The City of West Hollywood is planning to approve as many as 40 new cannabis permits over the next year, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. That would mean a massive expansion of dispensaries, lounges and other cannabis businesses in the city, which is already on the way to having one of the highest numbers of cannabis businesses per capita in the world.
The news was published in a Times piece profiling the city’s “Emerald Village” cannabis marketing campaign:
When the AIDS epidemic hit in the 1980s, the city opened some of the nation’s first medical marijuana dispensaries. Now West Hollywood is aiming for a new distinction, as a sort of Amsterdam of the far West, fusing California’s recreational weed culture with the city’s own fun and creative vibe.
Home to six dispensaries, the tiny city plans to approve as many as 40 cannabis permits over the next year or so, part of a drive by a group of cannabis operators to promote the city as a global destination for pot tourism under the moniker Emerald Village.
Bolstering the effort is the star power of a handful of A-list investors, including rapper Jay-Z, actors Patricia Arquette and Woody Harrelson, and comedian Bill Maher.
“People who wouldn’t otherwise come to West Hollywood will come for the celebrity factor,” said Scott Schmidt, executive director of the trade group behind the project.