Globe Council considers marijuana dispensary application

Courtesy photo Pele Fischer, Lawrence Health Services’ legal representative, addresses the Globe City Council during their Sept. 28 meeting. Lawrence Health is applying for a permit to open a recreational marijuana dispensary in Globe.

The Globe City Council won’t be making a final decision on a permit application for a new

recreational marijuana dispensary until they meet again Oct. 12, but their Sept. 28 meeting

included a public hearing on the proposed facility. Council members also listened to a presentation

by city staff and a representative of the applicant.

On Sept. 15, the City Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended council

approval of a conditional use permit request by Lawrence Health Services to open an adult use

marijuana dispensary at 2250 E. Highway 60, on the southeast corner of the highway and Russell

Road. Earlier this year, Lawrence Health was among 13 winners of an Arizona Department of

Health Services lottery awarding recreational licenses.

In their permit application, Lawrence Health stated that the retail-only dispensary would benefit Globe’s economy  through state, local and excise taxes as provided in Proposition 207. During the council meeting Pele Fischer, Lawrence Health’s legal representative, said they anticipated hiring at least 15 full-time employees and that the license could not be moved out of Gila County.

City Zoning Administrator Dana Burkhardt and Fischer allayed any council concerns about  potential odor by saying the business would only sell pre-packaged items, not cultivate marijuana

or manufacture marijuana products. Fischer also said testing would be required for all items before they could go on sale and the dispensary would have strict security, including armed security personnel. It will not have a drive-through or a display window.

The Planning and Zoning Commission had inquired about traffic safety at the Highway 60/Russell Road intersection, and was advised that the improvements made there by the Arizona Department of Transportation would support a traffic increase.

Fischer said working hand in hand with the local police department, “making sure there’s a

seamless line of communication,” would be key to Lawrence Health’s goal of bringing in a regulated market for adult use marijuana.

“It’s time that we change the dynamic on what we’re doing, and I think this is probably a step in the right direction,” said Globe Police Chief Dale Walters. “I think we should embrace it, partner with them and move forward."

The public hearing was over quickly as only one resident commented, remotely, with a simple

statement of support for the dispensary; no public comments had been received at the time of

the meeting. After some discussion on whether to close the hearing or leave it open for the next meeting, the council voted to close it and move final approval of Lawrence Health’s application to

their Oct. 12 meeting.

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