San Leandro’s first dispensary is set to finally open

PHOTO/Wiki Commons.

It’s been more than three years since San Leandro approved its first-ever medical cannabis dispensary permit. Two others were later approved, but to the consternation of city officials, none have opened its doors for business, until now.

Blüm San Leandro, which is the third permitted operator, will be the first to begin collecting tax revenue for the city when they open their door this Friday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at Blüm San Leandro’s location, Jan. 11, 10 a.m., at 1915 Fairway Drive, near Kaiser Permanente. Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter and City Manager Jeff Kay are expected to provide remarks.

San Leandro voters easily approved a ballot measure allowing the city to begin taxing medical cannabis sales, but with the absence of an operating dispensary, no receipts have been collected.

The first San Leandro medical cannabis permit was awarded to Harborside of Oakland in 2015. A city ordinance was later amended to include a second permit, which was received by the Davis Street Wellness Center in the summer of 2016. The ordinance was yet again amended for a third dispensary, even though the first two had not yet opened.

During the city’s initially bidding process in 2015, Blüm San Leandro was ranked third behind Harborside and the Davis Street Wellness Center. Without a new public bidding process, Cutter advocated for Blüm San Leandro receiving the third permit, which it did. “We have a candidate that is qualified and I would like to award it to Blüm,” Cutter said in September 2016.

Months later San Leandro voters easily approved a ballot measure allowing the city to begin taxing medical cannabis sales, but with the absence of an operating dispensary, no receipts have been collected. City staff have estimated annual tax receipts of around $500,000 from medical cannabis sales.

Last month, Cutter voiced displeasure with the lack of movement on the dispensary front and the lack of cannabis business taxes. She focused her ire, however, on Harborside and suggested their permit could be revoked if their proposed dispensary does not  move forward to operation.

 

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