3 marijuana businesses win OK in Costa Mesa as another is put on hold

Three new marijuana facilities were approved by the Costa Mesa Planning Commission on Monday. A decision on a fourth was postponed, pending a special meeting Monday.
(Photo by David Dermer / AP)

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission this week approved three new marijuana facilities but postponed a decision on a fourth due to the absence of one commissioner, whose vote likely will decide the fate of the business.

After two commissioners expressed support and two expressed opposition for Triiad’s proposal for a marijuana distribution facility, the panel voted 3-1 on Monday night, with Commissioner Jeffrey Harlan absent, to hold a special meeting Monday to reexamine the matter. Commissioner Carla Navarro Woods dissented.

The proposed location at 3525 Hyland Ave., Suite 265, is in Hyland Plaza, north of South Coast Collection in an area identified under city law as permissible for marijuana uses.

Triiad is seeking to distribute and transport prepackaged cannabis products. It projected receiving two or three shipments a week, with outbound shipments every day, usually before or after normal business hours or on weekends.

Chris Larocca, one of the owners, said the facility would contain any odors with air filtration systems and that the products would be in locked containers.

“We intend to really bring best practices to this industry,” Larocca said.

Several Hyland Plaza tenants said they oppose Triiad moving in.

Matthew Vanselow, a facility security officer for 90meter Inc., said his software business in Suite 140 relies on federal contracts. Considering that cannabis is still prohibited under federal law, he said he doesn’t know how visiting agents from the FBI and other federal agencies would react if Triiad were operating nearby.

It could jeopardize his employees’ security clearances and 90meter’s contracts, Vanselow said.

Though the commission did not take a formal vote on Triiad’s request, Woods and Commissioner Byron de Arakal indicated they were not in favor of it.

De Arakal questioned the company’s claim to be a nonprofit though it didn’t provide proof. Woods called the business incompatible with the proposed area.

Chairman Stephan Andranian and Commissioner Jon Zich indicated they would favor the application. Zich argued it would work in the area.

The three approved facilities are all cannabis product manufacturing businesses planned for the Cambridge Park development at 3505 Cadillac Ave.

The commission approved requests for AuBio Labs LLC in Building O, Suite 201; Tranz LLC in Building M, Suite 102; and Potology LLC in Building H.

Bradley Zint is a contributor to Times Community News.