Guest Editorial

CoCo Farms site not the right fit for Concord

Guest EditorialCONCORD, CA (Nay 24, 2021) — Thank you for your article bringing attention to the new cannabis businesses planning to open in Concord.

One important consideration you may want to include in a future article is that the new CoCo Farms site is less than 90 feet from the Concord Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office at 2344 Stanwell Circle.

At WIC, pregnant women, families and young children receive essential services such as prenatal care, food assistance, and health and nutritional support. Many people receiving services there are already facing health disparities due to race, class, immigration status and/or employment and housing instability.

Cannabis has both medical and recreational uses, although many of the health effects and risks are still unknown. What is known, however, is that breathing marijuana smoke can be harmful to pregnant people and babies. Marijuana smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke and may increase the chances for developmental problems in infants and children.

Also of concern is the adolescent outpatient substance use treatment facility at 2425 Bisso Lane, about 300 feet from the new CoCo Farms site. This is concerningly close for teens who are working to break their addiction to substances. High school students are bussed from Mt. Diablo High to this treatment center, and they name cannabis as one of the most common addictions in their school and community,

I am the coordinator for the Monument Youth Drug and Alcohol Coalition and have spoken with many members of the community who are alarmed regarding the opening of a cannabis business in this location. We think that it does not send a caring, considerate and supportive message to WIC clients and adolescents facing addiction.

We are asking that CoCo Farms be moved to an area farther from where families and young children frequent and that the city more thoroughly review the environment before approving sites in the future.

Related story: Concord names three companies to apply for cannabis ­licenses