Deadline approaches to apply for permits for marijuana clinics

August 25, 2005

Karen Holzmeister, Oakland Tribune

By next week, Adele Morgan hopes to scrape up $7,000 to try to save her medical marijuana clinic and the Lewelling Boulevard storefront where she has been in business for more than five years.

Tuesday is the deadline to submit applications for three prized dispensary permits in unincorporated areas.

Morgan, co-owner of We Are Hemp, has to raise $4,000 to cover the application and employee processing costs, and another $3,000 for her monthly rent.

"I don't have money laying around, and I don't make

$40,000 a day," Morgan said Wednesday. "I don't like the application fee or the (application) process. We've tried to build ourselves up, and we've had no problems."

She also was in a feisty mood Wednesday because of the attention focused on the area's cannabis clubs as a result of last Friday's robbery at another dispensary on Foothill Boulevard in unincorporated San Leandro.

One of the suspected robbers died as a result of injuries; the county Sheriff's Department has arrested others.

"Robbers have to know that they can't get away with this and that we are going to fight back," she said.

There are six dispensaries operating in Ashland, Cherryland and San Lorenzo. In June, Alameda County supervisors agreed to halve that number, but added Castro Valley as one of the communities where a sales outlet could be located.

Sheriff's Capt. Stephen Roderick said Wednesday that only one application — from the Alameda County Resource Center on East 14th Street in Ashland — has been filed.

County administrators — including representatives of the planning, health and sheriff's departments — will review the documents, check out the applicants and select the permit holders in the fall.

The applicants are not limited to current dispensary operators, although all are expected to submit applications.

Jack Norton, who operates The Health Center just down East 14th Street from the resource center, said he will turn in application forms by the deadline.

"I'm just making sure everything is accurate," he said late Wednesday afternoon while standing outside his business.

 

The robbery at A Natural Source dispensary on Foothill Boulevard has posed no problems for The Health Center, Norton said, save for some initial confusion among his customers over which marijuana club had been attacked.



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