2412 Lombard Street Site

Controversial plans to open the first (legal) Medical Cannabis Dispensary (MCD) north of Geary Boulevard, on Lombard Street in the Marina, could be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week.

As we first reported when we broke the news about the plans last year, while the proposed 2414 Lombard Street site isn’t within 1,000 feet of a school serving those under 18 years of age, which would preclude a dispensary, the Lombard Street site is directly across the street from the old Edward II Inn which has been transformed from a hotel to 24 units of supportive housing for young adults between 18 and 24 transitioning from foster care.

Many opponents of the dispensary argue that the vulnerability of the young adults residing at the Edward II deserves special consideration and the MCD should be disallowed, but the sponsors of the dispensary argue that the “Apothecarium” will actually provide an opportunity for the youth across the street to acquire valuable “adult living skills,” as dealing with “temptation, intoxicants and budgeting” is part of making one’s way in the world and if those who are worried about coming to store could buy vaping products from somewhere like Puffmen or somewhere else online.

Apothecarium Lombard Rendering

San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending the dispensary be approved with the support of the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association, Castro Merchants, Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, and Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Associations, none of which speak for the neighborhood involved but rather to their experiences with the operators of the original Apothecarium which is located on Market Street near Church.

The local Cow Hollow and Golden Gate Valley Neighborhood Associations are both opposed to the dispensary, while the Marina/Cow Hollow Neighbors & Merchants Association was still deliberating as of last week.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Elitist Pig

    I’m sure if those adults (they are 18+) want to buy weed legally, being 1000 feet away isn’t going to stop them.

    • Posted by jenofla

      Part of me agrees with you, but another part recognizes that half of my stops to buy donuts are fueled by the fact the donut store is right on my commute. Temptation can have a visual reminder component.

  2. Posted by HousingWonk

    Did the Apothecarium sponsors actually say that?

    That is just so self-servingly tone deaf and insensitive as to boggle the mind. I’m generally quite “pro” letting people do what they want with their property, but if ever there was a case to be made for a conflict of uses, this is it. These are by definition, at-risk youths, with no adult supervision, most likely coming from previously abusive parental/home-life situations, many of whom may have struggled with drugs already in their young lives, and who finally have access to a stable home. Last thing we need to be doing is puting a pot store across the street.

    (and let’s be clear – there’s nothing medical about these MMJ dispensaries – the ease with which one can get an MMJ prescription is basically based on whether you have $125 in your checking account for the “prescription”)

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      I have to agree with that at least…

    • Posted by Larry

      Yeah, because ease of access to a bougie pot dispensary is clearly going to ruin them. You’re absolutely right: they’d be much better off catching the bus to the Tenderloin and getting something harder instead.

      You clearly don’t know anything about the culture, so congratulations on making yourself look ignorant. Marijuana is indeed a medication. I’m sorry if you feel like something needs to come at a high cost from a pharmaceutical company and have some dumb name like Belxonador to qualify as medicine. You are sheltered.

      Unfortunately, almost everything in our society is pay-to-play. Medical marijuana is no exception.

      Grow up.

      • Posted by HousingWonk

        I honestly don’t care if people smoke pot. But let’s not pretend these shops are in any way medical related. That’s just insulting to people’s intelligence. The only factor determining if you can get a prescription is whether you have the money for the prescription fee. Just because a small minority of prescription holders do so because of legitimate medical needs does not mean the system is anything other than what it is. Everybody participates in the farce because its a back-door means to legalization – and there’s a lot of money to be made.

        I’d feel the same way if someone was proposing to open a liquor store across the street from the youth housing facility.

        • Posted by Larry

          Liquor ≠ cannabis. Liquor is a harmful depressant, while cannabis has a significantly lower risk factor for dependence, and withdrawals are mild and never life-threatening.

          There’s a lot of money to be made in what you consider to be the “legitimate” medical/pharmaceutical industry, and it is made. It doesn’t make it ok, but it is not only tolerated, it is encouraged. Look at Martin Shkreli if you need proof. You clearly have a bias towards cannabis use that is founded in misinformation.

          As a matter of fact, many people like myself consume it not only for ailments such as anxiety and chronic pain, but it really helps with tolerating the ignorant, sheltered people like you that we are forced to interact with on a daily basis. Talk about inducing demand!

