Weed business forum focuses on E. Romie Lane dispensary

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Cannabis growing at Riverview Farms in Salinas, CA.(Photo: Jay Dunn/The Salinas Californian)Buy Photo

Around 30 people showed up Thursday to voice their opinions on the 13 cannabis businesses that have applied to open at eight locations in Salinas, almost all of them in South Salinas. 

But one location took up almost all the air in a heated discussion: A medical marijuana dispensary eyeing 420 E. Romie Lane for its storefront, with most comments opposing it. 

“If I go down the street, I’ll be looking at a dispensary,” said Sonia Saavedra, 42, who worried the location barely met the 1,000-foot minimum distance from two elementary schools and other youth-centered places. 

Saavedra also worried her kids will have to cross E. Romie Lane in front of a dispensary at Wilgart Way, the only intersection she feels is safe. 

MORE: Here’s where marijuana businesses want to open in Salinas

Many other comments focused on youth and how a dispensary might encourage or normalize marijuana use.

But Peggy Simmons said she approved of the location, near where she lives. A younger relative uses medicinal marijuana for stomach pain due to an inflammatory bowel disease.

He has to obtain it from Santa Cruz, in part because it’s a special CBD strain, which doesn’t give him a high, it just reduces his pain, she said. 

“He’d be afraid to go to the (other proposed dispensary locations),” she said. 

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The office building, at 420 E. Romie Lane, is one location that a dispensary has proposed moving into. At a Thursday forum on marijuana businesses in Salinas, the site was the focus of comments, most of them opposed to it moving in. (Photo: Joe Szydlowski/Staff Photo)

But dentist Frank Joyce, who practices at the proposed office building, said that’s where the dispensaries belong,

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