Suffolk marijuana dispensary faces opposition

East End residents are voicing their opposition against a proposed medical marijuana dispensary.

As previously reported, Columbia Care New York will run a dispensary out of Riverhead. The state recently approved two medical marijuana dispensaries on Long Island. The other dispensary will be located in Nassau County.

After winning the contract for the dispensary, Columbia indicated that a former Blockbuster video store on Route 58 would be its location.

Some community residents protested the proposition, and the town of Riverhead is now looking to block Columbia Care's plans with a moratorium while the town studies the location issue.

Residents opposed to the dispensary say its proposed location is inappropriate because it is on a major road and in close proximity to homes and a school.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter agrees, saying the town has the right to enact a temporary moratorium because it is important for the community to make sure a medical marijuana dispensary is placed in the right location, away from high-traffic areas, homes and schools.

Walter says a better location could be an industrial area, rather than a business district.

The proposed dispensary's owner says the location will be staffed by licensed pharmacists and will provide "quality medical services in a comfortable, secure environment."

The town is expected to hold a public hearing on the moratorium next month.

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