Medical marijuana dispensaries often strive to keep a low profile, but this has been even more the case after federal agents raided Oaksterdam University and the home of founder Richard Lee on Monday. Half a dozen East Bay dispensaries responded with “no comment” when asked about how their organization was reacting to the raid, and others ignored voicemails. To date, there are no known closures of dispensaries in the East Bay as a reaction to Monday’s raid, and for many dispensaries, such as Harborside Health Center and the Berkeley Patient’s Care Collective, it’s business as usual.
When Dale Sky Jones, the executive chancellor of Oaksterdam University, walked into the school’s building at 1600 Broadway on Monday afternoon shortly after a raid by federal agents, one of the first things she saw was an Oaksterdam University banner, she said, “torn down and crumpled on the floor.” “They tried to demoralize us,” Jones said, “but they didn’t.”
Oaksterdam University, a center that offers training for workers in the marijuana industry, and several of the organization’s related buildings were raided Monday morning by federal agents. According to Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam University’s executive chancellor, federal agents raided five Oaksterdam-related locations around 8 am, including the home of founder Richard Lee and the organization’s downtown dispensary, storage unit, school, and the former site of the Blue Sky coffee shop, the last four of which are located on Broadway in…
In October, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a crackdown on medical marijuana facilities. The four U.S. Attorneys for California began sending out eviction notices to various medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.
Medical marijuana supporters and business people in Oakland reacted angrily last week to dual blows from the federal government—a prosecution warning and a massive tax bill—as they speculated on the possible consequences for patients and the local marijuana industry.
Touted by locals as the center of the medical marijuana industry, Oakland seems a fitting host for the nation’s first marijuana outdoor street festival: the two-day International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, which opened its doors Saturday.
The Oakland City Council’s Public Safety Committee passed an ordinance by consensus Tuesday evening that will double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, if approved by the city council.
The front gate at the Oakland branch of weGrow, the country’s first “out of the closet” company that sells indoor marijuana growing equipment, is now locked up and its former owners are embroiled in a series of heated legal battles. The 15,000 square foot warehouse facility, located two miles away from the Oakland International Airport, opened last October with a press conference at which a number of city officials, including Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (a city councilmember at that time), showed up to support the store in front of the national media.
Without voting on a single ordinance, members of a beleaguered Oakland City Council spent Tuesday night’s meeting discussing their two most pressing concerns: threats of prosecution by the state and federal government over the city’s plan to permit industrial cannabis cultivation, and dramatic budget cuts from the governor.