Bay Area City Considers Lifting Cannabis Business Ban On Island

idyllic-beautiful-outdoor-cannabis-garden-wayne-elferingCity of Alameda Considers Cannabusinesses

As several Bay Area cities in California cash in on cannabis nearby Alameda—a former naval base—is finally looking to allow marijuana businesses on its shores. New rules governing marijuana in the city could be in place as early as this fall—right before the state begins recreational marijuana sales.

“At this point, many of us either are or know people with serious health issues,” says breast cancer survivor Mayor Trish Spencer. “Unfortunately, they are not able to purchase (marijuana) here in town. They have to go into Oakland or San Francisco or other cities to talk with someone and then be able to purchase.”

However this isn’t Alameda’s first dance with marijuana businesses. In 2010 we bought weed from the Purple Elephant dispensary on Webster Street above an old Zap car dealership. Purple Elephant was the city’s first and only medical marijuana dispensary—shuttered when city officials took its owner to court. They claimed that he had misled them by describing the club as “miscellaneous retail” on his business application. The city council then enacted a draconian ban on all medical-marijuana dispensaries.

Second time’s a charm

Attitudes have shifted in Alameda. New business like breweries and wineries are attracting a younger more progressive crowd. A crowd that would be as open to marijuana on the island as its city counsel. Earlier this month that council voted 4-1 to draft a new ordinance that could overturn the current ban and allow cannabis businesses. Mayor Spencer has hinted that she’d like to see several dispensaries scattered across the island. And community members are pushing that any new ordinance include preferential treatment ensuring residents get first dibs on the nascent businesses soon sprouting on its soil.

“We’re here to make sure that our local residents are given the opportunity to open a business or have access to their medicine on the island,” Sharon Golden, founder of the Alameda Island Cannabis Community, has said.

Another group Alameda for Safe Cannabis Access is also active. Their slogan? Bringing cannabis to Alameda by Alamedians for Alamedians, group member Rich Moskowitz tells Stuff Stoners Like. Why leave the island or let tax dollars leave the island, Moskowitz says.

Moskowitz along with other ASCA members will be advocating for marijuana at this weekend’s Alameda Art & Wine Festival from 10 am to 6 pm. The group has rented a booth and plans to videotape residents—asking how they feel about cannabis businesses on their home turf. The video will then be shown to council members when they return from summer recess this September.

“Come share your opinion, grab a free t-shirt and sign the petition,” says Moskowitz.

Do you think Alameda should allow marijuana businesses on the island? What kind of businesses would you like to see in town? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below?

One Response to “Bay Area City Considers Lifting Cannabis Business Ban On Island”

  1. Jon Spangler

    I have no objection to responsible and appropriate marijuana use and would support permitting it to be grown and sold here.

    My concern with marijuana–and with all psychoactive drugs, legal and illegal–is that too many people drive, ride bicycles, or operate machinery while under their influence: this includes prescription meds, and alcohol.

    Unfortunately, we do not yet know what levels of marijuana use impair driving in a variety of people. Nor do we know how to detect unsafe (ability-impairing) levels scientifically. The issue of abuse will always be with us and we need to implement proper safety enforcement laws and protocols sooner rather than later.

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