2414 Lombard Street Site

While the controversial plan to open the first (legal) Medical Cannabis Dispensary (MCD) north of Geary Boulevard, at 2414 Lombard Street on the border between Cow Hollow and the Marina, was narrowly approved and permitted by San Francisco’s Planning Commission in a 3 to 3 vote last year, with a majority vote needed to disapprove the project, an appeal of the permitting was filed by the Cow Hollow Association and will be decided tomorrow.

As we first reported when we broke the news about the plans back in 2014, 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.

Opponents of the dispensary have argued that the vulnerability of the young adults residing at the Edward II deserves special consideration and the MCD should be disallowed, while the sponsors of the dispensary argued that the “Apothecarium” will provide an opportunity for the youth to acquire valuable “adult living skills,” as dealing with “temptation, intoxicants and budgeting” is part of making one’s way in the world.

Apothecarium Lombard Rendering

In light of the special consideration, the Planning Commission conditioned its approval of the dispensary based on a limiting of sales to those 21 years of age or older, an age restriction which could run afoul of California’s Compassionate Use Act, as argued by the appellants.

That being said, while the appeal primarily seeks a denial of the permit, it alternatively seeks a limitation of sales to those over 25 years of age and hours of operation which would minimize exposure to children in the neighborhood.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Oh Dear

    Spread the wealth, why does soma need [13] clubs within a 15 square block area?

  2. Posted by Elitist Pig

    Do we really need a special set of laws / rules to cover adults who could easily go to SOMA and buy this stuff without a problem? They aren’t so fragile that they can’t make the journey to a dispensary that will sell to them.

    • Posted by Stop Driving

      A lot of patients are using marijuana because they are, indeed, fragile. Do you really want a cancer patient to have to travel for half an hour just to get their medicine so you can feel better about how exclusive (exclusionary) your neighborhood is?

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        how many end stage cancer pts getting chemo induced nausea live in the Marina? this is the only indication for which marijuana has proven effective. otherwise its just getting high

        • Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

          Not true — it’s effective in certain types of epilepsy too. And it’s effective at getting you high. That’s been proven time and again!

          • Posted by Conifer

            It is not a recognized treatment for seizures of any kind.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            CBD is effective potential in seizures, but certainly not THC. So if they hybridize for high CBD with no THC< then i agree. but then nobody would buy it as 95% of medical marijuana users are not in medical need of it, unless you count addicition as a medical need

        • Posted by Joanna Wagner

          There are a lot of medications that cause nausea, cancer only one of them. Antivirals are another example. Try to imagine what that’s like; every day. You can try Zofran or Merinol. and it may work but a one to two hits of cannabis and it disappears; sometimes it takes effect before you’ve finished exhaling.

          Why would you care about the habits of others? The dispensaries aren’t hangouts. You go in, buy the product and leave. The children? How often do you send your kid to the store all by themselves?.

      • Posted by marco

        Let’s get real here — the vast majority of marijuana “patients” have a doctor (courtesy of the dispensary) prescribe weed for them for some vague symptoms — insomnia, malaise, blah blah blah). I know dozens of people with a prescription who don’t have any real medical conditions. They just like to get high. I’m fine with that, but let’s not continue this charade about most people needing weed because they’re super sick.

      • Posted by anon

        “patients” haha. For every 1 true patient there are 1,000 straight-up stoners. Now excuse me while I go to a bar and imbibe some “medication” for my “medical condition(s)”.

        As for potential Chinese weed mentioned below, I have family and friends living in Hong Kong. A lot of expats living there would do anything to avoid buying and eating food that was grown in mainland China. No one can truthfully say what types of toxins it contains.

  3. Posted by MarinaBoy

    NIMBY people need to realize this is not going to destroy the area. The same NIMBY people complained about the Edward II opening and now are against this project and using the Edward II as a reason. Hypocrisy!

  4. Posted by JP

    Hysterical. The city allows 3 dispensary’s within 2 blocks of each other and within 1 block of an elementary school and a church in SOMA, but there’s an uproar about this? SOMA is not a dumping zone people. Spread the wealth of all the things that SF just can’t live without. SOMA is not where you put the questionable stuff. The people who live there pay taxes just like everyone else except they have no trees, parks or schools.

