No Weed on Central: People push back against medical marijuana dispensary

- A new medical marijuana dispensary has been approved to set up shop in Phoenix. The business would be located near the corner of Central Avenue and Thomas Road, but some people say the dispensary isn't welcome and they've started a petition called "No Weed on Central."

The city of Phoenix originally ruled against having the facility used for medical marijuana, but on Thursday, the Board of Adjustment overturned that ruling. A few people who live in this area are upset by the ruling, but we're told by the city that all of this falls within the right requirements.

"It's interesting to note that there were a couple of neighbors who showed up at the hearing. So it was not a widespread neighborhood concern that showed up," said Alan Stephenson, Director of Planning and Development Phoenix. 

Last week, the Board of Adjustment approved an application for a medical marijuana dispensary that's located within 500 feet of the residential district.

"The two sites that have residential zoning on them are ones that we would anticipate being developed with mixed-use development because they're in that Central Avenue corridor where we would expect to see office, retail and some residential high-rise, mid-rise type of buildings," said Stephenson.

Some people living in the area, such as former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, are not happy with the decision. He's heading the "No Weed on Central" group and says this building should not be allowed because of the nearby church located inside the hospital. The city says since the church is an accessory to the hospital, it's okay.

"It has to be visible from the street and it has to have an access to the street. If you go to the chapel, a place of worship, you'll see that it has its own street entrance, it's open to the public, different service hours," said Gordon.

He plans to keep fighting and is even considering taking it to the state's superior court.

"The reason why Scottsdale doesn't allow it on Scottsdale Road is it's a main thoroughfare. It's an iconic thoroughfare. It just doesn't belong there. Go somewhere else,"  said Gordon.

The "No Weed on Central" group has asked for a re-hearing. There's no word when or if that might be happening.


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