PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A new marijuana dispensary is causing controversy in Portland's Sellwood neighborhood because it's located just a couple doors down from a preschool.
Neighbors have submitted a legal memo to the city, asking it to revoke Electric Lettuce's land use permit and deny its application for a license.
"It's not that we have any huge moral objection or anything like that, it's just this isn't the right spot for it, next to a preschool," Daniel Forbes, who lives nearby said.
Nicole Byers, a therapist who works with kids and teens, wishes the city would take a harder look at where marijuana retailers open up shop.
"My thought would be that they would actually before they grant licenses would look at the other businesses around as well as the community in which it is being placed," Byers said.
Currently, the city doesn't have a public comment period or a requirement for there to be a public hearing prior to a marijuana retailer opening.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates the state's marijuana industry, also doesn't require public comments or a hearing, although the agency does take public input on the locations of liquor stores.
We reached out to the company opening the new store, but did not get a response.
In paperwork filed with the city, the company said it would not allow patrons to loiter or consume marijuana outside the store, and that it would monitor the area with video surveillance cameras.
Creative Minds Learning Center, the preschool near the new marijuana retailer, released the following statement:
“State regulations prevent cannabis stores from operating near K-12 schools. It seems that preschools should also be covered in this regulation as it would be preferable to not locate this business next to a preschool.”
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, whose Office of Community and Civic Life grants licenses for cannabis businesses, preferred not to comment on the situation.
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