In Las Vegas, David Farris is used to seeing people with their bags and luggage ready to get legal pot from his dispensary before they even make it to their hotels, but an upcoming second location will see more local Orange County residents.
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. will open shop in the city of Santa Ana with a planned 40,000-square-foot location next year that would make it the second largest dispensary in the world. And the company boasts more than just cannabis products will be sold at the “weed superstore.”
“We are only a few miles from a very busy and large mall in Santa Ana,” says David Farris, Planet 13’s director of Sales and Marketing. “We are also about 10 minutes from Disneyland. I feel like we found a really solid location to expand our dispensary complex.”
It will make Planet 13 Holdings‘ first major expansion, which in this case means not only branching out to a new market but a different state with its own laws and regulations. The management team feels confident they will be well versed before doors open, however. “There is a lot of differences with the laws so it’s really under our general counsel and our regulatory team to understand the sale of cannabis and how that differs in each area,” Farris says.
Planet 13 management envisions a safe environment to purchase more than just cannabis products, with a knowledgable staff and a mission that includes community involvement. Cannabis knowledge is of importance in the hiring of each tender, according to the company, which wants those employees able to educate their customers before purchases are ever made.
The goal is for Planet 13 to change the negative views of cannabis, which is why giving back to the community is huge in Las Vegas and soon in Santa Ana, too.
”It’s important for us to blend in with the fabric of the community and California as well,” Farris says, “and what we like to do is kind of better understand how we can get in touch with the community and be involved. It’s really on us to do a little more research on how can we successfully be a part of that community and give back.”
Planet 13 Holdings Inc.’s management team also does not feel there will be competition in Santa Ana once the shop is opened because the staff wants to offer more than any other dispensary in the area.
“We don’t really feel like there is that much competition with what we’re doing; I think we’ve really redefined what a dispensary means and I believe we are the first of its kind in the cannabis space,” Farris said.
Other local shops claim they do not feel the Sin City company can thrive and say they are unthreatened by the looming new competition, however.
”There isn’t any competition and I think they are going to be in for a rude awakening because the City of Santa Ana is so much different than Las Vegas,” says CEO Justin Shively of New Generation dispensary on Segerstrom Avenue.
That kind of thinking does not frighten Farris. ”It’s tough for people to compare us to something that is normal right now out in retail because what we are is pretty diverse and unique,” he says.
Planet 13 on West Desert Inn Road near the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas provides award-winning strains and an entertainment venue at what is billed as a cannabis megastore that’s open 24/7. Thelargest such location in the world has plans to open a bistro/pizzeria to be put on by the Rickety Cricket. Planet 13 is also set to open the Purc Coffee Shop inside their dispensary complex by next year.
Management says such amenities could also come to the Santa Ana location in the future, but cannabis users who are looking forward to this superstore will have to wait some more as the business is not slated to open until February 2020.
”We think it’s going to take that long for us to secure the license, finalize everything and invest into the actual structure, what we want to do is really create a destination that is unique, ” Farris said. ”It’s going to take some time to do that and we feel really confident that we can do that by 2020.”