  3. Posted by anon$random

    just a matter of time before its legalized for recreational use in california…this will all be moot soon enough

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Keep in mind that even if legalized, the sale of Marijuana would likely remain regulated and land use issues, such as where dispensaries would be allowed, would likely survive as well.

  4. Posted by moto mayhem

    please do not allow this drug den in the Marina. its a nice neighborhood. dont worry it by putting in dope house

    • Posted by Fishchum

      You must not get out much in the Marina. Do you know how many times I hear someone doing blow in a bar bathroom at many of the Marina bars?

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        have you ever heard of induced demand? im not saying there are no drugs, but why legitimize it

        • Posted by Larry

          Because not legitimizing it induces demand for substances that are actually harmful.

          Please move to Mississippi if you want to push that debunked war on drugs nonsense. Being around all of that weed here in San Francisco must keep you in a constant state of fear.

      • Posted by S

        LOL yes that’s for sure! the marina crowd love their uppers…

    • Posted by Tony

      You sound like someone from the Reefer Madness days. No one says you have to like weed, but your panic over it is out of touch with reality and the 21st century.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        not panicking. i just happened to think the Marina is pretty nice now, and dont want to bring in an element not in line with that.

        • Posted by Fishchum

          What “element” is that (although I think we all have a pretty good clue)? I’ve lived in the Marina for 19 years, and I’ll be frequenting this dispensary if/when it opens.

        • Posted by Larry

          How is it not in line? This will be one of the bougiest dispensaries in town when it opens, not a “drug den”. Take your head out of the paper bag. One day you might realize that you might need to open your eyes.

          Then you’ll see all the people that think your opinions on this matter are infantile.

        • Posted by MDG399

          Dear moto mayhem

          While i respect your right to your opinion, how ever uninformed and naive it may be (Sorry, but it is), you should take a walk down any Marina street after 9pm on virtually any night and smell the weed being smoked on the street by those clean cut white toothed perfect marina types I’m so sure you believe don’t do “This sort of thing”

          IF only there was no place to buy it… No one would use it…..

          So said those promoting the Volstead Act (Prohibition)
          So said those regarding the war on drugs

        • Posted by Normalperson

          This “element” is already in the Marina. (whatever that could mean) But thanks for looking out for us.

    • Posted by AnonAnon

      “its a nice neighborhood.” This is the real opposition – strictly class based. Let the dispensaries operate on Ocean Avenue, in the Excelsior, but not the Marina.

      • Posted by spencer

        I prefer them nowhere at all

        • Posted by Tony

          Sure, and there’s some people who would prefer no liquor stores at all. What relevance is your personal likes and dislikes in this discussion?

        • Posted by BobN

          I’d prefer it if they were incorporated in to police stations.

        • Posted by JoeyJoJo

          Noted and filed for future reference.

  5. Posted by MarinaBoy

    The Marina Community Association released their recommendation on the 9th.

    The Marina/Cow Hollow Neighbors & Merchants Association is a different association that has no website. As a resident and property owner in the Marina, I think they should move forward and allow this to come in.

  6. Posted by safety fascista

    yeah, already way too many dopes in the Marina.

    “Was on a talk show recently. The host asked me, he said, “What do you think about the dope problem?” And I said, “Definitely, I feel we have too many dopes, yes.” No question about it. That’s why we have a drug problem, I really feel, y’know. ‘Cause everybody has access to drugs. And we’re all kinda just dopey, y’know. And we’re just human beings- little protoplasm walkin’ around shaking hands ‘Howarya, Phil, gimme a piece of lettuce”, y’know, no real big thing. We’re just kinda dopey folks and we have all these DRUGS available to us. That’s why there’s a DRUG problem, man. There’s all those DRUG stores, right? Every three or four blocks, there’s a big sign- DRUGS! Open all night- DRUGS! We deliver- DRUGS! Cut rate- DRUGS! It’s the biggest thing on their sign- cosmetics…sundries…DRUGS! ” — George Carlin

    The Walgreens a block away sells drugs and liquor, or so a fiend of a friend says. Probably should close the many DRUG stores and liquor stores in the area, just to be safe.

