photo by PLawrence99cx
With a dedicated push from highly regarded celebrities and major support from the artistic, culinary, and music communities, West Hollywood, California could soon be the so-called "Amsterdam of the Far West."
The almost two-square-mile-large region -- which includes the legendary Sunset Strip -- has long been the stomping ground for hundreds of bands, comedians, and restaurants. And now, it looks like West Hollywood is quickly becoming a major hub of cannabis culture as well.
Recognizing the abundant financial opportunities, a growing list of powerful celebrities are investing in the blossoming cannabis district. Rapper Jay-Z finances the cannabis group, The parent Co., which recently bought the West Hollywood dispensary, Calma. Actor Woody Harrelson and TV host/comedian Bill Maher have teamed up to back a dispensary and lounge. And Actress Patricia Arquette has invested in a soon-to-open lounge for edibles in the Flaming Saddles Building, the site where Prince recorded "Purple Rain."
In addition to L.A.'s elite, an influential collective of cannabis businesses have united to promote West Hollywood as "The Amsterdam of the Far West," and are pushing for the marijuana mecca to be named Emerald Village.
"Welcome to the Emerald Village, the capital of cannabis culture," reads a message on emeraldvillageweho.com. "We invite you to explore all the gems West Hollywood has to offer in this golden age of cannabis including culinary, wellness, entertainment, nightlife, art, and personalized experiences."
The first cannabis business to open in West Hollywood was Lowell Farms, which launched in 2019 with a menu of cannabis-infused foods. While they're currently closed due to COVID-19, they plan to reopen soon as The Original Cannabis Cafe.
Currently, Emerald Village features six dispensaries, but cannabis advocates expect the city to approve up to 40 new cannabis permits over the year, reports the Los Angeles Times
This would make Emerald City one of the densest marijuana business districts in the world. That's largely because there are only 35,000 residents there, which averages out to one cannabis retailer for every 5,959 residents, reports the Los Angeles Times.