Beyond providing jobs, the cannabis businesses that are opening in the area are also spending significant sums of money to fix up dilapidated parts of both cities.

The area the city of Arcata designated as the cannabis innovation zone, where cannabis businesses are principally permitted in some areas and conditionally permitted in others, “was just really messed up,” said Brett Watson, Arcata’s mayor.

Before the cannabis businesses came into the area, the cannabis innovation zone was the home to a plant that used a lot of chemicals that spilled into the surrounding area, creating a “pond with nasty chemical water,” Watson said. Since then, Watson said “people have really cleaned it up.”

“It really helped revitalize the area,” Watson said.

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