Cathedral City Councilman Mark Carnevale’s application to open a medical marijuana dispensary is up for review by city staff after another application was withdrawn Wednesday.
The application from Henry Arroyo to open “Hemp on the CC” was headed for denial by the Planning Commission because the proposed location at 67-450 Ramon Road doesn’t meet the mandate that dispensaries be more than 250 feet from residential zoning.
But Deputy City Attorney Nicholas Hermsen told commissioners he received an email from Arroyo’s attorney saying his client wanted to withdraw the application and resubmit it later.
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“But he won’t be able to resubmit because applications were due back in September,” Hermsen said, adding he explained that to Arroyo’s attorney who said his client still wanted to withdraw his application.
Carnevale, owner of Nicolino’s restaurants, wants to open Sunshine Coast Wellness at 68-031 Ramon Road. It’s the first time he’s applied for a dispensary and said the idea comes from seeing how medical marijuana helps people in pain.
“My wife last year had a bout with cancer and she was getting blisters … from the radiation treatments,” he said. Nothing she was taking would relieve the pain long-term, and someone suggested trying medical marijuana, Carnevale said.
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“It removed the blisters and comforted her,” he said.
His wife’s aunt, who is 85, recently had shingles and medical marijuana is the only thing that relieved her pain, Carnevale said.
“I’m not for recreational marijuana dispensaries,” he said. “I’m in it for the sole purpose of this does some good.”
There’s still a long process ahead, he said, but acknowledged that if approved his shop would have to be the most professionally run because it would likely be the most scrutinized.
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“As a city councilman, my feet would be held close to the fire,” he said.
The city received 24 applications in September for the three dispensaries it is permitting. A computer-generated selection process was used to prioritize them.
In November, the Planning Commission denied an application submitted by Julie Montante because the proposed location for her shop, Green Connect/PSO, was less than 250 feet from East Palm Canyon Drive.
Applicants had to establish a location for their dispensaries before submitting their application. In addition to the residential and East Palm Canyon requirements, dispensaries must not be within 1,000 feet of each other or 600 feet of a school. A $7,500 processing fee was due when the applications were filed.
Two other applications are still being processed by city staff. They are for Green Cross Pharma, 68-730 Summit Drive, and Cathedral City Care Collective, 68-860 Perez Road. The applications were submitted by Maria Cristina Scagliotti and Nicholas Hughes, respectively.
Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 778-4694. Follow her on Twitter @TDSsherry
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