Marijuana Production Facilities Worry Businesses in Otay Mesa

<p><a href="… loading="lazy" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-44440" src="…; alt="" width="300" height="225" srcset="… 300w,… 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px"></a></p>
<p>The business sector in Otay Mesa is worried about the establishment of marijuana production facilities in the area since the retail sale of this drug became legal at the state level on Jan. 1.</p>
<p>Unlike marijuana dispensaries, which are limited to four per City of San Diego District, marijuana production facilities are limited to 40 within the City of San Diego and they are approved through a conditional use permit process. There are currently nine applications in Otay Mesa moving forward in the permitting process.</p>
<p>Businesses and organizations, such as the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, would have the opportunity to voice support or concerns before the City Planning Commission and City Council.</p>
<p>More than 30 people including business owners and future managers of the marijuana production facilities to be established in Otay Mesa gathered at the Otay Mesa Planning Group on Wednesday, Jan. 17, to talk about the issue.</p>
<p>Representatives from four different marijuana production facilities gathered at the meeting to seek support from the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce in the permit process. The City of San Diego has the final decision over the permits, but the voice of the business owners is welcomed in the process.</p>
<p>The main concern among business owners in Otay Mesa is the possibility of increased costs regarding security to keep the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) certification. The C-TPAT office within Customs and Border Protection said their users could need an increase to their security system if they are close to a marijuana production facility.</p>
<p>C-TPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program were members are considered to be of low risk, and are therefore less likely to be examined at a U.S. port of entry. The members enjoy a separate lane at the border for their goods.</p>
<p>“We would have physical and on-camera security at our facilities, that is part of the requirements of the state and local authorities so we can establish our business,” said the operator of one of the proposed marijuana production facilities, Angela Pirtle.</p>
<p>Another concern for the business owners in Otay Mesa is the security that would be needed in the community because of the large quantities of marijuana been processed at the facilities.</p>
<p>“We received a lot of comments about the establishments of marijuana production facilities in Otay Mesa, most of the comments were concerns but there were also good comments, so we would wait in our final approval or opposition from the chamber on this new type of businesses,” said executive director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Alejandra Mier y Teran to La Prensa San Diego.</p>

Ana Gomez Salcido