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Two businesses have submitted applications to the city of Gold Beach to open marijuana dispensaries that, if approved, will bring the number of shops in Curry County — including two awaiting state licensing — to 12.
The closest dispensary to Gold Beach, Club Sockeye, is across the bridge in Wedderburn. Buddha’s Wellness Center is in Port Orford, Stateline and High Tide Wellness Center are open in South Curry County — and the opening of Bud Mart is pending on Shopping Center Avenue in Harbor.
Brookings is home to Bud Bros, West Coast Organics, South Coast Dispensaries and World Famous Top Shelf, and Tryke City is awaiting licensing.
Six people spoke out against the Gold Beach proposals in a city planning commission meeting this week.
The applicants — Aaron Mitchell doing business as La Mota, and Zachary Sairlee and Troy Duzon of Gold Beach Marijuana — have a few minor conditions to which they must agree before they can get the city’s blessing.
Mitchell is proposing a retail, production and wholesale operation in a building he hopes to buy at 29846 Ellensburg Avenue adjacent to the park at the corner at Moore Street.
At La Mota — Spanish for The Weed — he proposes to sell marijuana at retail to walk-in customers, wholesale to other stores in the area, and provide a “Show and Grow” display as a “tourist attraction,” providing visitors with a “real life experience about the process,” Mitchell wrote in his application.
He told the commission that, without city approval for the business, the building sale will not take place.
Sairlee and Duzon are leasing 1,000 square feet of a 4,000-square-foot commercial building two doors down on Ellensburg Avenue that formerly housed a vehicle-electronics repair business that has been vacant for years.
Both applicants would have to agree to certain conditions before the city will approve either proposal, the biggest concern of which is the limited parking in that area.
“There is a known issue with parking in this location,” a staff report reads. “Staff acknowledges that this situation is not of the applicants’ making, but it does need to be addressed.”
Based on the square footage of the buildings in that area, 71 spaces are needed to satisfy minimum parking requirements.
“Obviously, there are not even close to 71 parking spaces here,” the report reads.
The hearing was continued to Aug. 16 to allow city staff time to gather information from law enforcement regarding calls to which they respond related to marijuana facilities, from the public works superintendent about regulations that might apply to the growing and production aspects of the business and to consult with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission about laws related to such shops’ proximity to public parks.
To obtain a conditional use permit, Mitchell would also have to agree not to have his “Show and Grow” open for viewing on Sundays to minimize conflicts with a nearby church, and inform the city how it proposes to securely dispose of marijuana byproducts in its production component.
Sairlee and Duzon will have to agree to the same conditions, which also include a undergoing a facility inspection by various city departments, operating within a permanent structure and not having any product stored outside.
They also must provide an internal site plan of the building delineating the portions to be used.
A report submitted with the application reminds the planning commision that marijuana businesses were not prohibited by the council or voters, and that the land use is similar to that of liquor stores — and licensed by the same state authority.
Other concerns expressed to city staff included the possibility of increased illegal activities that could occur related to the business, but the permit could be worded to address that with the planning commission if that were to occur.
“We also have a mechanism to monitor the businesses through OLCC — just like taverns and stores that sell alcohol,” the report reads. “If we suspect a business might not be operating within the OLCC regulations, we have the ability to notify the OLCC and request they investigate.”
In the Aug. 2 edition of The Pilot, John Krenzelok was incorrectly listed as one of the parties interested in opening a marijuana dispensary in place of Zachary Sairlee and Troy Duzon. Mr. Krenzelok is merely the owner of the build. The Pilot regrets the error.