Bob Blodgett and Lonna Lewis Blodgett lean on a glass countertop illuminated by light panels that look like a cloud-streaked blue sky.

They’re in their showroom just a few days away from an April 17 opening. The goods to be stocked: marijuana for smoking, eating and rubbing into skin.

The Blodgetts are opening Monterey County’s first medical cannabis dispensary, Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine, where they’ll bring dozens of varieties of pot in different forms to treat ailments from anxiety to pain to seizures.

Lonna suffers from neuropathy in her face and neck. She’d tried commercial prescriptions to dull the pain, but the side effects made her face feel numb and gave her headaches.

“The pain is very sharp and intense, but right now, it’s gone,” Lonna says.

Bob, her husband, jumps in: “CBD turns out to be a miracle drug.”

He’s talking about cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive extract from marijuana. They’ll stock a particularly high-CBD strain when they open for business in tiny Del Rey Oaks.

“We’re the guinea pig and everyone’s watching,” City Manager Daniel Dawson says. “[The Blodgetts] dispel the myth that it’s a bunch of dreadlocked young people that don’t do anything except sit around and smoke pot.”

Bob Blodgett said they found Del Rey Oaks at the right moment. “They gave us the opportunity and trusted us,” he says. “They liked our résumés.”

Their résumés include, for Lonna: fostering more than 50 children and owning a trophy shop in Capitola. For Bob: promoting rock concerts and producing documentaries.

They also include eight years growing marijuana in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties for their own collective. It started with the Blodgetts and another couple, and it now has 68 members. After reading the Weekly’s 2014 story on cannabusiness opportunities, they decided to look for a place to open in Del Rey Oaks.

They bought a building on the corner of Fremont Boulevard and Canyon del Rey for $1.5 million and gutted the place. One upstairs room will serve as a community space for lectures and workshops, and the other, with views of the Safeway parking lot across the street, will serve as a DRO police substation, rent-free.

City Council may place a marijuana sales tax measure on the November ballot, Dawson says. Council has until August to approve a ballot measure, allowing them a few months to see how the business is going.

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Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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