Medical marijuana is big business and can be very competitive, especially in areas that are just starting to allow pot shops.
The Cathedral City Council recently allowed three medical marijuana dispensaries to be licensed in the city.
The first one to receive a license is Green Cross Phama owned by Maria Scagliotti. Documents from the state of California show that a business Scagliotti owns in Eagle Rock in suspension for failure to pay taxes in 2014.
Nicholas Hughes wants to open his own pot shop, Cathedral City Care Collective, and thinks Scagliotti shouldn’t be allowed to open her’s.
“In the ordinance it says if you were ever convicted of a crime of moral turpitude that you would not be eligible and she has made it this far after being convicted for burglary and forgery, even though that was expunged, we now we have tax problems,” says Hughes.
Scagliotti claims to know nothing about the documents and saw them for the first time today when we knocked on her door. She also claims Hughes just wants her out of the way so he can open up his pot shop.
The building for Green Cross Phama is 800 feet away from the building that would hold Cathedral City Care Collective. The ordinance requires all medical marijuana dispensaries be at least 1000 feet apart.
“When we opened it up for applications they filled out the application and went out and got leases on there business then they submitted those, so no one knew where the other one was going to be,” says Greg Pettis, Mayor Pro-tem for Cathedral City.
Members of the Cathedral City Council say they are not worried about collecting taxes from medical marijuana dispensaries.
“We don’t allow cash sales so the only way that they are going to be able to do any transactions is going to be through special kiosks, which will immediately takes the tax revenue out and submits it to both the city and the state,” says Pettis.
The city is also not concerned with items that have been expunged from Scagliotti’s criminal record.
“It is that this is an item that has been expunged and this has expired many years ago. It wasn’t anything current,” says Pettis.
Hughes still believes medical marijuana patients could be at risk by going to Scagliotti’s dispensary.
“I believe that the handling of medical records should not be handled by someone who has crimes of moral turpitude, who has forgery convictions,” says Hughes.
Cathedral City officials say they have no plans to take away the license from Scagliotti.
“They have not opened and we are waiting on them. They will have to come in if they want to make any improvements to the building that they are in they will have to go through the building department,” says Pettis.