A new pot shop, Cookies, which was scheduled to open on Saturday, September 10, was closed and boarded up on Sunday. This Circling the News editor walked from Paul Revere Middle School to the store on San Vicente, which is a few stores down from the Shell station on 26th Street.
According to an email from a neighborhood group. Cookies “has advertised all over social media about their grand opening with a ribbon cutting that was apparently was cancelled and the opening delayed. Apparently, Friday, during the night, they were robbed by a couple of vans who had guns with them, and the inventory was stolen.”
Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin confirmed that the store had been burglarized. “Four suspects smashed a window, entered the location and took some items. No vehicle is mentioned in the report or mention of weapons.”
Pacific Palisades Community Council President Maryam Zar sent a September 12 email to Espin and LAPD West L.A. Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Tom.
“I cannot believe a pot dispensary can just open up in Brentwood, on the cusp of SM and PP with a school a stone’s throw away, without some sort of community review! I know it’s a ‘permitted use’, but jeez – do we really need this?
“Captain Tom, is there any way I can force a review and bring this to the PP and Brentwood CCs? The Council Office isn’t listening, but in light of this incident, is there anyone at LAPD (or Alison, at LAUSD) that might help us carve out a reason for community review?”
Zar also sent the email to Allison Holdorff Polhill, who is the District Director for LAUSD School Board Member Nick Melvoin.
Tom responded “I understand and appreciate the concern, we’ve checked with the CA Department of Cannabis Control, and they have advised that the dispensary’s license is valid and active. I specifically brought up the issue about the proximity to Paul Revere Middle School and they said it falls outside of the 600 feet minimum established by state law.
“Normally for community input via a zoning hearing, there would need to be an established pattern of problems at the specific location. Obviously if the Council Office were to push for it, it could be a different story. In the meantime, SLO Kirk and our Narcotics unit will be keeping an eye on it and taking appropriate action if any issues come up.”
Brentwood Community Council has now put this item on its September 14 agenda.
It appears that the application can be viewed by the public, with testimony for and against (according to SEC. 104.04, which is below). Additionally, City law states that once the application is complete, the applicant should appear before the local Neighborhood Council.
CTN was contacted by Irene Ancheta from Chapter 2 Agency, who is the PR representative for TRP, which is opening the pot shop. She argued CTN’s story (“Pot Dispensary to Open on San Vincent near Revere Middle School”) was incorrect there was appropriate distance from a pot shop to a school.
The business, which is on San Vicente, is 1,056 yards away and about a nine-minute walk from Revere. The law says a business needs to be outside a 700-foot radius of a school. A residential area is across the street from the store.
CTN asked Ancheta on September 11, “Why not put this store on Wilshire, away from a residential neighbor and the school?”
In a September 12 email Ancheta said, “TRP chose this specific property as it meets the requirements in L.A. for compliant cannabis retail stores, as well as being a part of a major shopping area.”
SEC. 104.04 FINAL INSPECTION AND COMMUNITY MEETING:
(a) DCR (City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation) shall conduct Final Inspections in the manner as provided in the Rules and Regulations. A completed application shall be referred by DCR for Final Inspection as provided in the Rules and Regulations. All applicants must pass a Final Inspection prior to the issuance of a License.
(b) DCR shall 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. Notice of the community meeting shall be provided as specified in Section 104.05(b). This subsection shall not apply to an application for Non-Retailer Activity in a Business Premises less than 30,000 square feet or Non-Storefront Retailer Activity. The Applicant shall pay the required Community Meeting Fee pursuant to Section 104.19(e).
(c) Within 10 days of receipt of the Notice of Complete application, the Applicant or a designated representative shall contact the Neighborhood Council and offer to appear before the Neighborhood Council to address questions about the application. Written evidence shall be provided to DCR such as an email to the Neighborhood Council or a copy of their meeting minutes.