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Park proximity may bring dispensary up short 

A mere 20 feet could prevent local medical marijuana patients from obtaining their pain-relieving prescription in the county.

The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission was expected to give the go ahead for a Templeton-based medical marijuana dispensary at a June 1 hearing, but members of the local advisory group revealed an issue that threw a monkey wrench into those plans: a private park located less than 1,000 feet away from the proposed site.

According to senior planer Bill Roberson, a regulation requires cannabis co-ops to be at least 1,000 feet away from any parks. The planned location at 3850 Ramada Drive didn't meet that guideline by approximately 20 feet.

But, according to Roberson, the park and the dispensary's proposed location are on opposite sides of the 101 freeway, which could ultimately nullify the 1,000-foot rule and give applicant Kent Connella some hope of opening the county's sole cannabis club.

"Although it does not meet [the guidelines], there is no pedestrian connectivity or traffic access that would cause kids to go by the dispensary," said Roberson, who noted that the dispensary wouldn't really be visible from the park.

The commission is scheduled to make its decision on issuing Connella a permit for the dispensary on June 15. Whatever the result, Roberson expects the ruled-against side to appeal.

Connella declined to comment for this story.


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