He was a cop, then became a dispensary owner. Why a former sheriff's sergeant opened a weed shop in Cathedral City – The Desert Sun


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The grand opening for The Vault Dispensary Lounge is Labor Day weekend. Omar Ornelas, Desert Sun

It’s not every day that a retired sheriff’s detective sergeant teams up with a business partner to open a cannabis dispensary and lounge inside a former bank with an enormous vault. 

In many ways, The Vault Dispensary Lounge in Cathedral City is one of the Coachella Valley’s most unique cannabis endeavors. For co-owner Rich Eaton, who recently retired after a long career with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the Vault is an opportunity to continue his life’s work. 

“My feeling is that I’m going to be able to continue helping like I did for 25 years,” he said. “I became a cop to help people. This is going to help people.”

The Vault is in a shopping center alongside a gym and several restaurants on Date Palm Drive just north of Gerald Ford Drive. 

The dispensary, which opened this month, sells everything from pre-rolls and vape pens to concentrates, edibles and THC champagne, according to its website

Rich Eaton and Shaun Szameit opened up a unique dispensary in Cathedral City catering to higher end customers. The dispensary named “The Vault Dispensary Lounge” was named after the bank vault still in the building. (Photo: Omar Ornelas/ USA Today Network)

Inside the former bank, the Vault showcases art along with the company’s logo and doors resembling vaults. There’s also a large lounge area with couches and televisions, which were recently used to show a UFC fight for customers who paid $20 or spent the same at their dispensary. 

“We want people to come through our door and feel at home,” Eaton said.

Eaton got involved in the cannabis business

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