Medical marijuana store opens one block from school - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Medical marijuana store opens one block from school

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - We have a News 8 Your Stories report about a medical marijuana storefront operating in North Park. Residents emailed News 8 because the Pacific Green Pharmacy is located less than 400 feet from an elementary school.

The school is Jefferson Elementary, near the corner of Utah Street and University Avenue in North Park. Right around the corner, a medical marijuana collective is opening up shop. Residents are concerned for the safety of the children, and the neighborhood.

"There are children walking back and forth to school that are going to have to pass through this location," mother Michelle Donlon said.

Donlon is a military wife who lives in a condo right above the new Pacific Green Pharmacy.

"I actually support medical marijuana, I think it's a good idea. I just think that unless there are tighter regulations… because there have been problems in other locations, robberies and shootings in Los Angeles… so it's just a safety concern," Donlon said.

The neighborhood concerns stem in part from recent law enforcement raids of medical marijuana operations. The City of San Diego is still in the process of drafting its zoning and permitting ordinance.

Alex Kreit chairs the city's medical marijuana task force, which recommended storefronts be located in commercial zones, and 1,000 feet away from schools.

"Right now, because there's no regulation in place, there's nothing to stop people from opening up right next door to a school," Kreit said.

The owner of the Pacific Green Pharmacy did not want to speak on camera. He told News 8 he is following all laws and even has a state-issued seller's permit.

But Kreit says because the storefront is so close to a school, it could be shut down once the city council adopts its new ordinance.

"When you get that permitting system in place, the folks who are just trying to turn a quick buck, who don't care where they operate, or who don't care what the community members think, they're not going to be successful in getting permits," he said.

The city council is expected to take up its medical marijuana ordinance before the end of the year. Concerned residents may file complaints with the city's code compliance department.

We have a News 8 Your Stories report about a medical marijuana storefront operating in North Park. Residents emailed News 8 because the Pacific Green Pharmacy is located less than 400 feet from an elementary school.
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