Cannabis dispensaries have turned out to be a pot of gold for the city of Vista, and they likely will bring in more tax revenue following a recent change that allows the businesses to sell their products for recreational use.
“Sales automatically increased,” said Mike Mellano, owner of Coastal Wellness dispensary. “We had such a quick response. Sales have been up about 35 percent or 40 percent. I was expecting 15 maybe.”
Tradecraft Farms became the first of the city’s 11 dispensaries when it opened in 2019 following the passage of the citizen-driven Measure Z initiative, and store manager Edgar Gaytan said business appears to be up by about 20 percent since the shop was allowed to sell products for recreational rather than just medical use about a month ago.
Even before the uptick in business, dispensaries had proven to be a surprising financial benefit to Vista.
In April, the City Council was told that revenue from the dispensaries had done much better than the $1.3 million that was anticipated, and instead were expected to bring in about $4 million. The windfall helped the city balance its $92.3 million budget despite the pandemic.
The unexpected revenue got council members contemplating about how to spend the