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All six medical marijuana dispensaries operating in unincorporated Alameda County are expected to apply for county permits by Tuesday's deadline -- but only one has filed an application so far.
Operators of the businesses in San Lorenzo and unincorporated Hayward and San Leandro said they are taking their time to complete a lengthy application in time for Tuesday's 4:30 p.m. deadline and are undeterred by a fatal robbery at one of the dispensaries last week.
''We've been preparing for this for a while,'' said Jack Norton, owner of The Health Center on East 14th Street in San Leandro. ''This is a rigorous process, but it's fair.''
The applications and a $4,000 fee are to be filed with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office under new dispensary regulations passed by county supervisors in June.
''We've heard that all the existing dispensaries will probably apply,'' said sheriff's Capt. Steve Roderick.
The applications will trigger a 30-day review period during which the sheriff's office will perform background checks on the business operators, while county health and planning officials will ensure the businesses meet the letter of the law.
The law allows for three dispensaries to be granted county permits and requires businesses that do not obtain a permit to shut down.
Following the leads of cities such as Berkeley and Oakland, Alameda County became the first county in the state to pass its own dispensary law. The county law is also the only one in the East Bay to explicitly allow patients to use marijuana at the licensed sites. as long as patients use vaporizers.
These devices heat the marijuana to temperatures just below the point of combustion, releasing vapors containing the drug's active ingredients that are inhaled just like smoke. Doctors recommend the vaporizers, asserting the vapors don't carry harmful toxins carried in marijuana smoke.
The law will set up three districts within the county's jurisdiction -- Ashland/Cherryland, Castro Valley and San Lorenzo -- and will allow only one licensed dispensary per district.
Roderick expressed concern over the Aug. 19 robbery at one of the dispensaries, A Natural Source on Foothill Boulevard near Hayward.
''We believe that over time, they will become magnets for certain types of criminal activity, either inside or outside these businesses,'' Roderick said. ''The people who frequent these places are not all critically ill cancer patients.''
Still, Roderick said the robbery, in which one of the alleged thieves was shot to death by a dispensary worker, will not be used against the businesses. Nor, he said, will a half-dozen other serious crimes that have occurred around the six businesses in the past several weeks be used against them during the review process.
''It isn't the fault of the operators that people decide to commit crimes,'' he said.
County officials said decisions on which businesses receive permits should be made by early October.
I think that half of the reason that they are not filing for permist is because once they do they will have to catalog all transactions and therefore when the feds decide to come in it will be an open and shot case, since even though it is legal in many states the feds still don't acnowledge that
-------------------- Shows I will be spinning at
Where Life Begins-Aug. 27th
Epidural Sept 2nd/5th
Enchanted Remixed sept 15/16th(for those who missed the first)