Desert Hot Springs, California has been one of the first cities in the United States to openly embrace the possibilities of legal cannabis agriculture.
“Desert Hot Springs has become the Silicon Valley of cultivation,” Aaron Herzberg, an attorney and co-founder of cannabis company CalCann Holdings, told reporters recently.
With a population of a little over 25,000 and situated in the well-known “Desert Empire” of the Coachella Valley, Desert Hot Springs is known for having lots of land and lots of sun, which many people think makes it the perfect site for growing marijuana.
And now that the legal climate in California is becoming more open to commercial cannabis cultivation, the city of Desert Hot Springs is blazing new trails toward making marijuana farming a centerpiece of its local economy.
Last year, lawmakers in California passed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which introduced a variety of changes aimed at better regulating and defining the medical marijuana industry in the state.
One of the key changes introduced by the act, which went into effect January 1, 2016, is the creation of a comprehensive state licensing system for commercial cultivation, manufacture, retail sale, transport, distribution, delivery, and testing of medical marijuana, according to California NORML.
With state licensed cannabis cultivation now a possibility, Desert Hot Springs has begun ramping up its plans for cannabis agriculture.
According to local news sources, Desert Hot Springs has already approved five marijuana cultivation facilities, and there are currently seven additional projects pending, one of which plans to build a massive greenhouse designed to produce 6,000 pounds of organic medical marijuana every year.
Desert Hot Springs’ history as a pioneering city in the burgeoning space of commercial marijuana extends beyond its current efforts to promote and expand its cultivation scene.
Back in 2014, when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, the city was the first in southern California to regulate and tax commercial marijuana cultivation.
“Desert Hot Springs is clearly setting themselves up to be a leader in cultivation regulation in the state and will be looked at as a model by other jurisdictions contemplating their own regulations,” said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association.