Mr. Robert D. Brody, the applicant for a marijuana dispensary in Nipomo got a chilly public reception during his presentation at the South County Advisory Land Use Sub Committee today. The presentation lasted nearly two hours and included questions from the board, presentation by Mr. Brody, his business partner Mr. Tom Meredith and many comments by Nipomo residents. It appeared that approximately 30 to 40 residents attended the meeting, which was high (no pun) for a regular land use committee meeting. Of those who attended and spoke only one resident spoke in favor of the clinic. It was abundantly clear the vast majority of residents oppose this project.
Applicant Robert D. Brody, 662 Quail Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065, (213) 500-5624 makes his presentation to the SCAC Land Use Committee
SCAC Land Use Committee hears Mr. Brody’s presentation.
Three of Nipomo’s five Community Service Directors, Jim Harrison, Mike Winn, and Ed Eby, attended the meeting in their capacity as private citizens, and all three spoke negatively about the project. None of the land use committee members spoke positively about the project. The committee agreed to pass the project along to the full South County Advisory Committee meeting for their consideration on 01/25/10 at 6:30 p.m. without a formal recommendation; however, it did not appear anyone on the committee was in favor of the project.
Mr. Brody’s presentation was long on what he repeatedly promoted as “compassion” for those truly in need of medical marijuana; but, appallingly short on facts. He went out of his way to point out he and his business partner would be a “non-profit” corporate entity; but, admitted they would also be in business to make money.
What was shocking, however, was the fact that not once; but, several times during his presentation Mr. Brody candidly admitted that he had absoltely no business plan or model for the proposed project. They conducted no studies. They have no previous experience operating any marijuana dispensaries anywhere else. They have no idea how many “patients” they might serve in all of San Luis Obispo County, and all of northern Santa Barbara County.
Here’s my take on today’s meeting, and Mr. Brody’s comments:
Brody: Their purpose is to provide marijuana for those patients in San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County so they don’t face the hardship of an 80 plus mile drive;
He and his business partner, Mr. Tom Meredith are seasoned businessmen;
The primary benefit to Nipomo will be providing patients with marijuana and a cost savings over the legally FDA approved drug Marinol;
Marijuana is readily available any and everywhere therefore they should be allowed to open a dispensary here in Nipomo;
They taking a gamble with their “investment” in the community;
No business plan, and no marketing plan per se;
Neither partner has any experience in running a marijuana dispensary; but, next week they will be attending a two day seminar in how to run such a dispensary, and may know more after that seminar;
Characterized their operation as a “mom and pop” marijuana dispensary;
Admitted they are putting the cart before the horse with their proposed operation;
They are renting a 4,000 square foot facility; but, they claim they will use only a fraction of that space for their operation;
Initially they will have to transport marijuana to the facility from growers in Southern California; however, as time progresses they would plan to cultivate marijuana locally for their dispensary;
Admitted that currently there are no marijuana dispensaries in all of San Luis Obispo County;
Claim that they will adhere to state and county guidelines;
Neither Mr. Brody or his business partner Mr. Meredith (or the land owner) are Nipomo residents; however, if the project is approved they plan to move to the community, and join the Chamber of Commerce.
Remember that next Monday 01/25/10 at 6:30 p.m. the full SCAC will conducted another full hearing on the application and project. The meeting will be held at the NCSD building 148 S. Wilson in Nipomo. If you have an opinion about whether a marijuana dispensary should come to Nipomo, you should plan to attend this meeting. In the interim you can contact both the land owner and the applicant directly via U.S. Mail and by telephone. You can communicate your opinions directly to them if you are so inclined:
Land Owner: Brent Gross, P.O. Box 222091 Carmel, CA 93922 (831) 626-1100
Applicant: Robert D. Brody, 662 Quail Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065 (213) 500-5624
Based on what I heard today, particularly the quality of the content of their presentation, I would not be surprised to see them withdraw their application; however, if they do appear Monday evening, as many Nipomo residents who are able should plan to attend and express their opinions on a marijuana dispensary in Nipomo.