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Parents, School Board Upset As Martinez Votes To Open Pot Dispensary Near High School

MARTINEZ (KPIX 5) -- The city of Martinez will soon open its first pot dispensary but where they'll put it has some community members up in arms, saying kids will be put in harm's way.

The City Council though voted Wednesday to approve a conditional permit to a company by the name of Embarc. What that means is it will be able to move ahead with a plan to put a dispensary within 1,000 feet of Alhambra High School near a former book shop.

martinez proposed pot dispensary near Alhambra High School (CBS)
The site of the proposed pot dispensary near Alhambra High School (CBS)

John Fuller, a Martinez School Board member, accused the council of "turning Martinez into the pot capitol of Contra Costa County."

Janet Siebenrock, a concerned parent pleaded, "I'm not comfortable with that location."

Embarc, which is owned by the son of former Congressman George Miller, will now set up a pot shop on the main drag through Martinez.

"We want to be part of this community, a positive impact to this community," said Miller.

Despite the vow from Miller to be a good neighbor, his neighbors are having a hard time understanding why the business has to be less than two blocks away from a high school with 1,200 students.

And the proposed site also backs up to Martinez Unified School District's adult school, a property that would now be limited from expanding to a K-12 education center.

"The school district doesn't feel it's in good conscience to put a child center next to a cannabis dispensary," said CJ Cammack, the Superintendent of Schools.

Opponents will now consider legal action to make sure Embarc doesn't open its doors so close to their kids.

"We really don't have the resource to keep fighting this for an extended period of time," said Todd Navarro.

Barring the lawsuits that may come forward, the dispensary could be open by April of 2020.

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