Pot license values soar – The Tracy Press

The so-called “green rush” has jarred Santa Cruz County, where the value of a retail cannabis license has soared to more than $2 million.

Of the 14 dispensaries in the county, four have changed hands in the last 12 months –  Reefside Health Center (formerly Green Acres) in Santa Cruz, Evolution (formerly East Coast Evolution) in Felton, Santa Cruz Mountain Herbs in Los Gatos, and, on Aug. 25, the Central Coast Wellness Center in  Ben Lomond.           .

“It’s time for the progressive, natural forward motion to take over,” said Bradd Barkan, who said he sold Central Coast Wellness Center for $ 2 million.  when?

“I don’t want to play with that huge competition anymore. Mom and Pop shops will be acquired. There’s no stopping it.”

He said one of the other license sold for $2.4 million.

Barkan, who operates California Dreaming Real Estate in Felton with Heidi Hart, paid $125,000 for his cannabis license on Valentine’s Day 2012.

“This is a nice payday,” he said this week.

What’s driving the prices up, according to sellers and lawyers, is the July passage of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis and Safety Act that allows owners to possess two licenses – medical and recreational – and sell both products at the same location.

“The new owners will find that they have a chance to double their money,” said local attorney Ben Rice, a recognized expert in state and local cannabis law.

Rice and Barkan didn’t reveal much about the man who last week purchased the Central Coast Wellness Center, except to say he paid cash, and is a billionaire inventor who lives outside the Central Valley in the Sierra Foothills.

“He’s humble,” said Rice, who put the deal together between the buyer and Barkan. “He doesn’t need the money. He sees

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