OAKLAND (KCBS) — Oakland city leaders are considering new rules for issuing marijuana club permits.
These rules were being kicked around before pot was legalized but now they carry a lot more weight.
What Oakland wants to do is reserve half the permits for people who have been convicted of pot crimes, or live in an area of East Oakland with a high percentage of pot arrests. The idea is to give a break to communities that suffered under the war on drugs and increase minority-owned businesses.
But critics say by setting aside half the available permits, the city will sabotage established businesses and drive potential operators elsewhere. Passions are high on both sides.
“Do we know how to weigh weed? It’s not a question of if we know how to put it in a sack. It isn’t a question of do we know how to market it. We know how to do all that stuff, but we can’t have a dispensary?” one Oakland resident said during a city council meeting on the subject.
“Oakland currently has many operators with years of experience, and expertise in growing and processing. If they are faced with a limited and complicated licensing process here, many operators will simply relocate to another city with a clearer and available path to licensing,” another Oakland resident said.