Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Marijuana ordinance to get airing in San Lorenzo

By Jason Sweeney
The Daily Review
Posted: 04/07/2009 04:02:39 PM PDT
Updated: 04/07/2009 04:02:40 PM PDT

SAN LORENZO — Concerns over medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated
Alameda County will be discussed later this month at a public meeting with
the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

The April 22 session will mark the first Board of Supervisors meeting to be
held in San Lorenzo, officials said.

"The community is going to give input on what conditions the dispensaries
should be allowed to run," San Lorenzo Village Homes Association
administrator Nancy Van Huffel said, adding that local residents want to
have a say on security requirements, hours of operation and location, among
other conditions.

A large crowd is expected for the meeting. Speakers at a recent meeting of
the Village Homes Association voiced concern that large numbers of marijuana
advocates from other counties might show up.

The current county ordinance allows for three medical marijuana dispensaries
in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County. However, guidelines released
in August by state Attorney General Jerry Brown permit dispensaries only if
they qualify as a statutory cooperative or a collective.

"The Board of Supervisors will review current developments around medical
marijuana regulations, including the attorney general's opinion and any new
court cases and how those new developments affect the county's medical
marijuana dispensary ordinance," the office of Supervisor Nate Miley said in
a statement. "Supervisor Miley hopes that the results of the meeting will be
that the Board of Supervisors gives county counsel direction on revising our
ordinance so that we can continue to provide medical marijuana to patients
in the unincorporated communities."

Of the three dispensaries that have operated locally since 2005:

# The Compassionate Collective of Alameda County at 21222 Mission Blvd. in
Hayward closed in 2007 after a Drug Enforcement Administration raid.

# The Garden of Eden at 21227 Foothill Blvd. in Hayward recently shut down

# We Are Hemp at 931 E. Lewelling Blvd. in Cherryland was raided in late
2008 and shut its doors, but reopened about three weeks ago. According to an
employee, it is now operating as a collective — defined as "an entity that
is incorporated with the state and conducts its business for the mutual
benefit of its members."


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