  5. Posted by Anon

    Just let Amazon sell pot online, and there will not be any need for all the dispensary’s… and I thought the dispensaries was enriching a neighborhood, not making it a dumping ground ;o)

    • Posted by Stop Driving

      That would be great if you want all of your weed to come from China.

      • Posted by Anon

        I don’t think there is any medical research that shows that Chinese weed has inferior qualities to weed from other places…

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          there is a general quiality control problem for everything coming out of china

    • Posted by Amewsed

      It is like a reverse Opium War except it is self-imposed in the U.S.

      • Posted by jack

        Interesting perspective: if China becomes as industrious in helping to legalize as exporting marijuana…

        • Posted by Amewsed

          Thank you Ess for showing me that history never repeats itself and nature never follows any patterns.

          If you have been following the news, I wonder why anyone should bother to call the police and put the kibosh on the Marin party bus with 16 yr olds with pot and 30 bottles of hard liquor? Not my kids, not my problem.

      • Posted by ess

        Do you have any thoughts on the topic that aren’t 100 years old? Anything about reefer addicts?

        Wanton ignorance is not a good look, honey.

  6. Posted by moto mayhem

    keep the drug dens out of the marina. Marina is more of a family place than SOMA and we dont need more of these drug dens in the city, period. And especially right near at risk teenagers who are trying to get rehabilitated.

    • Posted by Stop Driving

      Walgreens is the most dangerous drug den in the city. Weed never killed anyone, but thousands die every year from abusing prescription drugs.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        many people have died from weed related accidents.

        • Posted by ess

          Yeah no.

          • Posted by Helen Lovejoy

            Won’t somebody please think of the children?!?!?

        • Posted by BobN

          Indeed. I imagine quite a few people have died from child-related accidents.

    • Posted by ijustworkhere

      The Marina is swimming in coke, alcohol, and speed. Some marijuana would help calm the crazy and probably reduce overall drug use in the area. Three or four dispensaries would improve the quality of life, maybe even get the parents to loosen up a bit and stop over-medicating their kids.

    • Posted by ess

      “drug dens” lol. go back to the 70s.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      These “teenagers” are adults – the only residents of the King Edward II are 18-24. And what exactly are they being “rehabilitated from? They’re young adults who have aged out of The City foster care system, not recovering addicts.

    • Posted by Oh Dear

      Ahhh believe it or not there are families in soma with kids. On my block we have pinoy with lots of small kids.

  7. Posted by Conifer

    Why does the city want to force a marijuana store on a neighborhood that clearly does not want it and does not need it? It is not merely NIMBY. This provides nothing useful to anyone, except for the drug dealer. Surely by 2016 everyone knows that “medical” marijuana is and always was just a subterfuge to legalize it.

    • Posted by marco

      If you think people in the marina don’t smoke pot, you’re sorely misinformed. They just have to take a trip over to SOMA now to get it.

    • Posted by AnonAnon

      “Nimby – a person who objects to the siting of something perceived as unpleasant or potentially dangerous in their own neighborhood, such as a landfill or hazardous waste facility, especially while raising no such objections to similar developments elsewhere.”

      “Why does the city want to force a marijuana store on a neighborhood that clearly does not want it” “It is not merely NIMBY.”
      He/she said without a trace of irony.

    • Posted by Rillion

      If the neighborhood doesn’t want it then it won’t get enough business and will close. Why use the power of the government to force it out if what you say is true?

  8. Posted by Stop Driving

    I’ve always said Geary is the real Divisadero.

  9. Posted by HousingWonk

    NIMBYism is the self-entitled assertion that you have the right to sit in judgement and decide what “kind” of people get to live in “your” neighborhood, and what “kind” of businesses get to open shop in “your” neighborhood. Its biased, its exclusionary, and often its downright classist and racist.

    As someone noted above, the Marina neighborhood groups throw a holy fit over the Edward II project when it was proposed. They fought it tooth and nail like the exclusionary and classist NIMBYs they are. And now to use the Edward II project as a reason to oppose this? Hypocrisy, thy name is NIMBY.

