Are Dispensaries Good for Other Local Businesses?

Ever since the passing of legislation that allowed for the commercial sale of medical and recreational use of marijuana in California, local cities and municipalities have faced multiple questions. One questions members of the community often have is “how will a dispensary in my area impact other businesses?” The answer is simple…and yet complicated as old myths must be dispelled in order to help everyone see the benefits of a dispensary opening in a community. In this article, we’ll answer that question, first simply, and then provide nuanced details as to exactly why a community should welcome a new dispensary in Canyon Lake, California.

Is a Dispensary Good for Other Local Businesses?

The short, simple answer to “is a dispensary good for other local businesses?” is a resounding “Yes.” As with any business that opens in a community that provides a product or service that has increased demand, the other shops and locally owned businesses around the new business can expect to see increased foot traffic. The same logic applies to when a community welcomes a dispensary into its neighborhood.

marijuana dispensary sign

How a Marijuana Dispensary Improves the Local Economy

The famous baseball movie, Field of Dreams, put it best: “If you build it, they will come.” As we just mentioned, when a marijuana dispensary opens, particularly in a community without one, they are destined to attract consumers. Those consumers will naturally explore the surrounding area and often times will frequent nearby nail salons, barbershops, restaurants, bars, and retail shops. This is nothing but a positive for the surrounding locally owned businesses near the dispensary.

The legalization of marijuana in California has helped boost tourism, as well as locals frequently businesses. While there is not readily available empirical data to specifically demonstrate the broader economic impact of recreational weed sales, experts believe that pot shops have the potential to revitalize often overlooked pockets of the community.

There has also been an impact in how landlords across the country view dispensaries. In the past, landlords were skeptical of allowing a cannabis dispensary to set up shop in their complex. However, with declining retail shoppers (thanks to COVID-19 and Amazon) and increasing store closures due to the drop in foot traffic, landlords are changing their minds. This changing retail landscape has landlords re-evaluating their stance on dispensaries, and is catching the eyes of commercial real estate investors who know the value a legal marijuana dispensary can have on local businesses and improve real estate value in a community.

Finally, communities like Canyon Lake, California, are likely to see an influx of investment opportunities when they allow the opening of a marijuana dispensary. In other states, like Colorado, the first dispensaries were pushed to the outskirts of towns (mostly due to zoning restrictions). What followed, once again, is logical. Investors and local entrepreneurs followed the increased foot traffic that came with opening a dispensary. Now these outskirts of towns are full of new restaurants, dive bars, and locally owned retail and boutique shops…and they are thriving.

Dispelling of Old Myths Surrounding Marijuana

There is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding marijuana sales and consumption. And, as it said, misinformation spreads like wildfire. Despite hard empirical evidence to the contrary, uninformed law enforcement, community leaders, and even some real estate agents continue to push the false narrative of increased crime in neighborhoods with dispensaries. This, again we can’t stress this enough, is absolutely incorrect. What happens when a dispensary applies to open in a community is there is a strict permit and regulation that must be agreed upon with law enforcement. Additionally, more street lights and the increased foot traffic deter crime in the areas near dispensaries. A 2019 study in the journal Regional Science and Urban Economics found that local criminal activity fell when a dispensary came into the neighborhood. The study found a decline in crime of 19% in neighborhoods where a dispensary opened. Lower crime rates and higher foot traffic make for an attractive investment opportunity for other local entrepreneurs looking to capitalize and see a return.

Another myth about legalized marijuana that is often perpetuated (including by our current President Biden) is that marijuana is a gateway drug. Parents, wrongly by the way, might be under the impression that their kids are going to drop by the local dispensary after school everyday. Once again, this is a falsehood. Thanks to strict enforcement, regulations, and laws, dispensaries must I.D. all customers and are not allowed to serve patrons under the age of 21. When a community blocks the opening of a dispensary, the opposite is likely to happen; a black market for unregulated, often gang-lead, weed sales can open up and their easiest targets are youth in the community. When legal dispensaries are able to operate in cooperation with local law enforcement and city guidelines, marijuana sales occur only with adults and crime goes down.

Cannabis Connection: Cannabis Dispensary in Canyon Lake, California

Cannabis Connection is the first legalized commercial marijuana dispensary in Canyon Lake, California. Members of the Canyon Lake community are encouraged to fill out the survey on providing a dispensary permit to allow Cannabis Connection to begin operation. You can find the Canyon Lake Dispensary Survey by clicking here. If you have any questions about Cannabis Connection and want to learn more about our mission to provide the best commercial marijuana to the Canyon Lake community, contact us and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.