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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Medical marijuana store clears planning commission

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Upon the recommendation of the Delta Planning Commission, the city council will consider a conditional use request for a medical marijuana sales license at 25 Stafford Lane, Unit 3.

The planning commission conducted a public hearing on the matter at its June 3 meeting.

The applicant, John Thomas, was present on behalf of his business, Green Meadows Health Products. Also in attendance were three staff members from Yes! Dental, which is adjacent to the proposed site of Green Meadows Health Products.

Betsy Suerth, City of Delta public works/utilities director, discussed the location of the business, which falls within parameters established by Delta City Council. She said performance standards have been addressed with adequate protections for noise, smoke and dirt. All products are in sealed containers that emit no odor, she added. State officials and the Delta Police Department have reviewed security precautions and have found them to be adequate.

Suerth noted that 10 petitions had been mailed to surrounding property owners; none were returned with comment. A public notice was published in the Delta County Independent on May 15, and a sign was posted at the site prior to the public hearing.

For medical marijuana establishments, Delta City Council established 1,000-foot setbacks from schools, parks, churches and other facilities. Thomas told the commissioners he closely studied the resulting zoning map, and after looking north and south of town, he settled on the site on Stafford Lane, which he found to be well-lit, safe, easily accessible, and just down the road from the oncology center.

His brief comments were followed by an impassioned plea for a more suitable location from Dr. Nathan McNight of Yes! Dental. Green is the predominant color of his business' logo, and will also be used extensively, along with a medical cross, by Green Meadows Health Products, an unfortunate coincidence that could be misleading for the customers of his "legitimate" medical facility, he said.

Concerned his brand may be "defamed," he said he's determined to fight the location of Green Meadows Health Products "with every legal resource I have."

He admitted a personal bias against marijuana, but said he's most concerned about negative impacts to a business he's spent his life developing.

Dr. Paul Dodsworth, who is also associated with Yes! Dental, questioned commissioners about the reasoning behind the 1,000-foot setback from schools. If there is a legitimate concern, he said the same setback should apply to Yes! Dental, which sees a large number of young patients. The practice is unique in that it serves Medicaid patients of all ages, so it draws clientele from a huge area, Dr. Dodsworth said.

After finding the conditional use request complete and in compliance with city regulations, commissioners voted unanimously to forward the request to city council. Council will take up the matter on Monday, June 17 (the meeting has been rescheduled from Tuesday, June 18).

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