San Diego Welcomes First MMJ Dispensary

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San Diego has officially welcomed its first medical marijuana dispensary as of last week. A Green Alternative, which sits near Otay Mesa expects to serve 7,500 to 10,000 people within its first month of opening. Though medical marijuana has been legal in California for nearly two decades, it has taken the city of San Diego an enormous amount of time to approve regulations, including background checks, city permitting and zoning as well.

Owner Dr. David Blair, a professor at San Diego State, has stated that the location is fortified more like a bank than a shop, with bullet proof windows, doors and wall panels to ensure the location doesn't attract unwanted crime. A concern which left many nearby residents protesting the development of the dispensary.

Bob Walder, the dispensary's chief financial and chief medical officer said, “We want to be completely above board with regards to every piece of the law. Am I worried about somebody coming in to shut us down? No I’m not, simply because we’ve met all of the requirements."

It's expected for two more medical marijuana dispensaries to open in the near future, one in Kearny Mesa and the other in San Ysidro. The competition to get an approval from the Planning Commissioners is intense and and the city ordinace itself only allows a maximum of four dispensaries in each of the city's nine council districts. It also prohibits dispensaries from being approved within 1,000 feet of each other.