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Jay-Z and Bill Maher among the celebs who want to make WeHo the weed capital of the world

Dec 9, 2021 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

West Hollywood hopes to become an Amsterdam-like cannabis hotspot in the future by bolstering the current dispensary count from six to almost 50.

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Reportedly with a paltry six weed dispensaries in West Hollywood (WeHo), a celebrity-fuelled push — including weed-loving rapper Jay-Z and late-night host Bill Maher — could mean the iconic area gets a whole lot more soon.

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According to Los Angeles Magazine, the two-square-mile area and its 35,000 residents could become home to about 40 more pot shops in future if all of the recently approved cannabis permits over the next year results in actual store openings.

The L.A. Times reports that a look at the math shows that, as it stands, the City of West Hollywood has one cannabis retailer for every 5,959 residents compared to Los Angeles, which has one pot shop for every 18,528 residents.

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That’s a lot of weed stores, accounting for about one shop per 760 West Hollywood residents, should the current population stay about the same.

Some cannabis operators are even promoting the city, suggesting the name Emerald Village, as a global destination for pot tourism, per The L.A. Times.

As weedy of a prospect as that is, a host of celebrities — such as Jay-Z, Bill Maher, Patricia Arquette and Woody Harrelson — are hoping the green transformation gets the green light.

It likely took little effort for the celebrity buy-in, particularly given that all of the aforementioned A-listers are very publicly involved with weed in their personal lives, their business ventures or both.

Beyond having his own cannabis brand, Monogram, The Parent Company, which is backed by Jay-Z who also serves as the company’s chief visionary officer, recently announced it is expanding its retail footprint in California.

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And just this fall, Denver-based payment processor Flowhub raised almost US$50 million ($62.1 million) since launching in 2015, including a personal investment from rapper turned cannabis entrepreneur, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.

Long-time and now back-to-consuming cannabis advocate Harrelson, Arquette and Maher, who last year advised viewers that sharing joints with friends during COVID-19 should be considered a no-no, are all investing in the cannabis business, such as weed dispensaries and lounges, per The L.A. Times.

The idea is that the celebrity factor may draw people who might not otherwise have visited the area.

And more pot shops means more tax revenue for the city. As it stands, recreational cannabis customers are subject to a 15 per cent state excise tax, a 9.5 per cent state sales tax and a 7.5 per cent city cannabis sales tax, according to information from The Artist Tree.

Cannabis-related cafes, restaurants, lounges and galleries could find a home in WeHo, resulting in millions of tourists and their ready-to-spend cash, CBS Los Angeles reports. “I really see it as a place that can redefine what the image of cannabis is to the general public,” Kelly Lyon of The Artist Tree Marijuana Dispensary told the station.

Canadian and stoner icon Seth Rogen apparently thinks California is the place to be, having opened his cannabis and housewares brand, Houseplant, in the legal state.

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