Sunday, September 13, 2015

Santa Ana's Pot Shop Issues And Costa Mesa

The Orange County Register published an interesting article by Staff Writer Jessica Kwong,  titled, "Santa Ana pot stores off to a slow start", HERE.  Among other things Kwong talks about the complications being experienced in Santa Ana with dispensaries starting up.

In case you cannot read the article because of their paywall - I don't even know if it still exists because I subscribe to it, so can I see the stuff anyhow - it includes some interesting quotes from Costa Mesa figures.

For example, about half-way through the piece there's a couple quotes from Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer - that renowned expert on everything.  He is quoted as saying that Santa Ana "is doing the best it can to work through the issues".  The author says, "but that until California takes control of regulating the medical marijuana industry, as Colorado does.", then quotes Righeimer again, "it's going to be the Wild West."

She goes on to observe, "Though Costa Mesa's measures don't involve a lottery, Righeimer believes his city might still be subject to lawsuits from people who aren't granted permits.  She then says, "'This is a no-win situation,' he said, explaining that a licensed pot shop can generate millions of dollars a month in sales. ' Any process you do someone is going to say, 'I was cheated'".

Then comes the most interesting part.  Kwong immediately goes on to say, "Former Costa Mesa planning commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick, who is now investing in publicly traded cannabis companies, said being the first city to legalize dispensaries was "clearly a challenge" for Santa Ana, but without legislative action from the state, every city will have to figure the process out for themselves."

She goes on to quote Fitzpatrick, "I'm encouraged that in a conservative county, we have cities that are being proactive in this industry.  They will be the winners in this green rush."

When I read that segment about Fitzpatrick, the cannabis investor,  a theoretical conversation between him and his wife popped into my head.  It went something like this:

SHE:  You're investing in what?!

HE:  That's right, the cannabis business.  This is our future, honey!

SHE:  Yeah, but that's what you said about the waterless car wash business, too!  And the same thing with that scheme to peddle visas to wealthy Chinese investors who wanted to pay to become citizens.  Look what happened to those things!  We lost our shirts!

HE:  No, this is very different, honey.  We can't go wrong with this, even if it is currently against Federal law to sell the stuff.  We're going to make a mountain of money!

SHE:  This article says you're "investing" in those companies... where did you get the money to invest?  The allowance I've been giving you certainly wouldn't be enough...

HE:  Well, I had to tap into the college funds we set aside for the girls, but don't worry - we're going to make a mountain of money!

SHE:  You what?!  How could you do that?!  Of all the lame-brained things you've done, mister "International Businessman", this one takes the cake!

HE:  No, honey, you don't understand!  This one can't miss!  It's not like when I illegally held two public offices simultaneously... this is different!  

SHE:  You are out of your flippin' mind, Jim!  And, besides, there wasn't that much in those college funds... we had just started them.

HE:  Well, I took out a second mortgage on our house to supplement the college fund dollars, but don't worry, the rates are great and I only took out 80% of our equity.

SHE:  What?!  OK, that's it!  Pack your bags and go sleep in Steve's man-cave over at Gary's place - you spend most of your time over there anyhow, so you might just as well make it permanent.  My lawyer will be in touch!


Now, do I REALLY think this conversation happened?  Nah.  Could it?  Maybe... 

The point here is, we will very likely have several marijuana issues on the ballot next year - a couple (at least) involving Medical Marijuana sales in Costa Mesa - and there will probably be a Recreational Marijuana initiative on the ballot, too.  And, if Righeimer's claim of those outfits making "millions of dollars a month" is true, the political process in our city is in real jeopardy.

Costa Mesa has become a focus of some very, very lucrative, questionable businesses.  The Sober Living business - some say it's a $35 billion per year business - is establishing a foothold in our town and marijuana will likely not be very far behind.  The kind of money involved can seriously turn a person's head.  The residents of this city need to be even more vigilant for possible corruption in the months and years to come.

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

"The residents of this city need to be even more vigilant for possible corruption in the months and years to come."
Say it ain't so man...taking a bribe...surely you jest...

9/13/2015 07:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

HE: "But I wanna be here with you. The floor in the OCGOP clubhouse above the dive bar is uncomfortable to sleep on."

SHE: "Listen up, "El Chumpo," it's time for you to generate better income. Shining boots with your tongue is bad in the long term."

HE: "Keep talking to me like this and I'll ask for alimony AGAIN!"

9/13/2015 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Another article in the Sunday Register is about Air BNB and features a Costa Mesa resident on the front page. I've read that people are concerned about the new high density housing boxes becoming short term rentals, but a look at the Air BNB website reveals a lot of rentals in homes and condos scattered throughout the city. Do these people pay any kind of business license fee or hotel tax?

9/13/2015 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

She: "Mr. Putzpatrick when you're all high on pot and cruising around on your propaganda golf cart what is your favorite munchie?"
Mr. Putzpatrick: " A twinkie, baby, a twinkie"

9/13/2015 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Sober Living Homes have a foothold in Costa Mesa? It's more like they have the city in a bear hug. With similar consequences!

9/13/2015 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Ever notice Righeimer's conversation is the same one he used on the SLHs? We're gonna get sued..we're gonna get sued. And all the while, he has income coming in from the SLH owners. I imagine the pot dispensary owners will have to contribute to his "fund" also. You think corruption is coming to Costa Mesa? I think its already here.

9/13/2015 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

And Fitz is now telling his guys in San Diego, that he's the go to guy in Costa Mesa if you want office space, he can guarantee it because he was the Chairman of the Planning Commission. Great guy, huh? Ever wonder why Costa Mesa is in the mess its in?

9/14/2015 11:38:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home