City Set to Interview Cannabis Applicants

Eric J. Kos    One of the locations considered for a potential cannabis dispensary is at 2416 Lincoln Ave., upstairs in the building above located near Park Street.

On Nov. 7, 2017, City Council adopted the Cannabis Businesses ordinance. This ordinance became effective Dec. 21, 2017. The City Council also adopted an ordinance to amend the Alameda Municipal Code, repealing the prohibition on cannabis business activities and specifying the zones where certain types of cannabis businesses may locate. This ordinance became effective Jan. 18, 2018. 

Last April, the city issued requests for proposals from businesses hoping to open cannabis dispensaries in Alameda. City staff evaluated each proposal on an 80-point scale and decided that businesses must score at least 60 points on this evaluation to make it to the interview phase. According to the city, 19 businesses applied and 13 met the city’s minimum requirements. The city winnowed the list to nine and will schedule interviews with them.

Criteria for the evaluation includes, among other things, the financial resources committed to the business, the operational knowledge of running a cannabis-related business, the safety protocols the business will put in place, the percentage of Alamedans the business proposes to hire, the business owner’s community involvement history in Alameda and more.

These nine businesses have already supplied the city with letters of intent showing that they have “secured” locations in the city. Bloom Innovations’ Alameda Nug Shop is among the businesses that city staff will interview. If approved Bloom plans to open shop at 2416 Lincoln Ave., next door to the Speisekammer restaurant. 

The city will also schedule an interview with Element 7, which has applied for permission to operate two dispensaries — one at 1623 Park St. at Pacific Avenue, the other at 1825 Webster St. at Eagle Avenue. The company already boasts 12 California locations that include four in the Bay Area: in South San Francisco, Antioch, Walnut Creek and Santa Rosa. 

If approved, California Erudite Ventures told the city that it hopes to open a dispensary on Park Street on the same block as Element 7. Erudite filed for corporation status last February with a San Mateo address. Buddy Collectives, which lists itself as Buddy, hopes to open shop one block north of Element 7 at 1726 Park St., while Tree Amigos has assured the city it has secured a location at 1222 Park St., south of San Antonio Avenue. 

Island City Remedies hopes to open shop at 1717 Lincoln Ave. at Minturn Street. Alameda Patients Group submitted 1616 Webster St near Pacific Avenue on its application and West End Station wants to open shop at 650 Pacific Ave. at Webster Street.