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Medical marijuana facility gets OK despite public opposition

PHOENIX – Residents and business owners of a Deer Valley neighborhood say the fight is not over, despite losing an appeal on Thursday that would block a medical marijuana cultivation and infusion facility from moving in nearby.

More than 50 people showed up at the Phoenix City Council chambers, many donning stickers that read “No! Anywhere Else,” to express opposition to a plan that would allow Tryke Companies to build a medical marijuana cultivation facility near 16th Street and Deer Valley Road.

“We’re taxpayers,” shouted one man while others booed the citizen board, after the 3-2 vote.

The decision paves the way for the purchase of the 20-acre lot from Morton Holdings. The plan is to build the cultivation facility despite being less than 1,000 feet away from any neighborhoods, as required by the city of Phoenix.

In front of the board, local business owner Mike McCrery argued that allowing the facility would result in a degradation of the nearby Boulder Creek neighborhood, primarily because of the unwanted odor.

He also listed the potential for higher crime rates and the reduction in property values that he said are associated with medical marijuana facilities, as other reasons.

“With this amount of support right here, it’s obvious that this facility will have an adverse impact,” he said to the board, which was appointed by the city council.

The attorney representing Tryke Companies, Adam Baugh with Withey Morris PLC, argued that there is no evidence to support that medical marijuana facilities result in higher crime rates or reduction in property values.

“Now we have to list in our SPUDs (Seller Property Disclosure Statement), ‘Oh we’ve got a marijuana cultivation property in our backyard,'” Mary Jo Fasani said. She lives near 22nd Street and Deer Valley Road. “They’re using us as guinea pigs.”

McCrery, Fasani and others said the fight to block the medical marijuana facility is not over despite Thursday’s decision and said they will be taking the case to court.