Marijuana Club Proposed For Fisherman's Wharf

June 08, 2006

Simon Perez, CBS 5 - TV

Some neighbors are pretty upset at the idea of a marijuana dispensary trying to get a perrmit to set up shop in Fisherman's Wharf. But the man who wants to open the store says neighbors have no need to worry; he'll be different. "It should be treated just like a Walgreen's, basically. Patients are still going to need a place to get their medication," said Kevin Reed, president of The Green Cross, which used to dispense medical marijuana in the city before the city cracked down on the proliferation of cannabis clubs last year.

Reed has been meeting with community groups, making them this promise: "We will definitely be different."

The proposed store at 2701 Leavenworth would not violate the city's new code, which only bans marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools or recreation centers, or in residential areas entirely.

The city enacted the code after many neighbors complained of people smoking on the streets, double-parking, and loitering.

Reed guarantees none of that will be allowed at his place and is setting up nearly two dozen cameras to make sure.

Anthony Gantner of the North Beach Merchants Association has heard Reed's promises but says right now, the merchants aren't for or against the proposed store.

"If there is to be a medical marijuana dispensary within our neighborhood, it's going to be somewhat of a leap off faith," Reed said.

Other neighborhood groups are more certain they don't like the idea. In addition to the tourist attractions, they complain Galileo High School is just a few blocks away.

At the Buena Vista Café, owner Bob Freeman says he's not on a crusade to stop the dispensary, but, "I just don't know if it fits in with this family-friendly-type neighborhood in terms of Fisherman's Wharf."

The Planning Commission has a public hearing July 13 on whether to allow a new type of business at Fisherman's Wharf.

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