Sunday, May 1, 2011

Scottsdale OKs city's first medical-marijuana dispensary

The City Council has approved Scottsdale's first permit for a medical-marijuana dispensary.

The Virtue Center, 7301 E. Evans Road, in the Scottsdale Airpark, would supply medical marijuana and provide consultations to patients. The planned 1,500-square-foot dispensary is northeast of Thunderbird and Scottsdale roads in north Scottsdale.

The council approved the conditional-use permit Tuesday. Next, the applicant must apply with the Arizona Department of Health Services for a registration certificate, followed by an operating license.

Competition is stiff to open dispensaries in Scottsdale. Under health department rules, Scottsdale essentially has two areas where dispensaries are allowed, so only two will be awarded state licenses.

On Wednesday, the Scottsdale Planning Commission was expected to reconsider use-permit applications for the Kush Clinic, 8729 E. Manzanita Drive, and Arizona Natural Selections Patient Center, 8132 N. 87th Place.

In addition, the commission was set to consider four new applicants:

- MM RX Medical Marijuana (dispensary), 15475 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop.

- Serenity Dispensary and Cultivation Center, 14666 N. 74th St.

- Terramedica Natural Pharmaceuticals Dispensary and Cultivation Center, 15735 N. 83rd Way.

- Medical Marijuana Dispensary and Cultivation Center, Organic Medical Group LLC, 7825 E. Redfield Road.

Council members asked about the medical-marijuana licensing process before unanimously approving the Virtue Center permit. The next conditional-use permit is tentatively scheduled for council review on June 7.

In other action, the council:

- Granted a use permit to the Mint, a high-end restaurant scheduled to open in the former bank building at 7373 E Camelback Road.

The applicant, Charles Dean Slover, is behind restaurants RnR in Scottsdale and Sandbar Mexican Grill at Desert Ridge Marketplace in northeast Phoenix.

The permit allows a bar use at the Camelback location.

Opponents cited an abundance of existing bars in the area and Mint's potential to generate noise into nearby neighborhoods. Despite the challenge, council members approved the permit 6-1. Councilman Bob Littlefield dissented.

- Voted unanimously to change the name of Troon North Park to George "Doc" Cavalliere Park.

Cavalliere reportedly was the oldest Scottsdale native when he died in September 2009 at age 92. Supporters of the name charge included Cavalliere's longtime companion, Joyce Eller, and friends, who touted his dedication as operator of the family's blacksmith shop, Reata Pass steakhouse and Greasewood Flat tavern near the planned park, 27777 N. Alma School Parkway.

- Approved an action plan to use Community Development Block Grant funds to help low-income residents.The funds amount to $1.49 million for the city's block-grant program and $398,000 for the HOME investment partnership program.

The city has participated in the federal block-grant program for 35 years. The goal is to benefit low- and moderate-income residents and address slums and blight, according to the city.

Tuesday's vote was unanimous. Approval included the return of program funds from the sale of the Civic Center Neighborhood Center, purchased and developed with Community Development Block Grant funds.

In March, the council voted 5-1 to sell the four-building complex, 7375 E. Second St., to Scottsdale Healthcare for $1.5 million.

Since then, a resident has filed a civil complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court against Scottsdale to halt the sale of the center.

The purchase contract states the sale will close on July 22. The city plans to return the money to the Community Development Block Grant line of credit to use on other related expenses.

by Beth Duckett The Arizona Republic Apr. 28, 2011 01:45 PM

Scottsdale OKs city's first medical-marijuana dispensary

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