Apache Junction medical marijuana business has new owner, to open in March

A medical marijuana business approved to be at West Apache Trail and South Palo Verde Drive has a new owner seeking a six-month extension to open in March 2019.

A public hearing and consideration of a conditional use permit amendment for the approved non-profit medical marijuana dispensary at 1985 W. Apache Trail Suite No. 4 is to be heard before the Apache Junction Planning and Zoning Commission on July 10. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

Owner Palo Verde Plaza LLC and applicant Svaccha LLC, represented by Adam Baugh of Withey Morris PLC, are requesting to inform the city of new ownership and management entities for the dispensary, seeking a six-month time extension to improve the building and open the dispensary, and wanting to increase the floor area of the proposed dispensary by another 190 square feet.

“The building footprint is not expanding. The increase in floor space is strictly internal, within the walls of the existing building. Suite No. 4 will go from about 1,500 square feet to about 1,7(00) square feet under this proposal,” Rudy Esquivias, senior planner, wrote in a memo to the commission.

A medical-marijuana dispensary is planned on the southwest corner of West Apache Trail and South Palo Verde Drive. (Graphic special to the Independent, from the city of Apache Junction)

The planning and zoning commission on Sept. 12, 2017, approved a conditional use permit request for the operation of a non-profit medical marijuana dispensary for applicant Svaccha LLC, to be located at 1985 W. Apache Trail Suite No. 4, he said.

Svaccha LLC was the recipient of a dispensary license for the Apache Junction Community Health Analysis Area, which includes the city limits east to Gold Canyon and south to north of Pecos Road.

It will be the second medical-marijuana dispensary in the Apache Junction CHAA. Nature’s Wonder Dispensary is at 260 W. Apache Trail.

The dispensary will not have on-site cultivation of medical marijuana, nor will it manufacture infused products. It is a dispensary open to medical-marijuana card-carrying patients only, according to city records.

“The dispensary has in fact, not yet opened, nor has the suite at Palo Verde Plaza been remodeled. Furthermore, since the approval of CUP-5-17, the Svaccha LLC has changed ownership and management entities, thus requiring this CUP amendment request,” Mr. Esquivias said.

The applicant’s requests for a six-month time extension and an expansion of 190 square feet fall under the commission’s discretion, he said.

“The commission may or may not choose to grant these amendments, in which case the applicants will have to complete their improvements and be open for business on or before Sept. 19, 2018 – one year from the date of the signing of the CUP resolution — and within the 1,500 square feet originally proposed for the dispensary’s use,” Mr. Esquivias said.

Recent changes to Svaccha necessitate an update to the existing conditional use permit approval, Mr. Baugh, representing the applicant, said in a June 14 letter to Mr. Esquivas.

The sole member of Svaccha is Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations and Production Facilities LLC and the new manager of Svaccha LLC is Paul Nowak. The management company for Svaccha is Randy Taylor Consulting LLC, which is contracting with SSW Investments III LLC to manage the dispensary, he said in the letter.

“Accordingly, this application requests an amendment to the CUP to reflect this change. To be clear though, the Arizona state dispensary certificate at this location will still be Svaccha as it has always been since the original CUP approval,” Mr. Baugh said.

“The dispensary will be doing business as Nirvana (Center), which is a well-respected, quality operator who has multiple locations across Arizona, including stores in Phoenix, Oro Valley, Glendale and Prescott Valley. Nirvana has been an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary operator for many years and will continue to operate responsibly and in full compliance with all state and local regulations across their group of Arizona stores,” he said.

The additional six-month time extension is from Sept. 12, 2018, to March 12, 2019, he said.

Svaccha is the Hindu word for clean. It also means clear, crystalline, purity – a clean product, then-co-owner Evan Pieser said in an interview after the Feb. 28, 2017, meeting of the planning and zoning commission.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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