(OCWeekly) In February 2016, the Orange County Register broke what seemed like a major medical-marijuana story. Television celebrity Roseanne Barr was set to open a legal dispensary at 1327 E. Saint Gertrude Place in Santa Ana. Roseanne’s Joint would sell a line of her own products, including cannabis strains and THC-laced chocolate-covered macadamia nuts harvested from her farm in Hawaii.
Her partner in the deal, Aaron Herzberg, of CalCann Holdings LLC, an Orange County company that specializes in real-estate-investment and cannabis-business consulting, estimated that the storefront in an industrial area of Santa Ana would open as early as April 2016.
According to the Register story, Herzberg was hired as Barr’s lawyer in 2010. Herzberg became involved in the industry through cannabis real estate several years ago, and Barr pursued presidential nominations for the Green Party and the Peace and Freedom Party in 2012. The two stayed in touch and became friends; their relationship, Herzberg explained to the Register, made the transition from friends to business partners natural.
Fast-forward nearly 12 months: Roseanne’s Joint still isn’t open. In fact, it appears it never will, as a dispensary called Bud and Bloom has been operating in that location as of late last November. The Weekly asked the actress via Twitter if she had any comments regarding why the dispensary didn’t open, and she responded, “It didn’t work out for me and the investor.”
Before any legally operated dispensaries opened in Santa Ana, it was known that Herzberg had an interested in operating storefronts. In October 2014—prior to the passage of Measure BB, the legal framework allowing 20 medical-cannabis dispensaries to operate within Santa Ana—Mayor Miguel A. Pulido met with Herzberg and local activist Doug Lanphere to ask if they had money to help him make marijuana legal in Santa Ana, according to a Voice of OC story.
As a result, Herzberg paid the California Homeowners Association PAC $10,000, although he claimed he gave the money to his neighbor, Adam Probolsky, a well-known Republican operative. Probolsky, however, denied his involvement in the money transfer. Lanphere also gave $5,000 to the Homeowners Association, per the mayor’s request.