Business & Real Estate

Marijuana dispensary wins approval to open in midtown spot of The Bread Store

Recreational weed is now legal in California. So what does that mean?

In January 2018, state and local authorities will begin issuing licenses for the sale of legal recreational marijuana. But what do you need to know before you rush to the dispensary? Information courtesy of Ballotpedia.com.
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In January 2018, state and local authorities will begin issuing licenses for the sale of legal recreational marijuana. But what do you need to know before you rush to the dispensary? Information courtesy of Ballotpedia.com.

A Sacramento cannabis dispensary is a step closer to opening at the Bread Store’s midtown location.

The city’s Planning Commission Thursday approved Safe Accessible Solutions — soon to be “Kolas” — to relocate to 1716 J St. from an industrial area just east of Power Inn Road in south Sacramento where it’s been open about five years.

The commission approved the project 11-1, with commissioner Darryl Lucien voting against the proposal.

The relocation needed commission approval because it would be located within 300 feet of a residential area, and within 600 feet of a church, drug rehabilitation center, and tobacco retailer, a staff report said.

The relocation will not require City Council approval unless someone files an appeal within the next 10 days, said Tom Pace, a city planner.

Several property owners on the same block told the commission they opposed the dispensary, mostly raising concerns about parking and complaints it will decrease property values.

The dispensary does not require off-street parking, and neither did the bakery, city planner Robby Thacker said.

There is a parking lot that abuts the site, but it is for BevMo customers only. The owner of the building and the chain’s leadership oppose the dispensary due to concerns the customers will park in the BevMo lot.

A dispensary at 3015 H St., A Therapeutic Alternative, employs a guard to control parking, said Todd Kaufman, commission member.

The commission added a requirement for the same conditions be applied to Safe Accesible Solutions to address the parking concerns.

Attorney Timothy Kassouni, who represents a company that owns the vacant building next door at 1722 J St. gave the commission a letter signed by 20 residents of a nearby assisted living facility opposing the project.

“This is a drastically different use,” he said.

Several of the city’s 30 dispensaries have been applying to move to downtown and midtown since city officials loosened requirements on how far they need to be from churches, schools, tobacco shops and each other.

“In my opinion, the 1,000-foot-rule was a very big mistake,” said Douglas Covill, commission member. “It put dispensaries out in industrial areas ... these are retail shops. They should be in retail areas.”

There are at least six other dispensaries in the south Sacramento industrial area where Safe Accessible Solutions operates now, said Robert Baca, director of Capitol Compliance Management. That firm operates Safe Accessible Solutions and eight other dispensaries in the city, Baca said.

“There is a big push in the industry ... to come in and be part of the greater Sacramento community now and contribute in a way we’ve never had the opportunity to before,” Baca said.

The city has recently approved dispensaries to move from industrial areas to 1918 16th St. and 2320 Broadway, city officials have said.

The dispensary will need to submit a plan for exterior improvements to The Bread Store site within six months, the commission said. Jameson Parker of Midtown Association urged the business to make those improvements.

“We want to do something that midtown can be proud of and is part of an entire effort to revitalize midtown and downtown and become a real anchor for the community,” Baca said.

If all goes as planned, the firm wants to open the dispensary next year, said Paul Clemons, also with Capitol Compliance Management.

The dispensary plans to be open for medical and recreational sales daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Baca said.

If an appeal goes to council and council does not allow the dispensary, the Bread Store could stay open, co-owner Andy Smith told the Bee last week. He opened the bakery in 1990, but told the newspaper he is ready to rent it out to another business.

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