Riverside County supervisors Tuesday will consider a proposal to establish a cannabis dispensary in the Temescal Valley, in what would be a first for the unincorporated area south of Corona.
River Releaf’s proposed 8,565-square-foot store and indoor cultivation facility will be the subject of a public hearing following the Board of Supervisors’ policy agenda. The project has detractors, and they are expected to address the board.
River Releaf is seeking a conditional use permit and 10-year development agreement with the county. The Planning Commission approved the proposal in June and forwarded it to the board for final review.
The dispensary and cultivation site would 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, would be working at the business, which would be in operation seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to Transportation & Land Management Agency documents.
The board has previously authorized marijuana dispensaries and manufacturing facilities in Highgrove, Bermuda Dunes, Lakeland Village and Mead Valley. River Releaf’s would be the first such outlet in the Temescal Valley.
Several residents sent emails to the county expressing concern, mostly over possible insufficient parking for the site, the likelihood of strong marijuana odors and traffic congestion.
According to TLMA, River Releaf has plans in place to mitigate all of the issues.
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. At least one representative from the TVMAC is expected to speak during the hearing.
If the enterprise is approved, River Releaf would be required to make public benefits payments to the county in the first year totaling $124,092. Ongoing annual payments of lesser amounts would 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.
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