6 pot clubs rush to fill three spots
July 28, 2005
Matt O\'Brien , Daily ReviewThe six medical marijuana clinics in unincorporated Alameda County have begun fighting to stay in business now that a county ordinance states only three clubs can operate. The six rival pot club owners began drawing applications for the available slots on July 21, launching into a competitive review process that, if you believe the lore of local pot club employees, is as rigorous as that a U.S. Supreme Court appointee faces. County supervisors, frustrated by the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that had sprouted up in the small unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo and Castro Valley, voted in June to create an ordinance that limits the allowable number of dispensaries to three. The ordinance also states that the clubs already operating dispensaries in the unincorporated areas have the first opportunity to get the three coveted slots. But if the sheriff's department and the committee of county officials cannot find three out of those six clubs that qualify for the permits, it can open up the application process to others, Bond said. The application period opened July 21 and will close Aug. 30, but five of the existing dispensaries already have applied and the other is in the process of applying. The new county ordinance is designed so that the clinics — many of them now clustered in the same few blocks of East 14th Street and Mission Boulevard — must be in three separate districts. Bond said the businesses that have applied so far are the following: - The Alameda Resource Center, 16250 E. 14th St., Ashland. - We Are Hemp, 913 E. Lewelling Blvd., San Lorenzo/Ashland. - Compassionate Collective of Alameda County, 21222 Mission Blvd., Cherryland. - The Health Center, 15988 E. 14th St., Ashland. - A Natural Source, 16360 Foothill Blvd., east of Interstate 580 near Ashland/Castro Valley. A sixth clinic, Garden of Eden, 16360 Foothill Blvd., in Castro Valley, just northwest of the Hayward border, was in the process of applying this week, the club's lawyer, Dennis Roberts, said Wednesday. A seventh clinic, the Oakland-based chain Compassionate Caregivers had a branch on East 14th Street this year but the owners closed it down following a criminal investigation. Bond said the sheriff's department will conduct security checks on all of the businesses to make sure the clinics comply with a specific list of required conditions. 'They have to have adequate parking. The health department will take a look at the building. There have to be bathrooms in the place,' Bond said. 'Those are the major things, right there.' Matt O'Brien can be reached at (510) 293-2473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.