  7. Posted by moto mayhem

    every doctor who prescribes marijuana for anything other than chemotherapy induced nausea or glacoma should have his/her medical license revoked. Those are the 2 only indications where there is any decent evidence of efficacy. Otherwise they are just prescribing mind altering pyscotropic drugs for people to get high. Thats not what the hippocratic oath is about. I would personally like to see the chronic prescibers of marijuana, as well as those chronically prescribing painkillers, go to jail.

  8. Posted by Fat guy from The Grateful Dead

    Except for the arrival of thugs and filth, there shouldn’t be any effect.

  9. Posted by Fishchum

    I can’t wait for this happen. I live a few blocks away from this location, and it’ll be fantastic to just walk down the street instead of going to The Apothocarium @ Church & Market. FWIW, that location is clean, with some very knowledgeable and friendly staff.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      do you have a real medical issue or just another stoner taking advantage of a flawed system.?

      • Posted by Fishchum

        Neither, but thanks for the name-calling. I have a card, and I enjoy a little weed every now and then, but I’m hardly what you would call a “stoner”. Marijuana will be legal soon, so you better get used to it. Pot smoking is a hell of a lot less detrimental to the community than something like, say, alcohol is.

        • Posted by anon

          Of all the people i’ve known, weed has had far worse long-term consequenses than alcohol.

          I’ve had more than a few friends end up getting kicked out of college after partaking every day….or getting stuck in dead-end jobs 10+ years later while all their friends are excelling in their careers, buying houses, getting married, etc. It’s not like they go to jail or OD but they just end up as…losers. Kind of sad.

          • Posted by Fishchum

            I’ve got news for you – that wasn’t the weed doing it. If you can’t get your sh!t together in life it doesn’t matter if you smoke pot or not. Losers come in all shapes and sizes, and do all kinds of dumb sh!t.

          • Posted by Larry

            You are really simple if you think weed was the problem in those situations. What a crass generalization. Do you just graduate from DARE?

            I’m a UC Berkeley grad who got straight A’s and now makes a really good living in a field that I didn’t even study to work in. And I consume cannabis every day. If anything, it nurtures my preexisting intellectual curiosity. It’s apparent from your comment that that’s not something you’re familiar with.

            That’s the problem with idiotic generalizations: it only takes one counterexample to falsify them. Ever hear about the fallacy of induction? Try reading some David Hume and see if you still plan on making arguments like a 5 year old.

  10. Posted by Oh Dear

    Spread the wealth. Right now fully 50% are located in my SOMA hood. How about some in other districts.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      or how about not at all in SF? or maybe limited to 3-4 in the entire city. that should be enough to cover the people with glaucoma or chemo related nausea

    • Posted by AnonAnon

      Exactly, the Marina bros need their weed too. Soma, Mission and Excelsior have their share.

  11. Posted by Economister

    The fear mongering over a MMJ dispensary is amazing. Does anyone in SF (or California, or most of the US for that matter) really still think that pot use causes crime and neighborhood degradation?? I would argue that the crowds that consume copious amounts of alcohol at the numerous Marina bars every weekend are FAR more likely to cause quality of life issues for residents then the presence of this dispensary on Lombard.

    Full disclosure – I used to spend a lot of time consuming copious amounts of alcohol in the Marina in my fratastic post-college days and hold a MMJ card. I have perspective on both worlds and I find that drunks cause far, far more problems than MMJ users.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      Yep, completely agree. I find Moto Mayhem’s comments really out of touch in 2015. He really sounds like some rusty old crank from the 50’s.

    • Posted by frog

      I live close to a dispensary and the number of people who sit next to my apartment and smoke all day is insane. The truth is, I’d rather they not be there – the smell is annoying and it creates a different type of social environment than groups of sober people would. This is no different than alcohol.

      In other words, build the dispensary and cite people for smoking weed in public. Problem solved

      • Posted by Larry

        It is very different from alcohol, actually. It is not a depressant, it actually calms rather than exacerbates aggression, and it is nowhere nearly as likely to cause dependence, and never produces life-threatening withdrawals. You saying that it’s “no different” significantly reduces the credibility of everything else you say.

