The Sacramento City Council approved a permit for a cannabis dispensary in a 8-0 vote on Tuesday, denying a request to prevent the store from opening near a detox center.
City officials said La Krisha Young, the owner of the proposed dispensary and graduate of the city’s equity cannabis program, met requirements and added extra restrictions to respond to the detox center’s concerns.
CEO of Diamond House Detox and Recovery Vicky Magobet argued the dispensary, which will open less than 600 feet from one of the company’s substance abuse rehabilitation centers, would threaten clients’ recovery. Young is planning to open Culture Cannabis Club Dispensary on Bruceville Road, at a location where there are also two tobacco stores and six businesses selling alcohol within 600 feet.
Council member Mai Vang represents the South Sacramento area where the cannabis dispensary and detox center will be neighboring businesses. They are across the street from a Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and will not be directly next door to each other; Fat Duck’s Pizza — a restaurant that sells alcohol — lies between them.
“What’s really unfortunate … and the reason why we’re here today, is really because both the applicant and the appellant were not aware of each other’s businesses during our city planning process,” Vang said during the meeting.
Magobet filed an appeal against the Planning and Design Commission’s decision to approve the permit for Young’s dispensary, triggering the council hearing on Tuesday. But the council upheld the commission’s decision, which was made in December. The vote was 8-0, Council member Karina Talamantes was absent.
City staff said precautions Young added to her conditional use permit are reducing the dispensary’s storefront glass window displays and limiting signs on the building and street. Young specified her signs won’t use the word cannabis, nor use cannabis plant imagery like leaves.
“I was willing to try to meet in the middle and make sure I remove any visual cues that might trigger [detox center clients],” Young said. “I can’t do anything about Fat Duck’s beer and wine sign, but at least I could show [Magobet] that I was willing to work with them and that I do care about that very vulnerable community. And I believe that there’s even more that we can do to work together.”
Young earned one of the 10 cannabis storefront licenses the city gave to people disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Sacramento’s Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity Program (CORE) is designed to help certain people start cannabis businesses. Participants included those who live or have lived in a low-income Sacramento household and were or have family members who were arrested for cannabis-related charges.
The hearing on the appeal lasted for three hours and drew public comment from about 25 people. Multiple CORE program graduates as well as South Sacramento residents spoke in support of Young and her dispensary. Meanwhile, current and former Diamond House clients and staff asked the council to approve Magobet’s appeal to protect those recovering from substance abuse.
“I don't have anything against cannabis dispensaries in general,” Magobet said. “I think a lot of people do use it recreationally and very responsibly, but for my clients, a lot of them are struggling with that substance.”
Young needs to complete more steps and pass inspections before her dispensary can open, said Council member Caity Maple, who used to work in the cannabis industry.
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