The City Council unanimously rejected the Santa Rosa pot purveyor's bid for a license to operate on East Cotati Avenue, saying the building she had chosen did not meet parking requirements.

Now, Frank, the owner of the three-year-old Organicann dispensary on Santa Rosa Avenue, is looking at another location because the lease is set to expire.

Frank has applied for permits to set up shop in the unincorporated county on East Todd Road, about a mile from her current location, a Sonoma County planning official said.

Her plan to move her business into the light industrial area goes first to the zoning board and later the Board of Supervisors, said Blake Hillegas, the county planner handling her case. The process could take three months or more.

"It wouldn't be completely uncharacteristic of the area," Hillegas said Tuesday. "There's a fair shot."

Last year, supervisors rejected Frank's effort to open a branch near Maxwell Park in Boyes Hot Springs, saying the location was too secluded.

In December, a lawyer for her current landlord, Ruben Luna, said Frank's lease would not be renewed when it expired this month, in part because Luna never gave his consent to sell marijuana on the property.

Neither Frank nor her lawyer, Lisa Gygax of Forestville, responded Tuesday to interview requests.

"What is best for the patients is that there is no story and no comment," said a woman who returned a phone call, identifying herself only as Jennifer.

It was unclear if Frank would continue to operate from the current location after this month.

Frank, a former Marin County postmaster and Santa Rosa record store owner, is one of a handful of marijuana suppliers operating in the county under the voter-approved Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which allows people with a doctor's referral to possess and cultivate marijuana for medical use.

There are now five cooperatives in the county, including two in Santa Rosa, one in Guerneville, one in Sebastopol and Frank's in the unincorporated area just south of Santa Rosa's city limits.

There are at least two pending dispensary applications on file with the county, Hillegas said.

When the Cotati council voted to reject Frank on April 23, she already had submitted her paperwork to the county, Hillegas said.

Her application seeks a use permit, general and specific plan amendments, and a zone change from industrial to commercial for an 11,200-square-foot warehouse at 301 E. Todd Road.

The dispensary would occupy about 3,300 square feet of building space and have 30 parking spaces, nine for employees and 20 for patients, Hillegas said.

Source: Press Democrat , The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Press Democrat
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