(FOX 11) - Lynwood residents joined in a small, but strong protest against the opening of medical marijuana grow houses in their city.
"We just strongly feel that opening a manufacturing cultivation plant would potentially be a distributor for the local dispensaries, we do not want that in Lynwood," resident, Mayra Hernandez, said.
There are no dispensaries in the city, but an ordinance has been proposed that would allow five grow houses to open in the industrial part.
Vice Mayor Aide Castro hosted a town hall meeting with a panel of cultivators and lawyers to share what she said is the economic benefits of the business.
"It is an opportunity for us to take advantage of economic development to produce jobs as well as revenue for the community," Aide Castro, Vice Mayor City of Lynwood, said.
Castro said the city is facing a $1.5 million budget deficit. She said money raised from the grow houses would help close the gap and that had some residents interested.
"“Frankly we could use the money, but I still got to find out what it’s about," Paulette Bradley, Lynwood resident, said.
Roughly 50 people attended the town hall Thursday night.
Former city council member Ramon Rodriguez said the attendance is a tell tale sign of how the greater community feels.
“If the community was in favor to it they would come and support it,” Rodriguez said.
Those opposed to the ordinance believe the grow houses would promote drug use among youth and attract crime crime and promote drug use among youth.
“We don’t want to jeopardize our children, our youth, our families,” Hernandez said.
Under the ordinance the facilities must stand at least 600 feet from schools and daycares and 50 feet from residential neighborhoods.
On Friday, September 30, opponents will host their own community forum at 7 p.m. at San Emydius Catholic Church, 10900 California Avenue in Lynwood.
Castro said the earliest the council would vote on the ordinance is November.
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