1 dispensary that’s watching the distance regulations

       The Westside Wellness Center shares 2200 Bott Ave. with a long-time business at that site: Personal Touch Gardening & Landscaping.
       Joanne Goodner and her husband Bill added the medical marijuana enterprise in September 2009, looking for a way to augment their gardening income during slow economic times.
       Westside Wellness is also a family business, with daughter Jessica and son-in-law Jeromie involved.
       It's one of 29 dispensaries currently operating on the Westside. Many have stark exteriors - some just a door and a sign. Not surprisingly, Westside Wellness offers a landscaped exterior. Joanne said that's part of an effort to make the dispensary feel welcoming to clients because often they are fearful when they first come in.
       Joanne believes there are people in pain and that marijuana is a unique way to help them. She was especially moved recently by an elderly woman who had suffered from cancer for seven years and become tense from constantly fighting it. “Smoking relaxed her so much,” Joanne said. “Her sister said, 'I haven't seen her smile for two years.' It's things like that where you know you're doing the right thing.”
       If it becomes too difficult or expensive for such people to get the drug legally, sales “will go underground, back into the neighborhoods,” Joanne predicted.
       The Goodners are not against regulations, she emphasized. One of the laws being considered at the state level would ensure that mildew is not present on the marijuana buds that are sold. In the meantime, Westside Wellness already takes such steps, Joanne said.
       Overall, it hasn't been easy keeping up with all the state and local legislative actions over the past year, as clearly uncertain politicians and government staff people have puzzled ways to deal with the curious situation of making workable laws for an industry that remains technically illegal at the federal level.
       The Goodners are keeping an especially close eye on proposed city regulations that are scheduled to go to City Council Dec. 13 and 14. The reason is that one of the proposed requirements is to ban any medical marijuana facility that's less than 1,000 feet from a daycare center. And there is one, 960 feet away from Westside Wellness. Joanne thinks that's too far to matter, especially with the facility a block away and out of view. “To close us down for that is the wrong way to do it,” she said.

Westside Pioneer article