Police at a loss after medical marijuana dispensary found permitted too close to Moore public school

MOORE, Okla. -  As new medical marijuana dispensaries continue to pop up around the state, one appears to have slipped through the cracks, and wound up closer to a school than allowed. Now police have gotten complaints, but they're struggling to figure out who will enforce the law.

"The school is literally across the street diagonal from the dispensary," said Sgt. Jeremy Lewis with the Moore Police Department.

Lewis said his department was recently notified about the proximity between Ivy League Cannabis on 4th Street, and Vista Academy, an alternative school. The state of Oklahoma requires dispensaries to be 1,000-feet from schools. This one, though, is a little closer than that.

"Five to six-hundred-foot," Sgt. Lewis said. The two complaints they've gotten came from a school employee, and a Moore Public Schools parent.

So he went to investigate, and quickly found out Ivy League Cannabis owner Jason Greene has state and city approval to be there.

Greene insists they weren't trying to get away with anything, pointing to the large sign marking the store front.

"Weren't aware of any school that was near," Greene said.

He explained that the application process looks at the location of each proposed dispensary. He's already gone through the process several times, planning to open more stores than the two that are already in business.

"They make you send in screenshots of the area, and they have dots so you know where schools are," Greene said. "If it's not in compliance, they send you something back that says, No, you can't open up there."

Greene said he's sacrificed his career, months away from his young son, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars invested to build the business.

"So, to put that type of money into something and not think that we triple checked?" he said. "No."

Sgt. Lewis said he recognizes the hardship Greene has gone through, but points out that the law is there for a reason.

"That's what they've come up with so we need to be able to just have someone enforce that," Sgt. Lewis said. But he and other investigators have reached a point of frustration, trying to figure out who that is. He said the city approved the permit, understanding the state's application had already been approved. He said the law is written for a reason.

"Just because the permit was issued, you can't allow someone to continue to operate a dispensary literally a block away from an elementary, junior high, and high school," Sgt. Lewis said.

But Greene insists they'll have to make an exception this time.

"We've done everything we can do, and they gave us our approval," he said, "so I don't know what else we can do from there."

A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority said they'll have to further review the situation before they can comment.

 

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