Marijuana collective says it plans to grow pot at site of year-round homeless shelter; city officials say not so fast

A cannabis business leasing space in a North Long Beach warehouse that was recently purchased by the city as the future site of a year-round homeless shelter says it plans to move forward with its marijuana grow operation.

Long Beach last month closed escrow on a 3-acre lot at 6841 Atlantic Ave., which currently has an Eddie’s Liquor and a warehouse that has been used as a temporary homeless shelter. The site, purchased for $9.6 million, is expected to eventually provide 125 beds for the homeless.

But the city is now at odds with a cannabis collective that was previously leasing the warehouse under the former owner and believes it still has the green light move forward with a planned cultivation business.

Kirk Kim, a managing member of the marijuana collective, KBA6845, LLC., said he was initially told that he would need to relocate once the city bought the property. He said he was later told that he could stay and that the city would assume his lease.

Kim, who has been leasing the property since early 2018, said he was left with the impression that he could move forward with his plans for cultivation since he had not heard anything further from the city.

“We’ve been in conversations with the city they can’t seem to get their eggs in one basket,” he said. “We keep getting different answers from different people.”

The city in a statement on Thursday said it has assumed the collective’s lease as part of the transaction, but noted that it has not issued any license or permit to operate any cannabis cultivation activities on the site. The city did not comment as to Kim’s claims that he was under the impression that his business would move forward.

While Kim said the collective has provisional permits, any permits to operate a marijuana business would need final approval from the city.

The city in its statement said still intends to use the site for a homeless shelter:

“Eliminating homelessness in Long Beach is a top priority of the City, and we look forward to providing a meaningful space and services to help people in our community who need the support to get back into housing and create the framework that will keep them in housing.”


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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].