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Redwood City Marijuana Collective Could Become First in County

Rob Bueno hopes to establish the Mid-Peninsula Health Center at 2853 El Camino Real, the first in San Mateo County.

A medical marijuana collective could find a home in Redwood City as early as September if San Mateo County approves an application submitted Monday. County officials will meet with Rob Bueno on Monday to discuss his application for the 2853 El Camino location.

Over the past few years, the county has received a few applications, but none has materialized in Redwood City. Sheriff’s Risk Manager Tom Merson said that while some applicants have thoroughly done their research when applying, some applicants have given the county’s laws little thought.

“While some have extensively researched the location, some people just want to make a lot of money,” Merson said.

After the meeting Monday, the Sheriff’s department and the county planning and building division will review the application to ultimately make a recommendation to the county’s counsel, David Silberman. Silberman will then make the case to the three-member county licensing board, which meets monthly. Bryan Cassandro of the sheriff’s department said a September presentation would most likely be scheduled.

Cassandro said he would analyze the application for its definition as a true collective and if it conformed with county law. Angela Chavez from the building and planning division would determine if the collective met zoning and distance requirements of 1,000 feet from schools and youth facilities.

The location is in fact more than a mile from , the closest school to the site. The proposed location is also just two blocks from a at 2980 El Camino Real.

In November 2010, Menlo Park resident Brad Ehikian for a medical marijuana collective at Bay Road and Hurlingame Avenue. Though the licensing board granted Ehikian's application, he said that the lack of government and law enforcement support left him feeling less confident about the collective.

Another applicant submitted an application back in August 2010 for a collective at 2771 El Camino Real, a couple of blocks from the currently submitted application. However, the applicant could not afford the rent and rescinded his application, according to Cassandro.

Another application was filed in August 2010 for a Belmont collective, Medithrive, but was rejected. There is another facility that currently exists in San Francisco.

More recently, the White House reported that medical marijuana use is the highest it has been in eight years, according to its 2011 National Drug Control Strategy. The Office of National Drug Control Policy argued that the drug is addictive and unsafe, especially for teens, reported NPR. The Drug Enforcement Administration even said that marijuana has no medical use.

