Harvest’s White, like Abide’s Malan and Natali, is supportive of the movement to allow recreational use sales in Napa. (City Council has said it will address the recreational use directly in the summer, Malan said he was told.) What concerns White is the related zoning issue: Harvest will stay where it is, tucked into an industrial-zoned area, even if suddenly dispensaries are allowed to operate front and center in the areas of downtown zoned for retail or mixed-use. That would no doubt spur additional competition for the existing five dispensaries, none of which are located downtown.
“It is absolutely detrimental, and as a result unfair, if you open up the entire city to allow (new dispensaries) to do everything (we’re) doing, plus in a better location,” White said. “Existing businesses are in the position they’re in because they were following the rules that were provided to them at the time.”
Harvest only picked its Second Street location because it opened “at a time when locations were difficult to come by,” and “it is not necessarily the ideal location for recreational-use customers,” White said.
“(As a business,) you don’t have a provision in your lease that says, ‘when the law changes, we get to move,’” he said. “And there’s nothing in there that says all the investment we made in our existing location, which is pushed out of some of the main commercial corridors, we get to recoup in the event we have to move.”