City Council support for cannabis in Alameda is building

Alameda Mayor Tish Herrera Spencer

The push for cannabis dispensaries and cultivation facilities in recent years in Oakland and San Leandro has long eluded Alameda where a moratorium has made the burgeoning industry a non-starter in local politics. That appears to be changing and quickly after the Alameda City Council laid at a short timeline that will soon begin the debate over dispensaries as early as September.

A referral brought forward by Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer that has languished on the council’s agenda for more than a month, revealed a council more than willing to begin the groundwork for a cannabis policy that may include permitting for dispensaries and various means of cannabis production on the island.

Spencer said Wednesday that she hopes the city expedites the process, specifically related to cannabis dispensaries. During the meeting, she spoke at length about her previous bout with breast cancer and the debilitation symptoms that followed due to chemotherapy.

Alameda resident with a valid cannabis card need to travel to Oakland and San Francisco for information, she said. “At this point, many of us, or those who know people with serious health issues, unfortunately, they’re not able to purchase in town,” said Spencer. “Time is critical, which is why I brought this referral.”

The council voted to proceed with the referral, 4-1, with Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft voting no. However, city staff was already in the process of compiling data on the issue, said City Manager Jill Keimach. A similar cannabis referral was offered last year by Councilmember Jim Oddie.

Keimach expects a cannabis industry consultant to address the council at the first meeting in September. In addition, a general quality of life survey sent by the city to residents, said Keimach, will include a question about the potential for allowing the cannabis industry to do business in Alameda.

One defining feature of Spencer’s referral is the possibility of forming an ordinance that would favor potential cannabis permits for Alameda residents. Oddie raised the possibility of crafting an ordinance that could bifurcate the permitting process to include outside and local cannabis businesses owners.

Spencer, however, was clear that she wants dispensaries in Alameda “sooner than later” and seeks to avoid a lengthy debate on the issue similar to the year-long discussion recently concluded for the city’s animal shelter contract.

Spencer’s support for a dispensaries in Alameda was so clear that one public speaker belonging to a local group of cannabis entrepreneurs offered Spencer advice, at another time, for tailoring a specific strain of cannabis to help medicate whatever ails the mayor. Spencer appeared receptive to the offer.

But, any ordinance allowing the cannabis business in Alameda, will not have the authority to tax business licenses or sales until November 2018, at the earliest. Keimach says the likelihood for placing a tax-generating initiative on the ballot next year is also being studied.

Categories: Alameda, Alameda City Council, Alameda Island Cannabis Community, cannabis, cultivation, dispensaries, Jill Keimach, Jim Oddie, Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Trish Spencer

5 replies

  1. By MW:

    While I do not live in the city of Alameda, however I do live in Alameda County, specifically in an unincorporated section, and regardless, I cannot think of any major benefit to infesting our area with medical marijuana dispensaries other than that those politicians who push for them will be able to collect a fortune in election campaign contributions and/or under the table bribes.

    I remember some years ago when the total budget for Alameda County was somewhere between1.5 and 2 Billion dollars per year (that is Billion with a B), it was then estimated that allowing medical marijuana clinics in the unincorporated section of the County would have brought in an additional 500K per year in tax money, and which therefore caused such proponents as Nate Miley to use that as “proof” that the presence of medical marijuana clinics would have been a “wonderful” thing.

    However, 500K dollars versus 1.5 Billion dollars would have been only about one-thirtieth of one percent, or similar to if a person with an income of exactly three thousand dollars per month had received a raise of exactly only one dollar additional per month.

    Anyone who thinks that for a raise of exactly only one dollar per month on top of three thousand dollars per month it would have been worth jeopardizing their children, their neighborhood's safety, and additionally even drastically increasing the costs of welfare, law enforcement ,and fire protection is most likely even stupider than Nadia Lockyer and/or already on crack cocaine.

    However, Nate Miley and the other proponents of medical marijuana clinics never stop talking about the “awesome” benefits of the “huge” flows of revenue streams we will get if we allow medical marijuana clinics to infest our county.

    And still furthermore, some years ago when the debate was just getting started as to whether or not AC should have medical marijuana clinics, various members of the AC Board of Supervisors, and especially Nate Miley, repeatedly assured us, and in their “wisdom,” that any fears we little and “ignorant” members of the general public had that the presence of medical marijuana clinics would cause increased crime were totally groundless.

    And even after the first medical marijuana clinics opened, and then became the sites of holdups, shootings, and murders, Nate Miley still “knew” that they would not be magnets for crime.

    To become President of the United States it is an absolute requirement that a person be at least thirty-fife years old. Is it a requirement that in order to become a member of the AC Board of Supervisors, a person must be a professional pathological liar and/or suffering from the very most extreme form of mental retardation!!!


  2. By MW:

    Last night, and while watching the 11PM news, I first heard about the murder of Manuel Romero, and who evidently was killed a few days earlier.

    Evidently Romero had a job as a driver for a medical marijuana service, and there are considerable suspicions that his murder was linked to his job, and although most likely AC Board of Supervisors member Nate Miley, and who “knows” that the presence of marijuana businesses do not lead to increased crime, shootings, and murders, will most likely insist it was just a coincidence.

    While a representative of the AC Sheriff's Office also made a comment on the news that he thought it was likely the murder of Romero was linked to the fact that Romero was a driver for a marijuana delivery service, however it should be illegal for anyone, and including any employee of the Sheriff's Office, to say anything that would be contradictory to Miley's virtually non-stop lies, garbage, and nonsense.

    In fact, I am waiting for the day that Nate “Big Mouth” Miley is actually right about anything, and regardless of whether we are talking about the “benefits” of having medical marijuana clinics, or anything else.


  3. Hi Steven,

    I am the founder of Alameda Island Cannabis Community (AICC). We are a movement with residents, by residents, for residents, mostly comprised of patients and adult users.

    In this article you say, “Spencer's support for a dispensaries in Alameda was so clear that one public speaker belonging to a local group of cannabis entrepreneurs offered Spencer advice, at another time, for tailoring a specific strain of cannabis to help medicate whatever ails the mayor. Spencer appeared receptive to the offer.”

    One of Melodye's businesses is to help patients find a regimen of cannabis products that helps relieve or improve their condition. When Melodye said “Trish, I would like to talk to you about CBD for your bones,” she was not offering to 'tailor a specific strain of cannabis to help medicate whatever ails the mayor,' but rather suggesting an evidence based, non-psychoactive cannabinoid to help the mayor continue through her triple-negative breast cancer journey, which has thinned her bones and led to her having to get blood infusions.

    I understand that this may be somewhat similar to people who are unfamiliar with canna-science, but CBD is a cannabinoid, not a strain. Back in the day, it was thought that THC was the only cannabinoid, and other cannabinoids were “precursors” to THC. Now we know that each cannabinoid has unique properties that have been proven to relieve specific conditions. There are “CBD-rich strains” which means strains that test higher for CBD than THC, but healing comes from the ratios of CBD:THC, not within a specific strain.

    For more information on CBD, please visit, and read this article

    Sharon Golden

    For more information about AICC, follow Alameda Island Cannabis Community on Facebook.


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