Supervisors Approve Cannabis Dispensary in Thousand Palms

City News Service

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a cannabis retail outlet in the unincorporated community of Thousand Palms, the second dispensary in the area authorized by the board since June.

The distribution facility is planned in an existing 7,734-square-foot building in the area of Adelaid and Front streets, according to the Riverside County Transportation & Land Management Agency.

The owner, EEL, said only about 1,800 square feet will actually be utilized, though the entire building will be renovated as part of the project agreement with the county.

The outlet will provide on-site marijuana sales, as well as a mobile delivery service, available daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., TLMA said.

One member of the community, Thomas Black, complained in a letter to TLMA that the dispensary would be situated in a space where law enforcement services are minimal, creating security concerns.

However, representatives from EEL told the board that security guards would be on-site during hours of operation, and a camera surveillance system and burglary alarm would be active at all other times.

Supervisor Manuel Perez, whose Fourth District encompasses Thousand Palms, said EEL had “addressed concerns” that he and others had.

“I appreciate this project,” the supervisor said.

Under the 10-year conditional use permit and development agreement, EEL will be required to make a first-year public benefits payment to the county totaling $33,672. An ongoing annual payment of $75,000 will also be owed, increased 3% every year.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposal on April 21 and forwarded it to the board for final authorization.

On June 15, the board approved a cannabis retail and manufacturing outlet on Watt Court, around the corner from the Coachella Valley Animal Campus and less than a mile from where EEL’s store will be.

The board has additionally previously authorized dispensaries and manufacturing facilities in unincorporated Bermuda Dunes, Corona, Green Acres, Highgrove, Lakeland Village, Mead Valley and Temescal Valley.

The county’s 2018 Marijuana Comprehensive Regulatory Framework, codified under Ordinance No. 348, provides for steps that prospective businesses must take to be eligible for permits. Safety and health safeguards are part of the regulatory stipulations.

To date, the board has approved only indoor marijuana manufacturing and distribution outlets — not outdoor commercial cannabis grows — in unincorporated communities.

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