Credit: Courtesy

If all goes according to plan, by early February, the savory aroma of Mongolian barbecue permeating the former Ming Dynasty restaurant will be replaced by the skunky scent of high-end cannabis products at One Plant, the new pot shop going into 290 Storke Road, just a bicycle ride away from UC Santa Barbara. What CEO Adam Wilks called their flagship store shares its parking lot with Lilly’s taqueria, Continental Liquor, and Target.

One Plant’s flagship Goleta store will feature its trademark white-and-black exterior and showcase-lit interior. “Just under a million bucks went into this store,” Wilks said. He added that the company’s track record included putting together more than 10,000 Yogen Früz, Pinkberry, and other “quick service” restaurants across 42 countries for Serruya Private Equity, an Irvine company.

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Behind a battered plywood door, construction workers are turning the Ming Dynasty restaurant into a cannabis jewel box for One Plant. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

The company has six recreational cannabis stores in the state and operates medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida and Canada. One Plant’s parent company, Three Habitat, formed a joint venture with Captor Capital to form the Captor Retail Group (aka CRG), which Wilks leads.

Of the six cannabis stores allowed in Goleta, three have opened at the existing medical marijuana dispensaries. One Plant is the fourth, and the two remaining cannabis businesses hoping to open are still on the drawing boards. Los Angeles-based investor Michael Bitton holds one application, but all his locations have fizzled out due to buffer zones Goleta City Hall created around residences and schools; the city is waiting for him to find another spot. The sixth site is the Palm Reader building at Fairview and Hollister.

Cannabis stores are considered essential in today’s COVID world, and Wilks assured, “It’s a safe, secure environment,” adding that they were “pretty anal with multiple security checks” to ensure no minors entered the store. Asked when the store would open, Wilks, who was being buzzed for another call, thought January was ambitious and quickly closed with “sometime in Q1,” corporate-speak for January through March.

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