The former Imperial Center at the corner of Highway 111 and Heber Road east of Heber will be developed as a 100-acre cannabis complex, with its first retail space due to open on Aug. 1. | COURTESY PHOTO
HEBER — California development firm Shasta Management stated the first of its retail spaces in Heber is scheduled to open Aug. 1. The company executed a long-term lease of 100 acres of mixed-use space in Imperial County located on the northeast corner of the intersection at State Route 111 and East Heber Road, according to a press release.
The company is planning to open a massive cannabis campus that will benefit the county through jobs, revenue, and tourism, the release states.
Shasta Management was integral in working with the county to modify the existing tax structure making it more competitive for cannabis operators. The tax structure includes rates of $3.50 square feet for cultivation, 5 percent of gross receipts for manufacturing, zero percent distribution tax and an 8 percent retail tax. Water and power consumption are critical issues in California so Shasta Management has worked with the Imperial Irrigation District to install meters and transformers that provide a capacity of up to 25,000 amps and received a unanimous resolution from the Heber Public Utility District board to obtain access to water.
“We’ve been looking at locations for this concept for some time and Imperial County was the perfect fit, from the economic incentives to the space itself to the county officials and residents who greeted us with open arms,” said Tim Wright, CEO of Shasta Management in the release. “We’re excited to leverage our knowledge and expertise in the cannabis industry to put Imperial County on the map and provide economic incentives for the residents and local businesses, while creating a one-of-a-kind cannabis destination.”
Phase 1 of the complex will open on Aug. 1 with a 9,000-square-foot retail center that will include two 2,000-square-foot retail dispensaries along with a 5,000-square-foot consumption lounge and eventually a restaurant, according to Shasta. The adult-only consumption lounge will feature a high-end glass shop, lounge areas, 85-inch TVs, gaming stations, and vibe centers. Cannabis concierges will assist guests with purchases and products, and offer tasting flights and product education.
“Think about the social and educational aspects of a wine tasting. We plan to offer that to the cannabis community through featured products and tasting events at the lounge,” according to Wright.
The campus will be a fully integrated cannabis space with two indoor cultivation centers totaling 37,000 square feet and six greenhouse cultivation centers totaling 60,000 square feet. Phase 2 of the project, slated to open in Fall 2021, will include a 3,300 square foot distribution center, 3,000 square feet of manufacturing space, and several 25,000 square foot greenhouses. An adjacent building will house a quick service restaurant, a liquor lounge, and a full-service restaurant.
Miguel Pulido, former mayor of Santa Ana who is now a member of the Shasta Management team, stated, “We believe that all of these factors combined, the reduction in taxes along with the support of the county, will be the lynchpin to get things going in this region. We’ll be employing local residents in a number of capacities across the campus.”
“Our goal was to create a multi-use destination that attracts a variety of audiences, from business to consumer,” according to COO Mai Vue. “We hope to capture medical tourists as well as recreational visitors, but also plan to create high profile events that will draw an even more diverse crowd who want to experience this unique destination.”