CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.- - It's been eight months since California "adopted pot." In the Coachella Valley, the budding cannabis industry has caused quite the stir construction-wise, with dispensaries and cultivations centers seemingly sprouting up like weeds.
Cathedral City, in particular, has taken to the cannabis industry with open arms, as evidenced by the city council's 4-1 decision to re-zone the former Azteca furniture store property to become a cannabis cultivation center. And the city has every right to make these decisions with gusto; Cathedral City is already seeing the major perks that the cannabis industry's tax revenue is doing for the city.
"I think we're kinda at the forefront of the industry, and because of that, we're reaping the benefits of the industry including the tax revenue," said Cathedral City communications and events manager Chris Parman.
The tax funds from the cannabis industry get fed into the city's general fund, which can then be re-routed to bolster emergency services; just in this last year, Cathedral City has brought on 2 new police officers and 12 total firefighters.
According to a city spokesperson, the cannabis industry is expected to rake in $1.9 million for the city this year. That number is expected to jump to $2.5 million by next year. The first responders are glad for the funding bump, regardless of the nitty-gritty behind it all.
"Well, it creates jobs for us," said Brodie Trayer a CCFD firefighter-in-training. "On the backend, we don't see much of what goes on behind the scenes, but we're lucky enough to be able to be hired."
Watch Jake Ingrassia's full report on CBS Local 2 tonight at 5:30 and on KESQ News Channel 3 at 6 p.m.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15