Riverside County supervisors Tuesday approved a proposal to establish a cannabis dispensary in the Temescal Valley — a first for the unincorporated area south of Corona.
In a 5-0 vote, the Board of Supervisors signed off on River Releaf’s 8,565-square-foot store and indoor cultivation facility which did not face opposition during the public hearing.
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries raised concerns about potential inadequate parking for the outlet, about which several of his constituents had contacted him.
Transportation & Land Management Agency officials said that, because the business will be situated in an industrial center, parking will not be an issue.
River Releaf’s receipt of a conditional use permit and 10-year development agreement with the county comes roughly eight months after the Planning Commission gave its nod to the proposal.
The dispensary and cultivation site will be within a two-story building in an area zoned as light industrial at the intersection of Dawson Canyon and Temescal Canyon roads. The space includes several office buildings.
A dozen people, including three armed security guards, will be working at the business, which will be in operation seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to TLMA documents.
The board has previously authorized marijuana dispensaries and manufacturing facilities in Highgrove, Bermuda Dunes, Lakeland Village and Mead Valley. River Releaf’s is the first such outlet in the Temescal Valley.
Several residents sent emails to the county expressing concern, touching on the parking issue, as well as marijuana odors and traffic congestion. According to TLMA, River Releaf has plans in place to mitigate all of the challenges.
Members of the Temecula Valley Municipal Advisory Council were initially opposed to the project, but the owners made a presentation to the non-governing body in August, answering objections.
River Releaf will be required to make public benefits payments to the county in the first year totaling $124,092. Ongoing annual payments of lesser amounts will be owed, as well, helping cover the expense of additional law enforcement services in the area.
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.