West Hollywood Reveals Who Has Qualified for Cannabis Licenses

An illustration of the proposed PleasureMed at 7715 Santa Monica Blvd., currently home to a shuttered building.

The City of West Hollywood today released a list of the top-scoring applicants for cannabis licenses in five categories. Those applicants will be able to open and operate cannabis businesses in West Hollywood after finding a suitable location, getting the approval of the location from City Hall and the city’s Business License Commission and receiving a state license. Eight licenses were granted in each category, with some applicants receiving more than one license.

The city’s four existing medical cannabis dispensaries were not required to apply for a new license in that category. However Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers, a medical cannabis dispensary owned by Ovest LLC, applied for and won an additional license to sell edible cannabis products on site. And Zen Healing applied for and won a license to provide cannabis delivery services.

The Artist Tree was the only applicant to qualify for licenses in all five categories, which include recreational cannabis sales, medical cannabis sales, cannabis delivery, operation of a cannabis lounge offering edible products and operation of a lounge where cannabis smoking and vaping is permitted and edible products can be consumed.  Its owners are Avi Kahan and Mitchell Kahan, brothers who  control The Green Easy and Canto Diem dispensaries in Los Angeles and North Hollywood, respectively, and have minor stakes in California Compassionate Care Network (CCCN) and MMD.

Another major player in West Hollywood’s cannabis market is likely to be PDLP JV LLC, whose Greenwolf West Hollywood qualified for four licenses, which are in the medical and recreational sales categories and for operation of a smoking and vaping lounge and a delivery service.

Essence qualified for licenses in the recreational, smoking and vaping lounge and delivery categories. J&P Consulting’s Budberry qualified for recreational, edible consumption lounge and delivery service licenses. And Aeon qualified for three licenses in categories including recreational, medical and smoking and vaping lounges.

The failure of the city’s four existing medical cannabis dispensaries to qualify for recreational cannabis sales licenses was a major issue at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Representatives of those dispensaries appeared before the Council to support a proposal to increase the number of recreational licenses from eight to 10. A city staff report said that would allow two of the current medical dispensaries to qualify for a recreational license, however it did not identify those dispensaries by name. The City Council moved ahead with approving the existing license process and is likely to consider in January whether to offer recreational sales licenses that would benefit at least a few of the current medical businesses.

An illustration of the Calma WeHo recreational cannabis retailer at 1107 N. Harper Ave.

The people associated with the companies that qualified for cannabis licenses include some well-known local business owners and operators. Jason Illoulian, whose Faring is a major real estate developer, is a co-owner with Cobby Pourtavosi of Calma, which qualified for a recreational cannabis license and a delivery license.

Soheil Yamini, the owner of Pink Dot on Sunset, is one of the owners of Greenwolf, which qualified for a recreational cannabis license, a smoking, vaping and edible lounge license, a medical dispensary license and a delivery license. Greenwolf is described as being “an all-inclusive mecca for cannabis, gourmet upscale dining and must-see social life” that will be at 8535-8537 Sunset Blvd.

PleasureMed, another successful applicant for a recreational sales license, a smoking, vaping and edible consumption lounge license, a medical dispensary license and a delivery license, is owned by Brian Robinson, owner of the Pleasure Chest an adult entertainment retailer on Santa Monica Boulevard.  Robinson proposes to locate the business in a now-shuttered building adjacent to Pleasure Chest at 7715 Santa Monica Blvd.

Flore West Hollywood, which qualified for a smoking, vaping and edible consumption lounge license, describes Renee Nahum as “the public face of Flore.” Nahum is known for her work as a political campaign manager.

Richard Lichtenstein is one of the owners of The Antidote, a proposed restaurant that qualified for an edible consumption license. Lichtenstein is the founder and president of Marathon Communications, a local public relations firm that has represented clients such as Townscape Partners, developers of the 8899 Beverly and 8150 Sunset projects.

Jackie Subeck is one of the owners of Door Number Six, which qualified for an edible consumption license. Subeck is a member of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its governing affairs committee.

An illustration of the Greenwolf cannabis business at 8535-8537 Sunset Blvd.

Dani Shaker, who served on the West Hollywood Eastside Working Group Committee, is the managing partner of Muthatree WeHo LLC, which qualified for an edible consumption lounge license.

The city received more than 300 license applications from 120 different applicants. Those applicants were screened by an independent panel appointed by the City Manager, which assessed them using a number of criteria including business experience, social equity and the proposed design of their businesses.

