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Sacramento officials deny request to boot cannabis dispensary retailer

Two Sacramento women business owners are settling their dispute over the proximity of a developing cannabis retail shop and a neighboring detox center.
Credit: City of Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to deny Diamond House Detox CEO Vicky Magobet's request to have a cannabis retailer relocate away from her substance abuse treatment center.

"As business owners, it is your responsibility to make it work," Councilmember Sean Loloee said Tuesday. "We did our job, now the rest is on you."

City officials generally agreed the planning and location issues should not have gone on unaddressed so long. The first public hearing regarding the dispute between the two business owners was held in September 2022.

For Tuesday's council meeting, both prospective cannabis retailer La Krisha Young and Diamond House Detox CEO Vicky Magobet were called to answer questions before the city officials voted.

Magobet argued that she was unaware of the cannabis retailer's prospective location up until recently because her landlord failed to notify her.

But after becoming Magobet aware, she appealed the location and said should it should have never been allowed to develop so close to her detox center because the cannabis retailer could negatively affect her clients.

As a recipient of Sacramento's cannabis equity program CORE, Young said the city should support her development at the location.

"If it was a concern that (my location) would trigger her clients as they are coming out, I was willing to meet in the middle and make sure I remove visible cues that might trigger them," she said.

Young also revealed she received no help from city officials in finding a location for her cannabis retail shop.

The business owners' city councilmember, Mai Vang, agreed that CORE program recipients should receive preferential treatment by the city over noncity-sponsored cannabis retailers.

"This situation just all around is really disappointing because I really see it as pitting two women businesses against each other," she said. "But what is actually more problematic is this scenario of this case really highlights the flaw in our planning system. I also would argue a flaw in our CORE Program."

While Councilmember Lisa Kaplan said she was sympathetic to Magobet's clients and the triggers they may face, Young still had a right to that business space.

"This is a land use issue, it's not an emotional decision, that's what's hard," she said.

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela said focusing on ridding the area of cannabis to protect substance abuse patients ignores the fact that many other shops selling tobacco and alcohol are in the area.

According to Sacramento city officials, businesses within 600 feet of Diamond House Detox include:

  • Two tobacco retailers
  • Six businesses selling alcohol

Though Magobet previously said her attorneys advised her not to speak alone with Young, the detox center CEO now says she is willing to mediate with her in the presence of city officials to settle their disputes.

"There have been so many negative comments about my character, my business and my clients that I didn't want anything unobserved by a neutral party. That's why I involved legal (teams)," Magobeth said Tuesday.

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