Nestled between the San Bernardino National Forest and Joshua Tree National Part, Coachella, California is a quiet town of about 50,000 people throughout most of the year. But for two weekends in late April, it becomes the site of a music and arts festival that attracts more than a quarter of a million people. Next year’s Coachella festival is still a ways away, but if you’re planning on traveling there by RV, there could be a cannabis-friendly RV resort by the time you arrive.
Coachella City Council Considers Cannabis-Friendly RV Resort
As the site of the immensely popular Coachella Music and Art Festival, it makes sense that the city of Coachella would want to capitalize on the economic opportunity it presents. A weed-friendly RV park with its own cannabis shop would be a destination attraction for the hundreds of thousands of people who travel to Coachella every year.
Residents, however, have so far been largely unenthusiastic about cannabis companies looking to set up shop. But that hasn’t stopped Coachella City council from signing agreements with cannabis companies anyway as a way to incentivize investment in the city.
Take the Glenroy Coachella hotel and dispensary. In that case, the city approved the cannabis retail site without soliciting any public opinion on marijuana zoning. When residents found out the city had gone ahead without them, there was an outcry of opposition. The criticism ultimately forced a vote on the issue in the city council.
If attracting investment was the goal, it seems to be working. Another developer approached Coachella with a proposal for an RV resort with its own cannabis dispensary. This time, though, a public demanding to be involved and a licensing issue stand between the city and a cannabis-friendly RV resort.
Will Coachella Approve a Cannabis-Friendly RV Resort?
Coachella officials are still in the middle of reviewing applications for the four retail licenses the city has to award. Those licenses will go to businesses located in Coachella’s denser downtown area. And therein lies the problem. Under Coachella cannabis zoning regulations, there’s currently no site large enough to accommodate an RV resort with a weed shop. All the available sites are downtown.
So the city would have to approve another marijuana retail zone. And that’s not something they’ll be able to do without public comment. Council member Emmanuel Martinez isn’t even sure the city has an interest in a project like the RV resort.
Still, everything is in the very early stages. No agreement has yet been signed between the as yet unnamed developer and the city. Once there’s a draft of the agreement, Coachella residents will be able to weigh in.