San Diego City Council voted on a continuance on a proposed new Sorrento Valley marijuana outlet at its Dec. 4 meeting after some confusion between the applicant and staff about whether or not retail marijuana sales will be allowed.
The Torrey Pines Community Plan has a policy that prohibits free-standing retail establishments in the industrial-designated area of Sorrento Valley — the outlet plans to move into a 1,451-square-foot former bank building located on 10715 Sorrento Valley Road.
Firouzeh Tirandazi, development project manager for the city of San Diego’s Development Services Department, defined the proposed outlet as a commercial use, stating that per the terms of the conditional use permit, the facility would be a medical marijuana consumer cooperative only and no retail sales would be permitted.
However, the applicant Belinda Smith stated that her intent is to be a retail cannabis dispensary — she said the plan has always been that marijuana for both medical and recreational use would be sold at that location and that she will apply for a state retail license once it is allowed in January 2018.
“In January this becomes retail,” said Torrey Pines Community Planning Board Chair Dennis Ridz. “This is not allowed within our community plan.”
Ridz said the community plan calls for not over-commercialized services in the industrial zone such as little coffee and sandwich shops that serve the immediate area, not facilities that serve a regional need. He said the applicant has stated they will sell to anyone with a physician-approved script, therefore the facility is serving the general public as a retail operation and not a small consumer cooperative.
City Council agreed to the applicant’s request to continue the conditional use permit process. As one portion of the building is slated to remain vacant for the length of the