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Business Waiting for Marijuana Cultivation Permit Subleases Warehouse to City for Homeless Shelter

SACRAMENTO -- There could be marijuana -- bushels of it -- growing inside these warehouses right now. And chances are, you'd never know.

"We're trying to be good neighbors. That's what we believe the first rule of the cannabis business is -- is to be a good neighbor," said Melissa Sanchez with the Harvest Law Group.

The business applying for marijuana cultivation permits here now is attracting attention, a lot of it, but for a completely different reason.
Instead of setting up to grow pot, they've let the city of Sacramento sublease the space to create a homeless shelter here -- the winter emergency triage center.

"The space was about to be converted into a cultivation cite. So they stopped the plans for that. The timing was such that they were able to transition to the shelter," Sanchez said.

"We're talking about the homeless, and how it's affecting the city generally, and he had this empty warehouse and I said, 'what about if we rent it for a homelessness use until you need it for what you purchased the building for?' and he said 'yes,'" said Sacramento City Councilman Jeff Harris.

Fast forward to now, early December, and the would-be pot farm is instead serving as a place for homeless people and their pets to get off the streets.

"I don't think anybody is for homelessness. I think everybody wants to find a solution," Sanchez said.

Sanchez is an attorney for Harvest Law Group. She represents the grower and landlord involved. She says some people may take a dim view of the marijuana industry, but it's an industry that's always had an altruistic side. Sanchez say the only difference is now, they can do it publicly.

"And so that, I think, is one of the thing that is surprising to people, but not to those of us who've been in the industry for a long time," Sanchez said.