Medical pot dispensary in Nipomo to be reviewed

Nipomo residents are organizing to fend off an attempt to open a medical marijuana dispensary a few blocks from the community’s swap meet.

Robert Brody of Los Angeles is proposing the business, in a 4,000-square-foot vacant warehouse and office building at 425B N. Frontage Road and Linden Lane. Brent Gross of Carmel owns the property.

Brody pitched his project Monday to a county land use subcommittee. The proposal is scheduled to go before the South County Advisory Commission next week. The commission meeting is slated to take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday at 148 S. Wilson St., Nipomo.

The dispensary proposal could end up at the county Planning Commission and eventually at the Board of Supervisors.

Brody told The Tribune he believes there are many people in the community who need the relief that medical marijuana can bring — people undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from glaucoma, for example.

“There are many people who can use it,” Brody said.

He added that the product is not always sold in a form that requires smoking — it can be turned into food, which helps older folks who do not want to inhale smoke. And the alternative — a drug known as marinol that contains the same ingredients — costs $30 a pill, he said.

Brody called the notion that medical marijuana dispensaries attract gangs “old wives’ tales.”

He said he is a retired businessman and this is his only would-be dispensary.

However, Guy Murray, a Nipomo attorney, said he and 30 to 40 other Nipomo residents opposed the dispensary when it went before the subcommittee. He said the community is the wrong place for it.

Murray said he was not arguing the medical merits for or against marijuana as a treatment. However, he noted that there is a conflict between state and federal laws on the narcotic’s legality.