Medical marijuana dispensary in LG, first in city, gets OK

Sean McDermott and his son, Corey, will be opening the first medical marijuana shop in La Mesa in just a few weeks. Now, the East County natives also will be opening the first medical cannabis collective in Lemon Grove.

The Lemon Grove City Council voted 4-0 on June 19 to issue a conditional-use permit to the McDermotts to open a store at 6470 Federal Blvd. Councilman Matt Mendoza was absent because of a work conflict.

Sean McDermott said he expects the 960-square-foot La Mesa store at 8155 Center St. to open in mid-July and the 41,711-square-foot Lemon Grove store to open before November.

“It’s been a long process; I’m almost roommates with (Development Services Director David Devries),” the elder McDermott joked. “I know it hasn’t been easy. I’m happy to be here right now. We have a world-class project here, something the city can be proud of, something the residents will be happy with, something the patient base surrounding this (store) will be appreciative of.”

Unlike other proposed dispensaries that were turned down because they were too close to parks, schools and daycare centers, the McDermotts in December 2016 chose a building in a light-industrial zoning district for their business.

City Councilman Jerry Jones, a racing aficionado, told the McDermotts that their building used to house Lenco Racing Transmissions, which started engineering and building drag racing transmissions in Lemon Grove in 1973 before moving to Ontario in 2016.

In November 2016, Lemon Grove voters passed Proposition V, requiring the city to update municipal codes and create a permit process. The measure authorizes and regulates dispensaries, and the cultivating and manufacturing of medical marijuana.

In addition to meeting all of Lemon Grove’s criteria to open a medical marijuana store, the McDermotts were told they would need to enter into a

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