In short meeting, council members approve cannabis lounge, honor police officer

By Ed Martin, Editor
Officer Eric Trevino, Lemoore Police Department
Officer Eric Trevino, Lemoore Police Department
Gary Feinstein, Feinsteinfotos

There were only three council members on hand Tuesday night to conduct the city’s business. Fortunately, there wasn’t much on the agenda, the main item of interest probably the approval of a consumption lounge license planned for a local cannabis dispensary.

The local American Legion, Post 100, also honored a local police officer.

The dispensary, one of two recently approved by the Lemoore City Council, wants to open a consumption lounge (a place for buyers to smoke marijuana). The dispensary and lounge will be operated by the Natural Healing Center (NHC) in the old Bank of America building in downtown Lemoore and is expected to open soon.

Council members voted 3-0 to approve the license needed to operate the lounge.

Recently, the Lemoore City Council approved a project development agreement with NHC, issuing a regulatory permit for a retail cannabis dispensary. It was one of two dispensaries okayed by the city. The other, Woodlake’s Valley Pure, plans to open a dispensary in the existing railroad depot.

The proposed NHC lounge will be “definite and distinct” from the dispensary and will be accessed through a separate entrance, said, local city officials.

There are numerous guidelines and controls associated with a consumption lounge. “It’s kind of like a bar atmosphere,” said Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson. He said there plenty of controls on the site. There is a high-end filtration system, and you cannot smell marijuana on the street. He also noted that the Lemoore Police Department has the authority to shut down the business if it fails to comply with laws and regulations.

“We don’t have any reason to believe that this will cause any issues,” said Olson, who added that Lemoore’s might be the first such “lounge” in the Valley, adding that Coalinga is planning to open a consumption lounge too.

In other actions, the Lemoore American Legion Post 100, represented by its commander, Randy McCord, honored its 2019 Peace Officer of the Year Award, awarding one of its highest honors to Lemoore Police Officer Eric Trevino. An emotional Trevino accepted the award, remembering his friend and fellow officer Jonathan Diaz, killed in November after intervening in a Hanford domestic dispute.

“I want to say something about the officer who got this award last year,” said Trevino, referring to his fellow officer, Diaz. “I just want to say I miss you, bro. I hope I can continue to do good work for you guys.”

Trevino is indeed an active police officer. Chief Michael Kendall cited his numerous commendations and special assignments, including as the department’s newest K-9 handler and his conducting “active shooter” training for his fellow officers. “He’s made a difference in our community,” said Kendall. Trevino was also honored as the Lemoore Police Officer of the Year at last November's Kings County Public Safety Appreciation Luncheon in Hanford.


In short meeting, council members approve cannabis lounge, honor police officer

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