City business owners split on dispensary

By Dick Mason May 12, 2014 01:39 pm

The impending opening of La Grande’s first medical marijuana dispensary, Green Apothecary, has split its downtown neighbors over the issue of medical marijuana.

Some neighbors of the dispensary, which will be situated at 1406 Jefferson Ave., are neutral about the dispensary, while others leave no doubt where they stand. Craig Braseth, the owner of Mountain West Moving and Storage, is concerned about what is happening here and across the state.

“I’m opposed to the whole system myself,” he said.

Braseth is worried that people with health needs who buy marijuana with a proper medical card will sell the drug illegally to others who do not need it.

Marcene Gerlach, a hairstylist for Bogart’s Hair Studio, said her only concern is that open parking spots will be taken near her business by Green Apothecary customers. 

“We do not have a lot of parking available on the street,” Gerlach said.

A loss of open parking spots could force some of Bogart’s customers to walk farther. Gerlach said this could be a problem since some of her customers have health issues that make walking difficult. 

An application from Rona Lindsey to the City of La Grande for a business permit to operate a medical marijuana dispensary at 1406 Jefferson Ave. was approved last week.

See more in Monday's edition of The Observer.