First city-approved pot shop opening delayed

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SAN DIEGO – A woman’s appeal of the development permit for the first city-approved medical marijuana dispensary will delay its opening, originally scheduled for the end of November.

Barbara Gordon filed an appeal October 15 against A Green Alternative opening a shop at 2335 Roll Drive in Otay Mesa.  She claimed the proposed development is in an inappropriate area of town and poses a danger to surrounding businesses and residents.

Gordon, who is tied to more than one drug prevention group, also said the dispensary should not be in a strip mall.

“Children should not see the normalization of selling marijuana,” Gordon said. “It just doesn’t seem right.”

A Green Alternative Chief Operating Officer Lazarus said his business will be supplying a needed service.

“It is unfortunate that Ms. Gordon and the North Coastal Prevention Coalition don’t understand safe access and the need for licensed facilities, especially when the illegal dispensaries are being shut down as we speak,” Lazarus said.

Gordon’s appeal will set back the November opening of A Green Alternative by at least a month. The dispensary owners said it will be costly.

“It could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” CEO David Blair said.

Gordon isn’t the only one who has argued that A Green Alternative’s location near the U.S.-Mexico border is not ideal. Other business owners in the area said they are concerned for their safety.

Those in opposition to A Green Alternative have argued that the surrounding tenants were not told what the building space would be used for, but Blair said he posted a sign in the window of his empty building for four months.

He pointed out that one side of the sign was very faded from the sun. He called it proof that it had been hanging in the window for months on end.

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