Co-Owner of Bang Mingo, Benjamin Harris, tells Merced Daily, ” I opened up Bang Mingo in 2010 as a Mutual Benefit Non-Profit in Merced. It wasn’t a store front, it was a collective that was organized legally under California state law. Word of mouth was the main way people knew of it. It was a legal operation.”
However, things turned for the worst in 2014 when his house was raided. Benjamin was arrested and spent the next week in jail until the judge released him on his own recognizance.
The next two years were spent defending himself against 3 felonies. Which were consequently dismissed because he was found to be operating legally and compliant with state law.
After the dismissal, Benjamin and Mark would go on to re-open the collective in Merced in 2017. It was quickly shutdown two weeks later.
They would go on to search for other properties outside of Merced, eventually finding a location at 1780 Bell Lane in Atwater, near Tractor Supply.
“The location was perfect. It was somewhat secluded and right off of the freeway. Atwater got the ball rolling for cannabis dispensaries-they were getting things done.”
When asked if the Atwater Valley Community School would be an issue, Benjamin said, “ We had an engineer measure the distance, and according to the engineer, Bang Mingo is more than double the legal limit away from the Atwater Community School. Which won’t create a problem.”
According to Benjamin, Bang Mingo will hire at least 15 people. The property will consist of a nursery, showroom, and a lobby with a few offices. The property will be remodeled and have security features all around the premises.
“It won’t be exactly like a normal retail store. You will have to wait your turn, show ID, and a medical card if you have one,” said Benjamin.
Bang Mingo is expected to hire soon and would like their official grand opening to be on 4/20/2019.