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Politics

San Diego's First Legal Pot Co-Op Holds Grand Opening

People line up in front of A Green Alternative in Otay Mesa on the day of its grand opening, March 20, 2015.
Tarryn Mento
People line up in front of A Green Alternative in Otay Mesa on the day of its grand opening, March 20, 2015.

San Diegans officially have the first legal location to purchase their medical marijuana.

After about a 13-month process, A Green Alternative in Otay Mesa held its grand opening Friday morning.

Patient Brittany Charlton from Chula Vista said she’s relieved to have a close and secure location to purchase cannabis.

"Especially because it’s certified,” Charlton, a graphic designer said. “Everything is legitimate, so that’s great because the other places getting shut down is just kind of weird and then innocent bystanders that just want to medicate don’t want to have to deal with that really."

Charlton was among just more than a dozen customers waiting Friday to have her paperwork confirmed at the cooperative’s entrance.

CEO David Blair said a few dozen customers visited the cooperative on Wednesday, the day of it’s soft opening. That number quadrupled on Thursday, he said.

The SDSU ethics lecturer said he’s already considering expanding.

“As we open today and get all of the kinks out of our system, we’re starting to look for a second site,” Blair said.

He had planned for a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, but Blair said both were not available to attend.

At the opening, at least three security guards were on duty and customers were entering the store through a metal detector. Blair has said he wants to go above and beyond the city’s minimum regulations for safety and security.

Earlier this month, two other cooperatives were granted conditional use permits to open their doors.

INTERACTIVE VIDEO: A Medical Marijuana Cooperative's Long Road To Becoming Legal