        “Groups of sober people”. This statement is laughable. Have you looked into relocating to Salt Lake City? Seems like it might be more your speed. Heaven forbid people consume something that isn’t to your personal liking and then socialize. People should just trudge stone-faced through neighborhoods not talking to each other, like they do everywhere else in San Francisco.

        I guarantee you that if they were drinking alcohol, the situation would be very very different. There’d be arguments, there’d be pissing, there’d be broken glass, there might even be fights. Be thankful that you have a bunch of chill pot-smokers keeping a lookout in your immediate neighborhood while you stay inside and fester. Maybe if you talked to them, you’d feel differently. They might even care about your neighborhood. Crazy thought, I know!

        • Posted by frog

          It’s a mind altering substance that smells bad and causes people to disassociate from their surroundings. So yes, it’s no different in a macro sense.

          We can discuss the minute differences for 3 hours after an edible in a private residence – I don’t smoke it. But the point is that it is public intoxication and for many people it is a way of life. And for the most part, talking to people on pot is pointless – if you aren’t doing it yourself. That’s also like alcohol.

          • Posted by Larry

            “It’s no different in a macro sense”

            Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?

            Not all intoxicants are created equal. Caffeine is also a mind altering substance, and can even lead to depersonalization and disassociation. I guess that makes it no different from alcohol and marijuana “in a macro sense”.

            I have talked to many more people on pot who make a lot more sense than you.

  12. Posted by AnonAnon

    Classic Nimbyism. Also deeply ironic that all the people here always complaining about Nimbyism when people object to luxury condos are raising the same flag.

  13. Posted by Sutro_Tower

    Great news, that stretch of Lombard could use some sprucing up and a little bit of relief from the chronic smell of car fumes!

  14. Posted by soccermom

    That middling Indian restaurant next door is keeping many fingers crossed.

  15. Posted by anotherSF

    Their location on upper Market draws a more desirable crowd than would otherwise be there. I frequently see people much better dressed than I ever am waiting in line for their prescriptions.

  16. Posted by Todd

    I sincerely hope this is denied. Not in this neighborhood, please. For all those who legitimately need it there are multitudes of others who abuse it. I for one don’t want them around nor do I want the smell. You stink!

  17. Posted by Conifer

    I am totally opposed to this, as I would guess are 98 percent of the residents of the Marina, Cow Hollow and Pac Heights. I find it surprising that any intelligent person would claim that “medical marijuana” was anything but a ruse to get it legalized. It is the leftist version of ID cards for voting: a ruse for keeping African Americans from voting.

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      *nodding* So how do you think Jade Helm fits in with this? The conspiracy has to go all the way to the top, I mean, Obama WAS here recently…

    • Posted by Fishchum

      98% are against it? Source?

      • Posted by safety fascista

        hysteria is it’s own best source.

    • Posted by Normalperson

      That’s quite an incorret guess! And you seem surpised at the most basic things.

  18. Posted by moto mayhem

    if anything, im glad we got this thread going so we could pull in Larry. Maybe he can bring some comic relief to other stories as well.

    I love the constant move to mississippi , salt lake city, etc comments. Thats called intolerance for others opinions, something you likely preach against. newsflash. There are a lot of people in SF who do not like weed and do not want dispensaries in the city. another newsflash. there is hardly a shred of evidence that marijuana is medicinal for the many purposes its being used for. news flash: marijuana smells bad to people living next door. news flash. people get high, mind altered and are not themselves when high. It has a negative impact on families, society and neighborhoods. an yes, you could argue the same for alcohol. i never defended alcohol, but its already legal and a large industry. that doesnt mean marijuana should be too.

    I’m in my 40s, black, a former punk, socially liberal, a research scientist, and I don’t like marijuana. i wouldn’t do too well in mississippi or salt lake. Drugs are bad, umm kayy

    • Posted by Fishchum

      “There are a lot of people in SF who do not like weed and do not want dispensaries in the city”

      – and there are a lot of people in The City who do and who do want dispensaries in The City.

      “there is hardly a shred of evidence that marijuana is medicinal for the many purposes its being used for”

      – Completely false. There are volumes of research that prove the positive effects of marijuana as medicine. Now, does this mean every card holder uses pot for medicine? No, but that’s a different argument. It won’t be long before California follows Colorado and Washington’s lead and legalizes it completely.

