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Alameda approves cannabis club
Dispensary will open in former bank on Webster Street
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ALAMEDA — A marijuana club has gotten the nod from the city to open on Webster Street, despite some residents and businesses saying it’s wrong for the location.
The retail recreational dispensary, known as Main Street Supply and approved by the Planning Board on March 11, will take over 1528 Webster St., a spot at the corner of Haight Avenue that once housed a bank.
The club will not, however, have an indoor lounge where customers could smoke and sample marijuana — a room the developer wanted and Alameda officials said would be allowed under the city ordinance.
Planning Board member Ron Curtis called it “tantamount to an opium den” that could undermine public safety if people left the business high.
“The lounge, itself, to me presents a hazard to the neighborhood,” Curtis said.
The board voted 4-2 to approve the use permit.
The International Chi Institute, a martial arts studio, borders the future club, and a Little Caesars pizza restaurant is across the street, which dispensary opponents noted can draw young people and families with children.
A farmers market also is held directly outside the former bank on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“This is not the right location for a cannabis business,” local merchant Anita Ng told the board. “It should be away on a less busy street, and with less kids and family around.”
No one under age 21 can visit the dispensary under state law.
Don Sherratt, a retired administrator with the Alameda Unified School District, said during his career he witnessed young people experimenting with cannabis, then moving on to other drugs.
“No cannabis business should be located around any place that kids use, and this place is located right next door to where kids are,” Sherratt said.
Allen Tai, planning services manager with the city, said the dispensary met the requirements of the city’s ordinance.
“It’s really no different than the bank that was there previously,” Tai said. “It’s no different than a coffee shop. The product that they’re selling is different. And we recognize that there is a need to regulate that type of business.”
The 3,500-square-food dispensary will have no on-site parking and will be open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. each day. It also will offer a delivery service.
The club will have 20 employees, according to Dustin Moore, the chief compliance officer for Main Street Supply.
It plans to work with the Alameda Point Collaborative, a nonprofit at the former U.S. Navy base in Alameda that helps people who were once homeless, to find job-seekers.
“We are also conducting outreach activities to other potential partners, including veterans’ organizations, local colleges and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs,” Moore said in a written statement to the board.
A target date for opening was not available.
Linda Asbury, executive director of the West Alameda Business Association, said the dispensary will benefit the neighborhood.
“This will actually bring more lighting, security, more foot traffic; that will help our neighbors,” Asbury said.
Alameda approves cannabis club Dispensary will open in former bank on Webster Street Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens