Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday's Briefing: Oakland Awards Eight More Pot Dispensary Permits; Pandora Says Oakland Is Too Costly and Will Expand in Atlanta

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 10:07 AM

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Stories you shouldn't miss for Feb. 1, 2018:

1. The city of Oakland awarded eight more cannabis dispensary permits, raising the total of legal weed sellers to 16 in the city, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle. The city awarded four pot-selling permits to general applicants based on criteria that included whether they will hire Oakland residents - they are: Kanna Inc., Have a Heart, Ron Leggett, and Three Turkeys Management LLC. In addition, the city gave four permits via a lottery to equity applicants: Alphonso T. Blunt Jr.; Marshall Crosby; Rickey McCullough; and Zhongzhang Yan.

2. Internet radio company Pandora - one of Oakland's largest private employers - announced that it's laying off 5 percent of its local workforce and plans to expand in Atlanta because the Oakland area is too expensive, reports Rex Crum of the Bay Area News Group$. Pandora said Atlanta provides "a significant opportunity to add instrumental talent in a region with lower costs than the company's headquarters in Oakland."

3. Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri is asking the city council to allocate $500,000 for license plate readers to be installed on the island's borders with Oakland, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The camera would be installed "near the Webster and Posey tubes and near the bridges that link Alameda with Oakland, as well as at Doolittle Drive and Harbor Bay Parkway, and at Ron Cowan and Harbor Bay parkways." Rolleri claims the cameras will lower crime. The city of Piedmont installed similar cameras on its borders with Oakland in 2013.

4. California is flush with so much tax revenue that the state will have to start spending more money soon on infrastructure or other services or provide tax refunds to residents, reports Adam Ashton of the Sacramento Bee$. The state's rainy-day reserve is expected to reach its maximum allowed by law - $13.5 billion - next year.

5. The San Francisco District Attorney's Office said it will move to clear the records or reduce convictions of people convicted of marijuana offenses that are now no longer unlawful under Prop. 64, reports Evan Sernoffsky of the San Francisco Chronicle$.

6. Investigators in Richmond are working to determine the cause of a large scrap metal fire earlier this week that prompted a shelter-in-place order for city residents for 10 hours, the East Bay Times$ reports. No one was injured in the blaze at Sims Metal Management.

7. Law enforcement officials say they've broken up a massive car-break-in ring in which thieves stole laptops and other electronic equipment and then shipped them to Vietnam for sale on the black market, reports Robert Salonga of the Mercury News$. Authorities announced charges against nine residents from Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.

8. And California might have to spend $100 million in public funds to dismantle two off-shore oil rigs off the Ventura County coast, because the companies that owned the rigs went bankrupt last year, reports Laurel Rosenhall of CalMatters.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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