Unincorporated Mill Valley Is Not Appropriate For Pot Dispensaries
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The County of Marin is currently reviewing 10 applications for pot dispensary licenses in areas of Unincorporated Marin County. Four proposed dispensary locations are in the Tam Junction and Manzanita areas of Unincorporated Mill Valley:
- Marin Wellness Center (near Frantoio Restaurant)
150 Shoreline Hwy Mill Valley, CA 94941
- Shoreline Health Center (currently The Dipsea Cafe)
200 Shoreline Hwy Mill Valley, CA 94941
- Urban Hills (previously the Canine Cove)
230 Shoreline Hwy Mill Valley, CA 94941
- BudGrab Inc./Crown Wellness (currently The Rug Shop)
256 Shoreline Hwy Mill Valley, CA 94941
You can learn more about the license applicants here.
These locations lie within close proximity to commute routes and schools for the children in the neighborhood. While some of the applicants claim their facilities will take a low key approach, nonetheless the children in the community will know of the facilities and be elevated in their awareness of pot use in the area. The potential for children to see - and smell - pot use off site of dispensary facilities at places such as the Good Earth Market parking lot and at other businesses is a concern. The use of Marijuana is linked to disruption of brain development and exposure of healthy minors to marijuana use may encourage them to sample the substance. This matter has not been sufficiently addressed by the applicants.
The current County Medical Cannabis Dispensary Ordinance 3639 states “A dispensary shall not be allowed...within 800 feet of a youth-oriented facility, school, a smoke-shop which sells paraphernalia for consuming drug or tobacco products, or another dispensary..." Three of the proposed dispensary locations sit within 800 feet of five "youth-oriented facilities”:
- Roco Dance & Fitness, 237 Shoreline Hwy - Dance classes for children from age 3 through age 18
- Mathnasium, 247 Shoreline Hwy - Math-learning center for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade
- Poekie Nook, 247 Shoreline Hwy - Art and sewing classes for children from age 6 to age 12
- Mill Valley Potters Studio, 254 Shoreline Hwy - After-school youth classes in ceramics art
- Proof Lab, 244 Shoreline Hwy - Skateboarding lessons for children from age 8 to age 13
These locations are also well known problem areas for congested traffic. The applicants claim their customers will have little or no effect to traffic when compared to the current businesses in these locations. However, with only two medical cannabis dispensaries allowed in the entire East side of Marin, a dispensary would draw new regional traffic to the area and further exacerbate the already hazardous traffic conditions. As any local resident will attest, the current business use, tourist, school and commute traffic has already made it extremely difficult to travel at many times of the day.
The applicants are suggesting that their intent is to provide medical cannabis products and advice to those in need of help. Ordinance 3639 only allows licensed dispensaries to sell medical cannabis and currently Marin County bans the sale of recreational cannabis at medical facilities.
However the County can rescind the ban at any time in the future and may do so when they see the county tax coffers swell as a result of medical pot sales. To date, none of the applicants have gone on record that they would not sell recreational pot if the County were to rescind the ban.
Security is also a concern, including the potential for drug misuse and increased crime in the surrounding neighborhood.
There are other locations in consideration outside of the Tam Shoreline area - such as the 70 San Pablo Avenue location in San Rafael - that are more centrally located to East Marin County medical pot users and could also accommodate for delivery services to Southern Marin medicinal pot users.
The review process will continue from now until March or April.
Please sign our petition if you agree that the Marin County Administrator Matthew H. Hymel and the County Medical Advisory Committee should deny the medical cannabis dispensary license applications tied to locations in Unincorporated Mill Valley. These decision-makers should make it a priority to consider the impact of a dispensary on our children and already congested traffic.
Opening a medical pot dispensary near Highway 101 that allows patients to have easy access to a dispensary is not the issue. But every attempt should be made to keep these businesses away from our children and high traffic use areas, as well as addressing the potential for conversion of the facilities to recreational pot sales in the future.
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