here to access the full chart to see where the next 248 licenses will be.