New Pot Shop Discussed at Brentwood Community Council

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This was the opening of the pot shop, Cookies, on Melrose.

Cookies, a new pot shop in the 13000 block of San Vicente Boulevard, which was supposed to open Saturday, September 10, had its first reported crime.

The Brentwood Community Council listened to Brentwood Senior Lead Officer Matthew Kirk’s report at its September 14 Zoom meeting.

According to Kirk, suspects smashed a rear glass window that Saturday, entered the property and removed clothing. There was an unsuccessful attempt to pry open the door of the safe, but it was unsuccessful.  Prints were requested and a CCTV was available.

Kirk told residents that he had spoken with former SLO Chris Ragsdale, who has retired and lives near the Melrose Cookies store. Ragsdale told him there have been a lot of issues, including robberies and thefts.

Kirk vowed to look out for Avondale, a residential street that is adjacent to the strip of stories on San Vicente, where Cookies is located.

“This Cookies is not affiliated with the Melrose Cookies,” Kirk said, noting that he was told the store hours will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and that there will be an unarmed security guard on the premises. He was told that anyone purchasing would have identification checked twice before a sale: all packages are pre-packaged.

“They can take credit cards and there is no consumption of the product on site or in the parking lot,” he said.

One resident said, “I’m shocked and appalled at the existence of the shop at this location [adjacent to the Brentwood Country Mart]. How in the heck did it happen?”

Those in the meeting heard that there were eight or nine licenses available for Brentwood and the Palisades, but because the stores in Palisades are within 600 feet of schools and churches, the licenses would go to locations in Brentwood.

The store windows were smashed at Cookies. The store which was supposed to open on Saturday, did not.

The majority of residents on the Zoom call did not have a problem with a pot shop, but rather had a problem with the location.

It is adjacent to the Mart, where many young people visit after school and on weekends, and also in a residential neighborhood.

That location also serves as a school bus stop for several schools in the area as well. Brentwood CC President Carolyn Jordan said, “I am still getting details on the schools that have bus stops there.”

A resident asked the Council if a plea could be made to the landlord and was told the landlord did not like the Council because it had stopped a proposed three-story building along San Vicente several years ago.

The Brentwood CC was only alerted to the opening of Cookies in late August.

CTN contacted Veronica de la Cruz, the Deputy City Attorney for clarification about why the neighborhood had not been notified per City Law “Sec. 104.04 Final Inspection and Community Meeting.”

According to the law, the DCR (City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation) is supposed to conduct “a community meeting via video or telephone conferencing or within the defined geographic area of the Area Planning Commission within which the Business Premises is situated. At the meeting, DCR shall accept written and oral testimony regarding the application and then prepare a written report to the Cannabis Regulation Commission summarizing the testimony in favor and against the application.”

After that is done, the applicant is supposed to contact the Neighborhood Council and offer to appear before the NC to address questions.

The applicant told the Brentwood CC they could not attend the September meeting.

De La Cruz wrote: “The community can file a complaint and inquiry with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation through their complaint portal found on their website:  https://cannabis.lacity.org/  You’ll find the link to the complaint portal in the upper right hand corner.

For general inquiries, community members may send an email to cannabis@lacity.org or call (213) 978-0738 to speak with a DCR representative.

It seems that since so many kids attend Paul Revere from Pacific Palisades, which is in close proximity to the new store, Pacific Palisades Community Council might also request an audience with the applicant.

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