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Elyria Planning Commission OKs second medical marijuana dispensary

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ELYRIA — The city’s Planning Commission unanimously granted Tuesday a conditional use permit for AFS Cultivation LLC to open Elyria’s second medical marijuana dispensary in a former music store on Cleveland Street.

AFS plans to spend $1.5 million turning property at 603 Cleveland St. into a secure dispensary, AFS President William Brothers told the commission Tuesday.

It also plans to create between 10 and 25 jobs, with employees making between $30,000 and $70,000 a year, officials said.

AFS stands for Arizona Facilities Supply, and is an Arizona-based biomedical research firm. It has a location in Maryland and, as recently as last year, was planning more in Arkansas, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Curt Powell, vice president for operations at Security Management International of Vienna, Virginia, said his company consults with dispensaries on security. They prefer, he told the commission, to hire retired local law enforcement officers as security guards and have given AFS a security plan including cameras, door locks, physical barriers and radio frequency ID readers.

Employees also are subjected to state and federal background checks, Brothers said, and plan to be open for business “as much as possible,” he said.

By state law, a retail dispensary is prohibited from being within 500 feet of schools, churches, public libraries, and villages and cities also may limit the number of locations within their boundaries.

Medical marijuana also may be prescribed by specially certified doctors to treat more than 20 different medical conditions.

Attorney Howard Lane said his clients want to be “involved with the community” and “act as a good member” of the community.

“We look forward to working with the city,” he said.

AFS and The Clubhouse dispensary, a project of NMG Ohio LLC at 709 Sugar Lane, already have complied with state laws and regulations regarding dispensaries but still must obtain approval from local building and zoning experts and elected officials. A public hearing on The Clubhouse’s request for a conditional use permit will be held during a special City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in Council chambers.

In other business, the Planning Commission approved the final plat for K. Hovnanian Homes’ 254-unit Four Seasons at Chestnut Ridge project on the city’s east side. The development will be an “active adult” community for residents age 55 and older, complete with a clubhouse, swimming pool and other amenities, Mayor Holly Brinda said.

The development is north of Chestnut Ridge Road and east of Bender Road, with access to Walmart and the other shops at Chestnut Commons. The first model units are expected to open May 1, weather permitting.

City Council approved a conditional use permit for the development in June.

“We are so pleased,” Brinda said Tuesday of the housing development. “It’s a nice upscale product for our senior population.”

Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.


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