There’s a worry among business owners and city officials that Palm Springs is becoming oversaturated with cannabis businesses. Now, the city is considering cutting off new permits in certain areas for aspiring marijuana stores.
“If you put too much saturation in one area there’s not going to be enough business for everybody,” Anthony Carranza, assistant general manager of PSA Organica, said.
According to the Palm Springs Office of Special Programs, the city has 26 permitted cannabis sites. Seven of those sites are operating dispensaries.
Carranza said the city is maxed out and there’s not enough time or locations for the city to keep awarding permits. The city council will decide on Wednesday’s council meeting on whether to put a temporary moratorium on permits for two highly desired areas: Desert Highland Estate and Demuth Park.
“That area just seems to be very popular and I think it’s because it’s closer to the city,” Veronica Goedhart, a compliance official with the city, said. “It has more residential areas around so people see it as potential for clients.”
Goedhart said the city gets an average of four applications for permits every week. Two to three of those applications are typically for the Desert Highland Estate and Demuth Park areas.
“If you added like three or four more shops then you’re just bringing that number [revenue] down then you just started losing numbers,” Carranza said. “The numbers don’t make sense when you’re trying to run a business.”
PSA Organica handles around 150 to 200 clients a day in that area but understands there’s going to be other competitors.
“It’s nice though to have competition in Palm Springs but too much competition, it’s really not good business at all,” Carranza said.
Goedhart said capping the desired areas would also help manage other concerns like odor control. Still, she understands some will get the short end of the stick.
“There might be some opposition from some who are still looking in that area and hopefully they’ll be understating that we’re just looking out for our businesses and community both, not trying to stop anyone from pursuing their cannabis dreams,” Goedhart said.
The council will discuss lowering manufacturing taxes from 10 percent to 2 percent. They’ll also discuss suspending taxes completely on testing labs, distribution and transportation.
Businesses like PSA Organica hope those tax numbers do drop so they can make their product more affordable.