A city report offering a detailed description of each successful applicant can be found online. The full list of categories and the top-ranked applicants are:

Adult-Use (Recreational) Retail

• Aeon West Hollywood, Inc. (Aeon)
• The Artist Tree, LLC (The Artist Tree)
Essence Weho LLC (Essence)
• J&P Consulting (Budberry)
• PDLP JV LLC (Greenwolf West Hollywood)
• Pleasure Med, LLC (Pleasure Med)
• Redwood Retail, LLC (Lord Jones)

Consumption Lounges (Smoking Vaping, Edibles)

• Aeon West Hollywood, Inc. (Aeon)
• The Artist Tree, LLC (The Artist Tree)
Essence Weho, LLC (Essence)
• Flore Flora, LLC (Flore)
• HAH 10, LLC (Have a Heart)
• PDLP JV, LLC (Greenwolf West Hollywood)
• Pleasure Med, LLC (Pleasure Med)
• Vanguard Concepts, LLC (Chroma)

Consumption Lounges (Edibles Only)

• The Antidote Restaurant (The Antidote)
• The Artist Tree, LLC (The Artist Tree)
• ASHE Society, LLC
• Door Number Six, LLC
• J&P Consulting (Budberry)
• Muthatree, LLC (Muthatree)
• Ovest, LLC (Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers)
• Where Eagles Fly, LLC (The Fantom Flower)

West Hollywood-Based Delivery Services

• The Artist Tree, LLC (The Artist Tree)
Essence Weho, LLC (Essence)
• J&P Consulting (Budberry)
• PDLP JV, LLC (Greenwolf West Hollywood)
• Pleasure Med, LLC (Pleasure Med)
• Redwood Retail, LLC (Lord Jones)
• Zen Healing Collective Corporation (Zen Healing)

Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

(The Medical Dispensary category only includes four new licenses because the existing four medical dispensaries in West Hollywood did not need to go through the screening application process to apply for a medical license).

• Aeon West Hollywood, Inc. (Aeon)
• The Artist Tree, LLC (The Artist Tree)
• Pleasure Med, LLC (Pleasure Med)
• PDLP JV LLC (Greenwolf West Hollywood)

  1. Interesting to see the builder or the Robertson Lane Mega project along with the French Market Project win a contract along with other individuals who fund the election campaigns of our city council. Not to mention an individual on the WEHO Chamber of commerce It must just be a coincidence?

  2. WESTWEEDVILLE! A new era of prosperity for those in the loop. The magical cure all that also evidently makes all those previously operating under the radar new business titans. Hmmmm, was the financing clean money or hibernating under the proverbial mattress waiting for laundering? Nice little urban empire Weho and wonder who the architect(s) was?

  3. Great and thorough article.
    Comments are interesting too.

    To Rary42, I have known many pot smokers over the past forty years and I never heard of just pot *alone* doing the damage you purported. Sounds like there was a lot of mixing of chemicals and abuse. Feel free to correct me, but this is a fantastical retelling.

  4. The coincidental connections to the existing power structure are just uncanny. Mind-boggling. Oh, silly me, it was an independent review committee appointed by the independent City Manager, lol.

  5. Sure, glamorize drug use so you don’t feel like you’re on crack and homeless.
    Well, I can assure you that’s what can happen if you abuse any drug. My father’s life was destroyed from pot. He grew it too. It made my childhood a living hell. And he’s highly educated and very wealthy but it caught up with him, numbing his past.

    I experimented with it too. I was forgetting things; almost burned down my apartment building with something on the stove. One day I couldn’t breathe well from vaping it. My medical cannabis doctor even said as he gave me prescription, this will harm your lungs even if you vape it but I’ll give you the prescription. My hair kept falling out, acne, moodiness, weight gain, smells, etc. Edibles are very strong and made me very unbalanced; I even passed out many times from them.

    I finally got off it and it’s the best thing I ever did in my life. I finished my therapy with my therapist and got to the root of the traumas I was numbing with pot (which by the way is often laced with pesticides). That said, I’m glad it’s legal and it’s a stage of life for some people. but get to the root. There is nothing better than being real, sober, alive without drugs. Healing from the past pains.

  6. What about Exhale? It’s sort of on the border, but it’s address says West Hollywood. It has been a medical dispensary for years but has been selling recreational since it was legal.

  7. We already can’t go anyway without smelling pot. We got a handle on cigarette smoke years ago. I hope that the city will enforce the no smoking laws so that the rest of us can continue to enjoy breathing clean air.

  8. Congratulations to the winners! It appears that the future of West Hollywood is akin to an adult Vegas without gambling! It was very competitive and although my partners did not make the cut our ideas stand tight with the best of these. With limits in West Hollywood new concepts will open outside of WeHo going forward – it’s difficult to find space to operate these places unless you own the property. It takes big big money and that’s where we are going folks. One or two affordable housing units per development will never keep up w the rapid change on our commercial corridors that will precede further changes on our residential blocks. Oh it would be nice to be young and see what Weho is like in 30 years.

    1. I thought we became a city to try to alleviate the role of money and corruption in government. I know we have obviously failed, but did we have to give in so pervasively?

      This entire situation (with what little we do know) seems rotten to the core.

  9. Sam Baxter judge has deep relationships with some of these applicants. One judge can swing a score. I think Renee Nahum worked on Duran’s campaign too. All together these places will change the face or Weho and push up prices of all real estate displacing many old businesses.

  10. I apologize in advance for my comment and question here but if the rules were granted for 8 licenses, why should it be changed to accommodate the business who did not ‘make the cut’, and increase to 10 licenses?

    1. How come AEON had the Lounge manager position filled and posted on the website an hour after the results were posted! Hmmmmm……

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