1416 Wilshire Boulevard. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.
Dispensary would be located at 1416 Wilshire Boulevard
The medical marijuana dispensary Harvest of Santa Monica has been issued the conditional use permits needed to operate in the City of Santa Monica by the Planning Commission.
Along with CPC Compassion, Harvest would be the second and final dispensary legally allowed to operate in the city. In the City of Santa Monica, recreational cannabis retailers are not allowed to operate brick and mortar stores.
Harvest still has a number of permits and licenses to acquire from local and state authorities, like the Medicinal Cannabis Retailer permit, but they have successfully gotten the okay from the first step in the process to open their facility at 1416 Wilshire.
Elisa Paster, Chair of the Santa Monica Planning Commission disclosed that her law firm, Glazer Weil, is involved in a cannabis industry lawsuit in which Harvest is one of the litigants, but she did not recuse herself because she is not involved or “has very little involvement in the lawsuit itself.”
The staff report presented by Tony Kim, Santa Monica Principal Planner, recommended approval of the Conditional Use Permit and the adoption of the statement of official action with fourteen conditions including the condition that if Harvest vacates the premises in the future, any other medical marijuana dispensary that wanted to take over the space would be required to re-apply for a new Conditional Use Permit.
The biggest objection came from Commissioner Shawn Landres who asked, “Was any consideration given to the geographical distribution of across the city of prospective license holders? Can the Commission take that into account in its considerations? The proximity of the second license holder to the first under consideration? What would be the appropriate way, should the Commission choose to, to seek to insure that the permits are equitably distributed throughout the city’s geography?”
Principal Planner Tony Kim responded to Commissioner Landres and said, “In terms of the evaluation process, I don’t believe that location was factored in given that our ordinance already specifically defined where these dispensaries could be located…Given the 600 foot radius from minimum buffer from sensitive use locations, taking that in conjunction with the two stretches of Wilshire and Santa Monica where they could be located, those two limitations really limit the number of potential places that these two dispensaries could be located. In terms of the Commission’s review, do they meet the 600 foot buffer?”
Commissioner Landres also brought up the fact that if the Commission granted the CUP to Harvest that it is one of two permits and once it was awarded that no others could be granted to any other companies.
Heidi Von Tongeln, Deputy City Attorney explained that the only question in the Commission’s purview is the Conditional Use Permit itself.
Chair Elise Paster brought up that the Commission received “a lot” of letters objecting to the dispensary and its locational proximity to Lincoln Middle School and asked Planner Kim how far the potential dispensary was from the school and if there were “safe routes” to the school for children. Planner Kim noted that the dispensary was 800 feet from Lincoln Middle School but that he would have to check on the “safe routes”.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Dolores Quintana on Santa Monica Mirror
Published: January 11, 2022
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