Medical marijuana clinic picture clears

April 04, 2006

, ANG Newspapers

Two years ago, unincorporated areas were atwitter when medical marijuana clinics began moving south after Oakland downsized the number of dispensaries allowed to operate within city limits.

Almost overnight, six cannabis clubs opened in Ashland and Cherryland, joining the longstanding We Are Hemp in San Lorenzo.

On Tuesday, Alameda County supervisors literally "mapped" the future of clinics in Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland and San Lorenzo.

With Supervisor Scott Haggerty absent, supervisors Keith Carson, Alice Lai-Bitker, Nate Miley and Gail Steele voted to adopt a revised map identifying where no more than three dispensaries can operate in unincorporated areas.

The change will be effective in 30 days.

The vote was taken without comment, either from supervisors or the public.

The geographical mapping is in addition to a 2005 decision by supervisors to limit the number of clinics to three, and to set up a permit application process.

Thus far, in Ashland alone, one club closed voluntarily and another closed after its permit application was denied.

A Natural Source on Foothill Boulevard in Ashland is close to shutting its doors, also after supervisors turned down its permit application last month.

Tuesday's action:

Added the Garden of Eden dispensary on Foothill Boulevard in south Cherryland to east Ashland-Castro Valley, known as Area Three. With A Natural Source's closing, the Garden of Eden is guaranteed the permit for this area.

The Garden of Eden's move to Area Three leaves the Alameda County Resource Center and Compassionate Caregivers of Alameda County to compete for the operating permit in Area Two, northwest Ashland and the rest of south Cherryland.

We are Hemp on Lewelling Boulevard already has the permit for Area One, San Lorenzo and north-central Cherryland.

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