The CEO of a La Mesa mental health clinic for children says he was stunned to learn last week that the city’s Planning Commission had given approval to a medical marijuana dispensary to open in the same complex.
Moises Baron, who runs the San Diego Center for Children, says his agency was never contacted by the city nor was it given notice of a public hearing on the dispensary’s application. Instead, he found out about the Planning Commission’s decision from an article in the The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Baron is appealing to the city to rescind the permit it granted last month to New Origins Management, Inc. to operate a dispensary less than 1,000 feet from his Family Wellness Center/East County Outpatient clinic on El Cajon Boulevard.
The San Diego Center for Children is a nonprofit that helps youngsters who are struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral issues. It has a contract with the County of San Diego and works with 27 schools in four school districts in East County.
The La Mesa outpatient clinic, which Baron says annually serves more than 500 at-risk children and their families, is at 7339 El Cajon Blvd. in Suites J and K. New Origins is looking to open at the same address in Suite C. The parcels at the address belong to what is called La Mesa Medical Plaza.
Baron says he wants the City Council to revoke the permit when it hears his appeal on April 24. At least one other group also is appealing New Origins’ permit on that same date.
“We are deeply concerned and sincerely hope that the City of La Mesa will revoke it,” Baron said. “Given the services we provide, to very at-risk and vulnerable youths, working with them in schools and at the clinic as