by: Megan Rupe
“Marijuana no, football, si!”
A chant not for a team playing here at the Merced Indoor Sports Center, but for its future.
Michelle Lopez remembers the moment her future on this field started, at 3-years-old.
“The fact that they’re going to close this down, it breaks my heart,” Lopez said.
Early September, the Merced planning commission voting unanimously in favor of the landlord’s request for company Organic Trichome Inc. to come in, grow and distribute cannabis and cannabis products.
Tenant Fernando Aguilera furious, not at his landlord, but the city.
“Frank Quintero, you the economic specialist, you the one that brings business,” Aguilera said. “So your job is closing business, to bring marijuana?”
Property owner Jim Moulton telling us over phone, he first talked with Aguilera back in August.
He’s planning to give Aguilera until December to move, saying quote, “We have chosen a different path to move forward with in regards to our rental properties.
“At the same time we respect Merced indoor soccer and are actively working with them in order to secure a new location.”
Aguilera doesn’t blame Moulton, but says facility options in Merced are limited.
The city says, they’re also working closely with Aguilera.
Aguilera says, he’s had one email.
“Mike Murphy, Carrigan, city council, planning commissioner, ask those questions,” Aguilera said. “Why they not here, why they never call me?
“I want to see exactly how they do this decision, I want to go deeper.”
Reporting in Merced, Megan Rupe.