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Pasadena’s Weedmap Begins Taking Shape As First Retail Spots Are Chosen

Store locations for the first three permitted retail cannabis locations are now public

Published on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | 5:03 am

[Updated]  Three of the six winning applicants for cannabis retail licenses in Pasadena got the submission of their conditional use permit (CUP) request right and the City now knows where they’d like to put their shops, according to officials.

The three proposed commercial cannabis locations all happen to be on different portions of Colorado Boulevard.

Harvest of Pasadena was first under the wire for a spot in Old Pasadena and won a plum location at 169 West Colorado Boulevard, on the northeast corner with Pasadena Avenue.

“Harvest is committed to enhancing the existing buildings to celebrate the brand and create a positive impact on the urban fabric and the neighborhood,” the CUP reads.

As it goes with such stores, customers will be screened in the lobby for identification. There will be private consultation rooms and iPads with custom software allowing customers to access inventory for perusal.

Harvest’s CUP’s application reveals the lease is for 10 years, starting at $666,000 per year ($55,000 monthly), and going up annually, the first jump being to $726,000.

The projected occupancy date is October 2020.

The Atrium Group and SweetFlower Pasadena also targeted District 3 buildings as a preference but they are not being reviewed because of the City’s restriction of one retail dispensary per Council District and noncompliance with distance requirements, according to the City Manager’s July 18 newsletter.

Integral Associates, which got the best “score” of any applicant, chose 908 East Colorado Boulevard in District 7.

“Lake [Avenue] and Colorado Boulevard is an increasingly dynamic area, so we felt it was a good, long-term spot,” said Richard McDonald, a local real estate attorney who is part of the Integral Associates board of community advisors.

“We’re very excited to be there,” he continued. “Very excited to be in Pasadena. We’re looking at putting in a five star, high-quality retail dispensary. We were the number one applicant for a reason and we intend to prove that even further with the store when people see it.”

The business will operate under the trade name “Essence.”

District 7 City Councilman Andy Wilson said he is not a “huge fan” of retail marijuana in Pasadena, but accepting of the voters’ verdict. Wilson said he knows little about Integral Associates, but is glad to see they chose “a quality retail location, which is consistent with their brand image.”

The Councilmember told Pasadena Now, “We established very rigid zoning guidelines for these new retail uses; possibly too stringent given the fact several of the accepted operators aren’t able to find locations.”

Tony Fong, which will be operated under the brand name “Varda,” selected a location in Council District 4, at 3355 East Colorado Boulevard.

It has been a rather anonymous corner housing the Glatt’s Firewood enterprise for decades.

The spot is surrounded by an empty Ole’s “big box” Home Center, car dealers, a liquor store, sundry smaller businesses cut in the light industrial mode, and virtually no upscale retail.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will take up the appeals of finalist SweetFlower Pasadena, which was deemed to have submitted an incomplete application. The correct submissions will go to the Planning Commission for Approval within two months time.

“Given the stakes, it is anticipated that the results of the Planning Commission’s actions will likely be appealed to the City Council,” the City Manager’s newsletter observed..

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