The business partners behind a proposed Ocean Avenue cannabis retailer held a community meeting to share information and collect feedback.
Business partners seeking to open a cannabis retail shop on the 1000 block of Ocean Avenue in the heart of Ingleside held a community meeting as part of the requirements to get authorization from City Hall.
Tyler Makras, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California, and Patrick Hall, a graduate of Riordan High, presented their vision Aug. 25 for the shop over Zoom and in-person. Their business is registered as 1019 Smoke LLC.
“We want to make sure that we can bring a lot of the community in here, such as art and food and advertise that for you guys because people get the munchies and people want good things to look at,” Hall said. “We want people to feel like they're a part of us and they can rely on us for anything that's going on in the community.”
Makras and Hall said the idea for the shop was sparked when they noticed that the closest cannabis store is roughly two miles outside the neighborhood, which is an inconvenience for many potential customers.
Ingleside has been without an operational cannabis dispensary for several years. Waterfall Wellness, located on the 1500 block of Ocean Avenue, was recently renovated but it’s unclear when it will reopen. 1944 Ocean Cooperative, located on the 1900 block of Ocean Avenue, closed a few years ago.
Many community members in attendance expressed concern about the cannabis store, particularly in relation to distance to nearby schools and daycares, traffic issues such as double parking and public use of their products on the streets. One community member questioned Hall’s credentials as an “equity partner,” which is a designation meant to lower the barriers to those seeking to enter the cannabis business who have been hardest hit by the War on Drugs.
One participant recalled how when she was a middle and high school student she experienced dispensary customers smoking marijuana on the street and even offering it to her.
“What about the impact of your customers when they go out of the perimeter?” Amy Wong said. “It's great that you have security but like a block or two away when your customers are just going out and then they start to just smoke?”
Makras and Hall had an answer.
To secure the building and its operation, the business owners said they would install a metal roll-up door along with five security cameras for security, they said. They would also employ three security guards.
Makras is the son of Victor Makras, the politically connected real estate mogul who was convicted of bank fraud on Friday, Aug. 26. His company, Makras Real Estate, which Tyler had said he worked for, has long represented the property that the business would operate in if approved.
The businessmen said that they have been in contact with the office of both the District Seven and District 11 supervisors, the community benefit district and other Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside organizations.
“We're trying to be a local shop, we're trying to appeal to the community,” Makras said. “We have to take input from you guys as a part of our good neighbor policy so any concerns you guys have, it will be implemented into our permit upon opening. You guys are able to almost make the rules for us.”
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