Des Perez, Missouri (KMOV) – There is a proposal to establish a medical marijuana dispensary in Des Perez with several nearby businesses concerned with safety and traffic congestion.
The City of Des Perez said it has received an application and is evaluating a petition to place a medical marijuana dispensary at 12095 Manchester Road.
“The zoning regulations in Des Perez are as restrictive as permitted by the Missouri Constitution, which prohibits dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a church, school, or daycare center,” said Douglas J. Harms, city manager in Des Perez. “The city previously denied two applications for marijuana dispensaries in inner-city locations that were within 1,000 feet of a church or daycare center.”
Kristen Finley, managing partner of Briann Realty LP, which owns the strip center adjacent to the proposed site, said she is opposed to the infirmary moving to the proposed site.
“First of all, nearly all of the 40+ family-friendly businesses that are already in the adjacent shopping center that my company runs do not support this,” she said. “Second, it will be located just 45 feet from a well-established and popular after-school math education center for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.”
Mathenesium, a center for learning mathematics, has been in the strip center for three years. However, Harms said the city does not designate it as a school, so the proposed dispensary would not violate city ordinance.
“The city has determined that Mathenium, which is located 1,000 feet from the proposed infirmary, is not a school within the meaning of our zoning code,” he said.
This interpretation is legally challenged by Finlay.
“It definitely works as an after-school learning center that helps kids from local schools learn their math curriculum and become more successful,” she said. “This website violates the spirit of the law and should not be tolerated.”
Jill Neiman lives nearby, and her fourth-grader daughter attends maththesium after school.
“While I am not against having a dispensary, I am not in favor of the location close to our residence and also to the Mathenium where my daughter goes,” she said. “I just think proximity is very close.”
The owners of Mathnasium could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. However, they have sent a letter to the mayor to express their concerns about the proposal.
“We are disappointed to hear of the possibility of opening a dispensary so close to our center,” the statement read, in part. “As parents of two teenage daughters, we are in the unenviable but familiar position of vigilant guardians of our children’s safety and judgment as they navigate their way from dependent beings to adults. Parents who entrust us with educating their children hold the same position as we do, even with Younger children, and it would be inconvenient to leave them in the care of our facility when next door to work that would unnecessarily and prematurely expose them to fears and issues beyond their current ability to process and understand.”
Kim Wicks opened the Frontenac salon adjacent to the proposed site in January. After snapping up space and investing tens of thousands of dollars, she said she was concerned about the plan.
“If we’re going to get it, we need to put it in locations that aren’t too busy with people and companies that aren’t going to go there,” she said. “It is what it is and hopefully if that happens we will be fine and our customers will be fine and happy, but it will be tough. I know my customers won’t want to smell it.”
The city said its Board of Control will hear the legal challenge at its meeting on April 27. Until then, Harms said, further consideration of the petition will be suspended.