St. Helens neighbors want medical marijuana operation near school gone

St. Helens neighbors want medical marijuana operation near school gone

ST. HELENS, Ore. – This marijuana grow operation is in an unlikely place.

Destination Farms, a medical marijuana nursery, is surrounded by a police station, fire station and two schools.

Some neighbors can’t believe the nursery is allowed to be there and want it gone.

“I would certainly like to see it not be placed there,” said neighbor Linda Briggs. “I just find that totally inappropriate.”

The nursery is run by David Mighell and, according to city documents, he’s growing, not selling, marijuana plants for a handful of patients. There are no signs signaling the type of business. The rest of the building, he said, will be used as a co-op.

The nursery’s location, which is not only close to police and fire stations but within 1,000 feet of Lewis and Clark Elementary School, has ruffled some feathers. The school district, police and fire departments all filed an appeal to force the move of the nursery.

But that’s going to be tough. According to the Oregon Health Authority, there is no state law that prohibits a nursery from growing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

“Medical marijuana in the state of Oregon is legal so presumably there is a place,” Briggs said. “But I don’t think within children’s walking distance – the school, a swimming pool, churches – is the place.”

While Oregon bans marijuana dispensaries from being within 1,000 feet of a school, medical marijuana growers are exempt.

“I think it sends a message that it is not what our community wants or supports,” Briggs said.

A hearing is set for November to hear the appeal and St. Helens City Council will make the final decision.