Friday, April 16, 2010

Oakland Takes Hard Line Against Cannabis Dispensary

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM

The city appears to be taking an unnecessarily hard-line stance against the Oakland Patient Center medical cannabis dispensary, possibly even moving to shut it down, because of a dispute over a potential ownership change. Deputy City Administrator Arturo Sanchez revoked the dispensary’s business license because the owners failed to notify the city that they’re in the process of selling the club. But according to the Trib, the dispensary’s owners say the move was premature because the sale has not gone through yet.

Under Oakland law, medical cannabis dispensary owners must inform the city when they plan to sell their businesses so the city can complete a background check on the new owner. And Sanchez decided to revoke the club’s permit outright, because he apparently believed that the club had been sold. But the club’s attorneys say the sale isn't final and is contingent on getting city approval of the new owner.

In other words, the whole issue appears to be one big misunderstanding. If the city objects to the new owner, then it has every right to block the sale. But it’s not clear whether the city has even looked into the potential new owner. Instead, Sanchez simply revoked the permit and is now threatening $1,000-a-day fines.

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