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.

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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.

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2010 was a tumultuous year for Oakland as both the city and state faced a heated election season, the courts weighed the validity of controversial measures passed during previous elections, and the effects of the 2008 financial collapse continued to reverberate throughout the local economy, but it was also a year of new beginnings. Oakland North presents a guide to the year’s top stories.

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To legalize or not to legalize? On November 2, Californinans will vote on Proposition 19, which if passed, would legalize the consumption and sale of recreational marijuana. Oakland North caught up with Oaklanders in Temescal and City Center to get their take on the controversial proposition.

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