Last year, the CannaCanHelp medical marijuana dispensary, located in an industrial building off the beaten track, booked $5.5 million in sales.
That’s $15,000 a day.
Now the company wants to branch into recreational marijuana in the wake of last year’s passage of Proposition 64, which legalized recreational use of marijuana by adults in California.
But taking advantage of the business opportunity in conservative Tulare County is proving difficult for the company.
Citing local control, Tulare County quickly banned commercial growing of nonmedical marijuana for two years. County supervisors said they will watch how others handle the recreational marijuana issue before deciding what to do.
For Wes Hardin, operations manager at CannaCanHelp, the county’s stance is frustrating.
“We want to compete in the industry any way we can,” he said. “We see a bright future.”
Besides, the county potentially would miss out on millions of dollars in tax revenues, he said.
We want to compete in the industry any way we can. We see a bright future.
Wes Hardin, CannaCanHelp
Hardin has become the face of the marijuana industry in Tulare County. When pot is on an agenda, he routinely speaks out at supervisors’ and city council meetings.
Marijuana businesses like his are fighting “a lot of ideology” and “the old-school mindset,” he said.
“We always climb steep hills,” Hardin said. “They look at us as the fringe of farming. I see us as the future of farming.”
But Tulare County Supervisor Mike Ennis notes a majority of the county’s voters said no to Proposition 64.
“I think they spoke when 55 percent of them said we don’t want it legalized in Tulare County,” he said.
Tulare, Fresno, Kings and Madera counties all have bans on marijuana businesses, but county jurisdictions only apply in unincorporated areas. Cities can set their own policies under Proposition 64.
In the four-county region, only Coalinga has expressed an interest