Imperial Beach’s only cannabis dispensary is nearing construction

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The first and only cannabis company allowed to open a storefront in Imperial Beach is getting closer to construction after the city council approved the draft of the project last week.

Council members voted 4-0 in support, with Alderman Jack Fisher withdrawing because he lived near the project site at 740 Palm Ave.

March and Ash, a cannabis dispensary and delivery company with locations in San Diego, Vista, and Mission and Imperial Valleys, has come a long way. About two years ago, seven applicants tried to get the only cannabis business license in town, and March and Ash were the only ones who had completed the review process.

“Imperial Beach Mayor, City Council and staff should be commended for developing a very responsible and comprehensive regulatory and implementation plan,” said Frank Urtasun, who is serving as the community advisor on the project. “Although some communities are facing difficult problems, the City of Imperial Beach has handled them very carefully and thoughtfully. We look forward to building a world-class facility and extending our platform for responsible adult use to residents of Imperial Beach. “

The project, which is located in a general commercial and mixed-use zone, is slated to begin with the demolition of a 736 square meter building on the property and the construction of a new, single story, 4,201 square meter building. Foot trade structure. Work will begin in the next few months and is expected to take eight months, said Urtasun.

March and Ash cannabis dispensary receives Imperial Beach City Council approval on Tuesday, April 21, 2021 for its building, which is slated for construction on Palm Avenue.

(Wonder Creative Studio / City of Imperial Beach / For the San Diego Union-Tribune)

The city council was satisfied with the building design, which has a modern architectural style with earth-colored basic colors and more than 23 percent landscaping throughout the development as well as a parking lot with 25 parking spaces. Project details. It will also include a wall sign and a memorial sign. The project design included several recommendations from the city council-appointed Design Review Board, which unanimously recommended that the council approve the project during a March 18 meeting. These include increasing landscaping in the areas in front of Palm Avenue and the addition of clergy windows

“I think what we’re seeing here is a culmination of … those strict standards that we’ve put in place and a design that looks really good,” said Pro Tem Mayor Ed Spriggs, noting that the project met the requirement satisfied to be 900 feet from any school, park, or daycare center.

The project is picking up steam after several months of preparation and public gatherings, but some people were surprised to find out that the building will be a cannabis store. The city did not state this in its agenda report or in the public signage on the property.

“None of the signage informs the public of the business, and while … the renders look good enough, the business that is done seems far more important than the appearance of the building,” said resident Carol Green.

With the council’s approval of using the project about a year ago and at least five public meetings, city administrator Andy Hall said the project was not a “community secret”.