Locally-based San Leandro dispensary, not yet in business, may lose permit

Over the past two years, San Leandro has approved three conditional-use permits for medical cannabis dispensaries. None, though, have yet to open for business. But now, the locally-backed group controversially approved by the city council last summer is at risk of losing its permit.

In July 2016, the city council approved the dispensary permit for a group connected to the Davis Street Family Resource Center. The decision to choose the Davis Street Wellness Center, a move some attributed to the lobbying strength of Davis Street’s well-connected city insiders, came after the city approved its first-ever dispensary permit in September 2015 for the Oakland-based Harborside Health Center,

But after nearly year of financial disputes between Davis Street’s founder Rose Padilla Johnson and the city over a delinquent, since paid, loan to the venerable San Leandro non-profit for helping women and children, and opposition over the proposed location of the medical dispensary to be known as the Davis Street Wellness Center, the fate of the permit is up in the air Monday night.

The council will have to decide Monday night whether to rescind the conditional-use permit or postpone any discussion about the proposed dispensary’s fate until after the August recess on Sept. 7.

Council support for the Davis Street Wellness Center permit last July included a one-year deadline that ends this Tuesday for the group to garner approval for the location of the dispensary. The deadline was slipped into the ordinance at the last moment by former Councilmember Jim Prola and is proving highly problematic for the Davis Street Wellness Center.

In the staff report published last week, the city is holding steadfast to the one-year deadline. In fact, in one dispute between Johnson Padilla and the city over the timeline, San Leandro City Manager Chris Zapata emailed to her a video clip showing her agreeing to the one-year deadline during the July 2016 council meeting.

In addition, the city has rebuffed the permit-holder’s desire to open the dispensary on the property of the Davis Street Family Resource Center on Teagarden Street. As the dispute continued, the issue was scheduled to come before the city’s Board of Zoning and Adjustments on July 6.

Prior to the scheduled meeting, according to a staff report, “the applicant was then notified that staff would recommend that the Board of Zoning Adjustments deny approval of the application because staff was unable to make the necessary findings for approval.”

An attorney for the Davis Street Wellness Center sent the city a letter on June 21 requesting postponement of the BZA meeting to Sept. 7. The BZA meeting was later cancelled, therefore, making it unlikely the Davis Street Wellness Center could make the July 18 deadline.

“As a result of the above factors, the applicant will be unable to secure approval of a Conditional Use City of San Leandro permit within 12 months of the issuance of the dispensary operating permit, which was a condition of approval for the medical cannabis dispensary operating permit,” according to the staff report.

Despite a series of moratoriums prohibiting dispensaries in San Leandro and a city council majority often predisposed to focusing on the risks cannabis use posed on children, the city granted its first permit to Harborside in 2015. The direction of the council, at the time, expressed a wait-and-see outlook on granting any future permits.

But the Davis Street Wellness Center bid, which had been rated by the city staff as the second-best choice for the initial permit, quickly ramped up efforts to lobby city officials. Among them, is former San Leandro Councilmember Gordon Galvan, a well-known city insider, who also sits on the Davis Street Family Resource Center Board of Directors.

The city council then reversed its stance toward expanding the number of dispensary permits to three. Davis Street Wellness Center was granted a permit in July 2016 and Blum San Leandro was also given a permit last October.

Categories: cannabis, Chris Zapata, conditional use permit, Davis Street Family Resource Center, Davis Street Wellness Center, Gordon Galvan, Pot Dispensary, Rose Padilla Johnson, san leandro, san leandro city council

3 replies

  1. Clearly Davis Street need better management


  2. By MW:

    Concerning the allegation that supposedly since Davis Street is very politically connected, that might have tilted the decision in its favor as to who got a permit to open a cannabis dispensary, that is obviously ridiculous. In other words, while such things as election campaign contributions, political connections, and under the table bribes, and so forth often determine decisions and permits in such cesspools of corruption as Chicago, New Orleans, and New Jersey, etc, however, and on the other hand, the Bay area's politicians and public officials are very honest people and of the very highest integrity.

    In fact, MOST OF THEM ARE THE VERY BEST THAT MONEY CAN BUY, and which is the reason that such scumbags, charlatans, and parasites as Jim Jones, and later of Jonestown infamy, have always considered the Bay area to be the very most ideal place in the entire world to do their scams.

    In fact in the future I will discuss how San Leandro City Hall rolled over for City Councilman Lee Thomas when he decided that he wanted to build a six foot high fence extending from his property all the way to the sidewalk, AND RIGHT NEXT TO A DRIVEWAY, a fence which if built would totally obstruct visibility, and therefore make it almost inevitable that eventually small children walking along that sidewalk will be seriously injured or killed by automobile traffic.

    (NOTE: A person would have to be far stupider than even extremely seriously mentally retarded to think that the six foot high fence Councilman Lee Thomas wants to build would not be a huge safety hazard, and especially to pedestrians and bicyclists, under even virtually any circumstances. HOWEVER STILL FURTHERMORE, THOMAS's PROPERTY AND THE PROPERTY RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO HIS ARE EVEN RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.)

    So when you bump into any of the big boys in San Leandro City Hall, ask them whether they are some of the sleaziest people of all time, or on the other hand some of the stupidest people of all time, or perhaps both world class stupid and also world class sleazy.

    (NOTE: I had not even heard of Lee Thomas until at the end of last month I read an article in a local newspaper about the situation. So I then drove over and looked at his house, the house next door, and the neighborhood, and it was obvious that allowing him to build that six foot high fence he wants to build would make it inevitable that eventually one or more small children will be at least very seriously injured, and very likely killed, by cars if that six foot high fence is built. However, the sub mental retards and political hacks, er, excuse me, I mean “experts,” in SL City Hall “know” that six foot high fence would not be an extreme safety hazard.)


  3. By MW:

    A further comment. If Councilman Lee Thomas's proposed six foot high fence does end up being built, since then most likely at least one small child will eventually end up being seriously injured or killed by a car, therefore I hope the city of San Leandro will soon start putting considerable money each year in a special reserve fund to cover the at least millions, and possibly tens of millions, of dollars to compensate the family, or families, of any small children who are injured or killed due to that fence.

    In fact from SL's standpoint it would be much better financially if any children hit by a car due to that fence were killed rather than seriously injured, since for each person killed very likely the total financial damages would not exceed a few million dollars, and might even end up being less than one million dollars, however for any person seriously injured and expected to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his her life the financial damages and medical bills could easily end up in the tens of millions of dollars.

    In fact before certain public officials are allowed to have their meetings and engage in their “investigations,” first they should be drug tested.


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