COACHELLA, Calif. - After approval in Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City, the City of Coachella is next to open their doors to the marijuana industry and it became official tonight with a unanimous city council vote.
" I think more than anything its an opportunity to really diversify our economy, to bring in more jobs, to be first and be a trend setter." Mayor Steven Hernandez said.
"Really wise for the city leaders, they got in front of this instead of waiting. That will set Coachella apart, a lot of other cities are dragging their feet and they chosen to be pioneers and they are going to really benefit because of that." CEO of Cultivation Technologies said.
The Irvine based company will begin their construction with a November timetable for completion, building on this site expected to bring 120 jobs to Coachella.
"What the starting pay is in terms of hour, it's significant, I think this industry has the potential to generate jobs that are about 16 to 23 dollars starting." The mayor added.
Not only an impact in the workforce, but the city staff report estimates this deal will bring in millions to the city.
"Thus far we are looking at a rate of a minimum of four, to about 6-million dollars a year. That's about 30 percent of our budget." Hernandez said.
"Our budget is only about a 20-million dollar operating budget so that is a pretty substantial increase in our ability to provide services to the city of Coachella." Luiz Lopez, Developmental Service Director said.
I spoke with local residents today about how they feel about their new neighbors, and AJAX, a salvage yard business for 25-years is actually joining the growing industry.
"We are also planning a cultivation campus, that will be over 100-thousand square feet and that's phase one, phase two will have an additional 90-thousand feet. We are in support of it and will continue in this area to grow with the city." Co-Owner Paul Pavao said.