OLIVETTE, Mo. – A vacant building on Olive Boulevard is causing some controversy. The city of Olivette is considering using that property for a marijuana dispensary. If approved, Sunrise Dispensary would be the first dispensary in the city.
“We’re not fully opposed to it, we just don’t want it in our backyard,” said Christina Hundley, an Olivette resident.
A top concern for residents is increased traffic.
“It’s already pretty bad trying to make a left-hand turn out of here and then fighting the westbound traffic,” said Nathan Antoine. “The cars that speed down Olive and so with traffic cars coming onto residential streets is only going to make that worse.”
In Sunrise’s permit application, it plans to make Olive Boulevard’s entrance the only one with a connection to the next-door shopping center.
A nearby school bus drop-off and education center are another worry for parents.
“While all clientele might not necessarily be that way, there may be a few shady people that we may have concerns with,” Hudley said. “That may approach our children.”
This leads to more questions about safety and the potential for crime.
However, Sunrise details in their permit application a security plan that includes cameras, glass break sensors, motion detectors, security lights, and panic alarms.
“I don’t know if it’ll affect them that much,” said James Jones. “Financially, I don’t know how much it’ll bring into this area and where it will go; our taxes are still high.”
Sunrise Dispensary said, if approved, the city of Olivette will gain $247,500 in tax revenue while also creating 35 jobs.
Neal Minor, Chief Administrative Officer for Sunrise Dispensary, said in the following statement:
The proposed Sunrise Dispensary at 9270 Olive Blvd meets all of the state and city criteria and will positively contribute to meeting the goals defined in the City’s Comprehensive Strategic Plan. This location on Olive Blvd sits within a major retail corridor and main thoroughfare with over 33,000 cars per day. Increase in traffic from this business will be negligible, particularly in comparison to recent nearby developments.
We have an experienced team that has successfully managed 25 stores across 10 states, with a proven track record of safe and compliant operations and strong community partnership. We go to great lengths to be a responsible corporate citizen and positive contributor to the communities within which we operate.
While some residents are averse to the location, the loudest voices certainly don’t represent the majority. The voters of Olivette overwhelmingly supported the legalization of marijuana. Sunrise is excited to bring legal cannabis to Olivette in a safe, responsible, and respectful way.
FOX 2 contacted the City of Olivette for comment, but we have yet to receive a response.