Staff at Grace Garden Christian Preschool have been circulating flyers for a community meeting scheduled for Friday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. to talk about how they can prevent a marijuana dispensary from going in next door. (Photo: 12 News)
PHOENIX – An Ahwatukee day care is fighting back against a medical marijuana dispensary that may, or may not, be going into a shopping center near 48th Street and Elliot Road.
Staff at Grace Garden Christian Preschool has been circulating flyers for a community meeting Friday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. to talk about how to prevent the dispensary from going in.
They say the dispensary is planned for the space currently occupied by a Valvoline Express Oil Change business, and the flyer claims the owner of the oil change shop has obtained a license to open the dispensary.
“He says it’s not him, it’s whoever’s buying the building,” Grace Garden School Director Cathy Thompson said.
But the Arizona State Department of Health Services, which issues dispensary licenses, said it can’t legally disclose who owns those licenses. The licenses are granted yearly in a lottery.
To enter the lottery, prospective dispensary operators have to show that they have a location that could legally be zoned as a dispensary. However, to be entered in the lottery, those operators do not have to actually be approved by the cities in which they want to open.
A city of Phoenix spokesperson said the city has received six applications to verify the oil change shop is zoned commercially and could house a marijuana dispensary. But, the spokesperson said, no one has submitted the paperwork to actually begin the public comment and hearing process to open the dispensary.
Phoenix city planning rules prohibit dispensaries next to schools, but during