forest elliott July 14, 2011 at 03:37 PM
We need a collective in RWC for those who truly do need the benefits . I think Mr. Bueno should be allowed to open the dispensary and the county can benefit from the tax base. FKE-RWC
Mecala July 14, 2011 at 04:45 PM
I am NOT interested in having this located in Redwood City. Find another location. Do not approve the application. This city has worked so hard at making Redwood City a family friendly destination location. This would be a step backwards. Although there are legitimate people who might benefit from a medical marijuana dispensary, we all know that those who do not really use it for medicinal reasons will be hanging around this location. This would not be good for our city.
Charlotte July 14, 2011 at 08:16 PM
I agree with Mary--why does Redwood City need this? We already have the strip joints and sex clubs. That's bad enough.
Sam July 14, 2011 at 09:12 PM
who says marijuana is not family friendly? HIDE YO WIFE HIDE YO KIDS!!! SEX & DRUGS ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER. if you learn to ignore it or at least bother to educate your children that we are sexual beings and the dangers of drugs (and why some people need them) i see no problem.
pat bell July 15, 2011 at 06:38 AM
Good luck to this group. The county had an application that was squeaky clean and would have been an asset to North Fair Oaks, and they turned it down. If that one wasn't good enough for them, I don't think anyone has a chance. I think the county and the cities are missing the boat here, forcing the marijuana trade underground and throwing away the potential tax revenue. Everyone is crying about their budget crises, yet they turn away a source of steady revenue. Silly!
RWC Resident July 15, 2011 at 10:40 PM
This section of El Camino is already lined with questionable business such as " spas" massage parlors, sex shop, strip club, do we really need to add drugs too? No wonder people are afraid to move here.
Mecala July 15, 2011 at 10:55 PM
This isn't too far from Atherton. I wonder how Atherton residents would feel about a marijuana dispensary in their backyard.
jeniel stephens July 18, 2011 at 02:21 PM
i agree... pretendinding these things dont exist wont make them go away... EDUCATE kids about them... the pro's AND cons!!!
jeniel stephens July 18, 2011 at 02:38 PM
i don't understand why some people have such a problem with this... if it's legal and not hurting anyone why oppose it? is it really going to have any effect (bad or good?) on your daily life or your life in general? if not, then leave it alone! might as well go back to burning books in the libraries and schools or punishing teachers for teaching about "undesirable" subjects because God forbid someone learn something that their parents dont like or approve of!!! kids & people in general are going to make their own decisions about things so why not help them make an EDUCATED decision based on knowing the FACTS and not ignorance!!! we are HUMANS and not OSTRICHES, right???
jeniel stephens July 18, 2011 at 02:52 PM
we all DON'T KNOW any such thing!!! that is merely your (and probably many others) OPINION of what would happen... and you are ASSUMING at that... remember what is said about "assuming" things... when you "assume" you make an ass out of you AND me!!! i was born and raised in RWC and there were many "undesirable" businesses then and still, .. we knew they were there and what they were... but having them wasn't/isn't a step backwards nor turned RWC family "un-friendly".
Judi Cartright August 19, 2011 at 06:34 PM
RWC needs the pot dispensary! It already has fairly lousy schools---did a middle school actually change its colors because gangs were claiming red?? Lol!! It adds to your "diversity." better RWC than Palo Alto or another decent town. Trash is best in one pile.
Lisa Hofeling September 10, 2011 at 12:18 AM
I hate to break it to everyone against this, but your children know what weed is, people who smoke it, and where they can get it by the time they are in middle school. This was going on looong BEFORE medicinal marijuana, so don't be ignorant and think that a pot dispensary is going to corrupt your kids! And the majority of those "undesirables" that utilize dispensaries are people with chronic pain, terminal illness, and the like who have had to travel almost 30 miles (from RWC) to San Francisco or San Jose to get their medication. The epidemic that all parents need to worry about is prescription drug abuse, available at any of the hundreds of pharmacies around the county or in your own medicine cabinet.
pat bell September 11, 2011 at 02:31 PM
Lisa is right, but I fear this proposal is doomed too. The Sheriff turned down the cleanest application he'll ever see from Mr. Ehikian . I have more news for the potphobes: some of the teachers who teach your children, the PhD's who teach the teachers, the Pediatricians, the Soccer Coach, may go home and smoke a joint instead of a martini. Go to the Emergency Department of a hospital I and the Booking Desk at the jail on Friday night. You will find that it's not the pot smokers who are out causing trouble; it's the drunks. Having known a lot of people who smoked through grad school, med school, and beyond, I don't know anyone who has become addicted or gone on to "hard drugs." Surely there are people who do, but I think the addiction rate with alcohol is much higher and the addiction stronger. This country, State, County spend way too much money trying to stop pot smoking. That money could be used much more effectively to teach our children how to think for themselves.
Chris Manton September 11, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Throw some heavy taxes on it, like the other sin taxes tobacco, alcohol, and use all the proceeds to fund the schools. But not necessarily to fund classes that satisfy state or national test scores, but to fund critical thinking classes to understand the inner workings of commercial and political advertising and the mass marketing of ideas and products. The goal would be to provide students with the tools to make intelligent choices in these arenas, and I believe these same skills would carry over so make better choices on social issues, including smoking or drinking.
A.P. November 15, 2012 at 09:29 AM
Hey parents, it's not like your kids are already being pumped full of fluoride, mercury and aluminum already, Oh by the way, many of your kids are fat and unhealthy, chock full of butane-based preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Shame on you for demonizing cannabis, a substance that does more good than many legal items on the market.

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