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Santa Cruz City Council allows local retail cannabis company to open dispensary site

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV)- On Tuesday- The Santa Cruz City Council decided to move forward with a new cannabis dispensary could be built at the intersection of Mission and Laurel Street. Hook dispensary are partnering with WAMM which was formerly known as the alliance for medical marijuana.

The green light was given despite strong opposition from parents and Santa Cruz City School District.

“The opposition of this process has been very surprising for us, and you know we’ve spent the last year trying to work with the community to make sure that our operations are not going to have any negative impact on the neighborhood or promote substance use among our youth," Bryce Berryessa owner of the Hook Outlet said.

The city moving forward with the project despite opposition from parents and the Santa Cruz City school District.

This spot is approximately 850 feet away from Santa Cruz high school.

In the meeting held Tuesday night, Santa Cruz school district and parents voiced their concerns on how close this new dispensary will be to two of the school campuses.

“We are here specifically because of the location of this dispensary," a community member said at the city council meeting said. "There are a ton of kids that have to walk by it every single day to get to and from school and there is evidence that this could be harmful.” 

Some concerns were around the use of fake ID, restricting and prohibiting sales for people under 21 during regular school hours, collaborating to help mitigate any potential impact they see from the retailer and annual review of the permit.

“There are alternative locations for WAMM but there is no alternative location for Santa Cruz high school," a community member said at the city council meeting said.

Despite this opposition, the city council approved plans in a 6-1 vote. Vice Mayor Renee Golder voted against the project.

“The condition of approval, coupled with the fact that the location did meet all of the quantified objective standards all the way towards the council support application," Lee Butler director of planning & community development said.

The Hook has three locations throughout Santa Cruz county partnering with WAMM, and this new location is expected to serve more people in the community.

“This location opens and this office also provides office space and community space for women and members of the Westside," Berryessa said.

KION did reach out to the Santa Cruz City School District and they declined to comment.

The owner of hook dispensary, tells KION that September 5th is its tentative open date.

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Briana Mathaw


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