Doug Curlee | Editor at Large
A Grantville medical marijuana cooperative that has been open and operating in the area without a legal permit ran into some opposition Monday night at the monthly meeting of the Navajo Community Planning Group.
Living Green has been operating, admittedly illegally, at 4417 Rainier St., pending approval of the co-op’s paperwork by the city of San Diego. Despite not having the final approval from the city’s Development Services department, the co-op has been open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, while waiting for the drawn-out permit process to be completed.
Living Green attorney Robin Madaffer says the owners believed the process had been pretty much completed.
“We have answered all the city’s questions, and all the boxes are checked off as having been done,” Madaffer said. “We’re waiting for the hearing office to give us the go-ahead.”
But community activist John Pilch challenged that and other statements by Madaffer and Living Green’s other attorney, Jeff Blake.
“The City Attorney has filed a case against Living Green, and they should not be allowed our approval until that’s at least done,” Pilch said. “If you recall, in August, this board voted to not hear any presentations from any marijuana providers until the paperwork process was completed. We shouldn’t even be hearing this now.”
While Living Green staff said they’ve complied with the process and answered every question, planning group chair Matt Adams said the board hasn’t received any documentation from the city to back that up.
That struck a chord among several members of the planning group. Mike McSweeney and others are more than a little worried about the location of the facility, the parking concerns, and how many people would be allowed in the building at a time.
Blake, in addressing some of the traffic concerns, admitted it’s likely going to be a busy place.
“We’d anticipate about a hundred people a day, each spending about 50 dollars or so. Over a year, that’s going to figure out at a gross of almost $1 million a year, before expenses. Remember, no one’s going to personally profit beyond reasonable salaries — this is a totally nonprofit venture, as required by law.”
Legally, the Living Green group is not required to have planning group approval to go forward with the permitting process, but the City Council has a track record of listening closely to the findings of the community planning groups on major issues.
The fate of the Living Green request was at least temporarily sealed when Adams revealed that he’d been told by the city’s Code Enforcement division that it was preparing a case against Living Green. He didn’t specify what the case is about, but the information was enough to bring a motion to table the Living Green request until at least the next meeting of the group in December.
As the proceedings concluded, Madaffer said that they’ll return in December with absolutely every question answered.
But, if there is a case against Living Green being prepared by Code Enforcement and the City Attorney, the process could be delayed indefinitely. That would leave room for other co-ops looking to land in Grantville to jump to the head of the line. It could also cause the city to shut down the allegedly illegal operation now open at Rainier Street until it’s resolved.
Madaffer says the current operation would voluntarily shut down temporarily if there is no other choice.
—Contact Doug Curlee at firstname.lastname@example.org.