      Just because the alcohol industry is “legal and large” is hardly a reason to turn a blind eye to it’s negative impact, particularly when weighed against the impacts of weed, which are much less detrimental.

      I personally don’t care who you are, what you do, or what you’ve done. Just don’t go using broad stereotypes when trying to make your point, umm kayy?

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        “There are volumes of research that prove the positive effects of marijuana as medicine” That’s false. that evidence is so rife with holes and not well controlled at all.

        I never said turn a blind eye to alcohol. i just said just because alcohol is legal to sale doesn’t mean pot should be. I could make a long argument against alcohol, but its so widespread there’s no way to change it.

        • Posted by Tony

          This is the 21st century, you aren’t entitled to ignoring science.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            i hope you’re not talking to me, because if you are, you are sorely out of your league in science

      • Posted by Conifer

        The preponderance of the scientific evidence, especially in recent years, is that marijuana has minimal medical benefit, except in a few extraordinary situations. The findings of harm are much greater, and supported by meta-analytic studies in the best peer-reviewed journals both here and in Europe. There are no “volumes of research” for marijuana as medicine.

        • Posted by Fishchum

          Wrong.

          • Posted by Conifer

            Fishchum seems so sure of himself.
            What medical school did he graduate from?
            Or where did he get his PhD in pharmacology or biochemistry or physiology?

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          That’s exactly correct. There is ZERO credible evidence that it works in ANY area besides chemo induced nausea and glaucoma. The rest is anecdotal or non-controlled studies, and mostly promoted by the pot industry.

          People who don’t think marijuana is bad for them are usually surrounded by other people who don’t think marijuana is bad for them. It’s easy to latch on to anecdotal evidence and ignore the truth when you’re getting high.

          I don’t care if people get high, but that’s all they are doing. getting high and causing damage to themselves. The real people i would like to go after are the quackpot doctors who are doling out so many prescriptions for people to get high. They should have their licenses revoked.

    • Posted by Dixon Hill

      Don’t like cannabis? Don’t consume it.
      I’m not taking a position here for or against. I just think cities are a bad place for people unable to live amongst a variety of legally permitted activities and people unlike themselves.

  19. Posted by AnonAnon

    While it’s interesting to see the political arguments pro/anti medicinal use, where are all the property rights advocates on this real estate blog. It is a legal business. All I hear against it are the classic Nimby arguments. I guess property rights only apply when you are the one profiting.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      it’s not legal from a federal perspective. property rights from a perspective of making an addition on your home, or being able to evict bad tenants is very different than not wanting a drug den next to your home

      • Posted by Jake

        The federal perspective is that it is not legal for the US Department of Justice to spend any money to prosecute or harass medical marijuana providers in states where the drug is legal. Congress put that into law, the President signed it, and just this past Monday a federal judge confirmed it.

      • Posted by Dixon Hill

        Jake covered much of what I was going to say.

        I also notice that you mention the right to “evict bad tenants”. I can’t recall seeing much (if any) opposition in the comments here to “evicting bad tenants”. However, there is quite a bit of controversy about evicting *good* tenants, with legal protections under the San Francisco rent control ordinance, just because they happen to be inconvenient to the current owner property.

        They’re both matters of property rights and the limits of government.

    • Posted by Dixon Hill

      Well put. When it suits them, the Free Market Fundamentalists run to the government to regulate private commercial activity. What happened to “It’s my property. I can do whatever I want with it”? “Airbnb harmful to the neighbors and the community…who cares?” “Long term residents losing their foothold in San Francisco…the market is never wrong. They obviously haven’t Earned the Privilege (TM).”

      And the arguments pro/con medicinal benefits are completely beside the point.

      “NIMBY” is such an overused pejorative here, especially when applied to people promoting diversity. But in this case it applies to those who would have this urban environment as their own private gated community.

      Here’s an idea: “If you don’t like the proposed use at that property, why don’t you and your neighbors buy it”. Now where did I read that…

  20. Posted by SFresident

    The smart person with money will buy that East Indian restaurant next door to the pot store and open an ice cream store.

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