Pubdate: Wed, 01 Feb 2012 Source: Coolidge Examiner (AZ) Copyright: 2012 Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc. Contact: http://mapinc.org/url/rlfyWN01 Website: http://trivalleycentral.com/coolidge_examiner/front/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/4242 Author: Sean Higgins, Editor 4 BID FOR POT FACILITY IN COOLIDGE Could Locate in City As Soon As Summer Former state attempts to prohibit the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to stop, giving the green light to those looking to set up shop. "The Department of Health has announced the state isn't going to file anymore appeals," Growth Management Director Alton Bruce said. This decision looks to directly impact Coolidge, as four separate parties have already expressed interest in a city location. "Three of whom identified locations in the Safeway plaza," he added, explaining that each will be required to submit a competing application. "It will only be one that is licensed (by the state)." Early last year applicants approached the Coolidge Planning and Zoning Commission before hitting a dead end at state licensing. "The Planning and Zoning Commission did approve all the applications that came in," Bruce said. "They were granted a conditional use permit subject to being licensed by the state." So far, according to Bruce, three applicants have proposed opening a dispensary, one other a grow operation and dispensary. The latter would look to locate at the Coolidge Industrial Park, and would consist of an entirely indoor grow operation. But with the state's designation of medical districts, Coolidge is only allotted one facility, out of the 123 designated districts set aside. Last April the city council adopted a ordinance amendment that provided the process applicants used. The opening of a dispensary would prohibit any individual carrying a medical card from growing marijuana within a 25-mile radius of the shop. The process has been a timely one, considering voters approved Proposition 203 in Nov. 2010. With licensing a supposed go-ahead, a Coolidge medical marijuana facility seems imminent. "From what I see from the Department of Health Services, they may be licensed by this summer sometime," Bruce said. City provisions include: - Allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the C-2 zone by conditional use permit. - Allow any medical marijuana use (including dispensary, cultivation or infusion facility) in the C-3, Commerce Park, I-1 and I-2 zones by conditional use permit. - Allow medical marijuana cultivation facilities in the agricultural zone by conditional use permit. - Allow medical marijuana uses in a PAD only if such use was proposed in the original PAD document. - Allow qualifying patient/caregivers to grow medical marijuana as an graaccessory use in any residential zone if and only if there is no dispensary located within 25 miles. - Provides the following buffer requirements from the indicated uses: 1. 500 feet from any other medical marijuana use. 2. 500 feet from a substance abuse diagnostic and treatment facility or other drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility. 3. 500 feet from a church and public or private school. 4. 500 feet from a daycare center providing care to minor children 5. 1 mile from any boundary of the Gila River Indian Community. * Sets a number of development standards including security provisions, prohibition of drive-thru, delivery service or outdoor seating areas and prohibition against on-site use. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.