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Cannabis Dispensary CEO Says Company is Looking to Hire Pasadena Residents

Published on Monday, June 28, 2021 | 2:46 pm

A cannabis dispensary that lost an appeal in the city’s cannabis process is hosting a job fair next month.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, on July 9 at 827 E. Colorado Boulevard.

“The job fair is for our other stores in Los Angeles, on Melrose in Westwood, in downtown LA in the Arts District, and in Studio City, and our next store, which is in Culver City,” said Tim Dodd, CEO and founder of Sweet Flower.

“And the reason we’re doing it is because we want to hire locally. We want to support and we believe in hiring locally. We’re committed to doing that. We’re committed to hiring minorities. So we are focusing on supporting Pasadena’s local community and this local minority community.”

Sweet Flower was one of six dispensaries chosen to advance in the city’s process, but an application for a Conditional Use Permit was rejected by the City Council after city staff deemed the application incomplete because the company’s location map was not prepared by a licensed surveyor.

The company had hoped to set up shop in District 3 in Old Pasadena.

A judge later sided with the city after the cannabis company claimed Pasadena’s permitting process was unfair and illegal.

The company is hoping proposed changes to the city’s cannabis ordinance which could be coming back to the City Council for the third time will finally allow them to open a store in Pasadena.

A move to change the zoning laws to allow more dispensaries was tabled after the council showed little support for the changes.

“So we’re committed to hiring 50% local Pasadena residents from the African American and Hispanic, Latin X communities in Pasadena for our store in Pasadena,” Dodd said. “If at such a time we’re allowed to open it up, we’re going to support skills training [and] jobs training programs in Pasadena. We’re going to support black and brown on cannabis brands from Pasadena at all of our stores.”

Dodd said Sweet Flower is looking for delivery drivers, inventory clerks, sales associates, and assistant store managers and store managers. Retail experience is preferred. Cannabis retail experience is helpful, but not necessary.

“These are good well-paying jobs, above minimum wage with benefits, healthcare and paid time off and a 401K,” Dodd said.

In June 2018, voters passed Measure CC which allows up to six cannabis retailers to operate in Pasadena, one in each of six of the council’s seven districts. Voters also allowed the council to retain the authority to amend existing ordinances and adopt future ordinances regarding commercial cannabis business activities.

If Dodd does eventually open a store in Pasadena he will be required to pay residents $15 an hour.

SweetFlower, along with Atrium, Harvest, Tony Fong, MedMen and Integral, beat out more than 100 other applicants for the chance to advance in the city’s cannabis selection process.

Harvest was granted a conditional use permit (CUP) for District 3 in Old Pasadena. Atrium filed a lawsuit and accused the city of ignoring its own ordinance.

Each of the applicants paid the city a $14,000 application fee.

In Dec. 2019, the City Council tabled a motion that would have changed the law to allow up to three dispensaries — not one — to operate in each of the city’s seven council districts. If the motion had passed, SweetFlower would have been allowed back into the process.

Since being removed from the running, Sweet Flower’s Tim Dodd has notified the city that MedMen was in violation of the city’s process because there had been a material change in the organization’s leadership.

So far, only Tony Fong and Integral have received approval to open.

During the city’s budget hearings, one city official said so far the city has made less than $100,000 in tax revenue off of the two dispensaries.

“Our job fair is a first step in our commitment to local and minority hiring in Pasadena,” Dodd said. “Support for Pasadena African American-owned cannabis brands at our current four Los Angeles stores (five, with Culver City coming soon) and holding expungement clinics in Pasadena are next, and will be announced shortly.”

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