By Heidi Simmons

The Coachella Valley has a thriving cannabis industry.  From seed to sale, the region is known for embracing ganja-preneurs -– business men and women who bring their best game to be a part of the green revolution.  With that energy and talent comes more ways to personally engage and enjoy cannabis locally.

“This is next level,” said Richard Eaton, co-owner of The Vault cannabis lounge and dispensary.  “We have designed The Vault with an inviting and welcoming atmosphere where people can come and experience cannabis in a relaxed and friendly setting.  Marijuana is no longer taboo and there should be no stigma attached.”

The Vault – named for the repurposed bank it occupies in Cathedral City – provides an open retail experience that is fresh and accessible.  Natural light streams in through large windows, abundant product is beautifully displayed, electronic menus are easy to read, and the space is well-organized and welcoming.


There is nothing intimidating, or threatening, no cannabis odor in the dispensary, and no identification is required to go inside.  It’s as easy as walking into an Apple Store or an ice cream parlor.


The Vault is open now and running a special 25 percent discount on all products through August. It celebrates its Grand Opening this Labor Day weekend.

“We have a variety of quality products that appeal to a wide demographic,” said Eaton.  “The Vault is a place where people can come in and see for themselves what is available and use the products in a comfortable and safe environment.”

Yep, you read that correctly.  You can purchase cannabis in any form from The Vault dispensary, then step into the lounge to relax and use the products worry free!


The Vault has a separate large room where marijuana consumption is allowed.  There are multiple conversation areas with couches, coffee tables and throw rugs.  There are televisions on the walls, a jukebox, and a bar where you can sit and have cannabis infused drinks or smoke a bowl.   Like a well-appointed living room, the space is open and inviting.  Bring your own paraphernalia or use The Vault’s.

“The idea is you can come to The Vault and immediately consume the marijuana you purchase,” said Eaton.  “There are people who don’t want to use cannabis at home, you can’t smoke in your car, hotels don’t allow smoking marijuana, and some folks want to use it socially, while others can come in to use it medicinally. That’s the reason we’re here.  There are so many benefits of marijuana and it’s no longer something you have to do alone or in secret.”

Eaton first got involved with cannabis as a landlord of a cultivation site.  When he saw how much good cannabis did for those who were sick and in pain, he became a believer and advocate of marijuana.


“I have story after story of those who were helped by using marijuana.  People who were able to finally get pain relief, get a good night sleep or get detoxed from opioids,” said Eaton.  “A cannabis tincture under the tongue is much better for you than two Ambien washed down with a fifth of vodka.  Alcohol is terrible for the body, while Cannabis has no known side effects. The Vault is an inviting place to learn more about cannabis, and safely give it a try.”

Eaton and his family live in San Diego where he served 25 years with the San Diego Sheriff’s department before retiring.  He went into law enforcement to help people and his mission continues.  He believes cannabis can reduce or replace the use of pharmaceuticals and alcohol, provide relief for insomnia and PTSD, treat AIDS and cancer patients as well as a myriad of other health-related issues.

“Cannabis is helping people every day,” said Eaton.  “The benefits are life-changing and you can’t hide from the science.  At The Vault, we make it easy for people to come, explore and use this amazing miracle plant.”

Shaun Szameit is co-owner and director of The Vault.  He too got his start in cannabis by way of medical use and trained with health care professionals also seeing first-hand the life-altering affects.  In addition to the retail license, he has cultivation, manufacturing licenses as well.


A business major in college, Szameit is excited to supply customers with the best cannabis products to fit their needs.

“We carry high-end, top brands,” said Szameit.  “We intend to specialize in meeting the needs of our customers and we will price-match other dispensaries.  We plan to have cannabis companies come into the lounge and introduce their product lines so people can find what works best for them.  There will always be something going on here at The Vault every week.  We’ll carry the best brands at the best prices.”

Szameit is using data analytics to better understand client consumption and brand popularity by geo-mapping.  Products range from flower, edibles, pet care, and cosmetics.

“It’s about being dynamic and discovering the best the industry has to offer,” Szameit said.  “The Vault will have a constant, as well as a changing array of great products.  It’s important to us that our clientele knows what’s available and has an opportunity to give it a try.”


A big part of The Vault’s mission is to use the lounge space for lectures, seminars and brand introductions and unveilings. 

“Education is necessary,” said Eaton.  “The more you understand about CBD and THC, the differences between varieties, ways to consume the product, and dosage possibilities, the stigma and mystery of cannabis disappears.  We want our clientele to be knowledgeable and comfortable when choosing products.”


While the 40 to 80-year-old crowd may use cannabis more medicinally than recreationally, millennials tend to prefer cannabis to alcohol.  The Vault consumption lounge provides a way for the demographic to use marijuana openly and socialize in a hip and comfortable environment.  A variety of “mocktails” are sold including beer, mock-aritas and champagne, which are infused with THC and contain no alcohol.  Cannabis infused coffee is available in the mornings.

The Vault intends to have live music and stand-up acts – comedy and cannabis nights.  Sundays, The Vault will show all NFL games via “NFL Sunday Ticket” plus other sporting events on the televisions in the lounge.  Cheech Marin is scheduled for an October appearance. 

“We are excited by all the possibilities the lounge space offers,” said Szameit.  “If half the room wants to watch football and the other half wants to watch a movie, we can do that.  We can host large groups or small parties, red carpet events with valet parking. We have a green room or VIP guest suite.”

The Vault’s lounge is permitted to host 76 people and the dispensary capacity is 56 for a total of 122.  The Vault has a corporate Uber account in the event someone needs a ride home.  Got the munchies?  Local restaurants deliver food to guests in The Vault’s lounge.

Only marijuana purchased at The Vault can be consumed in the lounge.  By law, all opened cannabis must be consumed within the lounge.  However, The Vault will reseal unused product before leaving. 


Eaton and Szameit have worked over a year to get The Vault up and running.  Local artist are responsible for the paintings on the exterior and interior of The Vault. The owners are energized to be a significant player in the lives of those who use cannabis in the CV. 

“We like being a part of the community,” said Szameit.  “We were very thoughtful about choosing this location and are looking forward to an engaging and dynamic future as the cannabis industry continues to grow and play a bigger role in the lives of those who use it. This is an amazing location and a great area.  We are happy to be here.”

Whether you are a baby-boomer or a millennial, whether you want recreational or medicinal, whether you want to take your products out or use it in the lounge, The Vault delivers a singular personal cannabis experience.

The Vault is located in the north corner of the Mission Plaza near the In-Shape gym just blocks from Hwy 111 at 35871 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City, CA 92234.  For more information call 760 866 9660 or to subscribe to The Vault’s Newsletter and view a menu go to Hours of operation are 8:00am to 10:00pm seven days a week.