    This MMJ shop should be shoved down their throats, good and hard.

  10. Posted by Local Marina guy

    Seriously folks, this is soooo much ado about nothing. The Apothecarium is a highly, professionally managed business (I am a customer of their Castro location) and many of the customers there walk in wearing expensive business suits. I also run a multi-million dollar business in the Marina and use medicinal marijuana nearly every day. This isn’t some fringe product for the so-called street urchins of SOMA.

    The idea that marijuana is some “evil drug” is a bunch of hyperbole and misinformation from decades of intense lobbying by the government and interest groups. Google “most dangerous drugs” and nearly every top ten includes alcohol and tobacco and none I have seen include marijuana. Last time I checked, there are innumerable purveyors of those fine products in the neighborhood and I don’t see anyone asking to clamp down on new wine bars. The corner market on Chestnut selling cheap Vodka is a much more dangerous threat to the at-risk youths in residence at the Edward II.

  11. Posted by Notcom

    “….dealing with “temptation, intoxicants and budgeting” is part of making one’s way in the world.”

    Yet so many have made it to high office in this city/state/nation w/o having mastered any of these.

  12. Posted by AnonAnon

    This is textbook NIMBYism. The idea that the residents of the Marina/Cow Hollow are concerned for at risk youth is laughable. At least Moto Mayhem is honest about his NIMBY sensibilities. The outdated notion that marijuana is a dangerous drug, particularly when compared to alcohol which is essentially regulated as much as Mardi Gras on Saturday nights in the Marina belies the conservative nature of this board.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      i never said it was more dangerous than alcohol. i said it was dangerous. Just because alcohol is there now, doesn’t mean you should add another drug to the mix.

      I do think it is not cool to add to an area with at risk youth. And I’m not a NIMBY on this issue. I don’t think there should be marijuana dispensaries throughout SF at all. Probably 2 dispensaries can cover all people in SF who have a “legitimate medical need” for marijuana. the vast majority of people just use these to get high.

      • Posted by Local Marina guy

        Please explain how and why its dangerous and don’t just assume that this is self-evident. I’m no saying its harm-free but it certainly does not merit being a Schedule 1 drug in the class of cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.

        This is a naturally occurring plant used for millennia the world over . I would say “made by the hand of god” if I believed in the man upstairs.

        • Posted by Jake

          Yup, SF has too many people too high and too many buildings not high enough. Coincidence or cause? SF probably only needs one CVS and one Walgreens to serve all legitimate pharmaceutical needs. Must be the low rents that make them breed so.

        • Posted by Amewsed

          The poppy plant from which opium and opioids are derived is a natural plant. Is opioid addiction in this country the result of its strict drug regulation? Should we legalize all opioids as well to deal with physical and psychological pains?

          • Posted by Elitist Pig

            I was going to say something similar, but opium and cocaine / coca are highly processed to get them into drug from. Meth is, well, not natural at all…

          • Posted by AnonAnon

            Are you seriously attempting to equate heroin with pot? Entirely different set of addictive and destructive properties. And pot isn’t “derived from” a natural plant, it simply is a natural plant.

          • Posted by ess

            Addiction isn’t a result of regulations, but overdoses are.

          • Posted by Anon

            For those saying pot is a natural plant – tobacco is a naturally plant that is just smoked. It shortens the life of millions, but of course it is perfectly legal – smokers choice.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          for one, the incidence of weed related car accidents has gone up in colorado since the law passed there.

          also the number of teenagers and pre-teens using marijana has increased. the number of hospital visits for overdoses has increased, as edibles generally are higher potency than joints, and some idiots eat the whole brownie. marijuana on a developing brain has been shown correlate with depression and a higher suicide rate, not to mention poorer scores on test taking in cognitive studies. smoking it clearly has issues with carcinogens. people use marijuana like other addictive substances, to zone out of life

      • Posted by AnonAnon

        “Marina is more of a family place than SOMA”. No, you are not a NIMBY. lol.

  13. Posted by Amewsed

    I hate the smell of pot whether it is in GGP, parking lots, or in the neighborhood streets. I don’t use it and none of the people I know use pot, no matter how sick or disabled they are. But for those in the business or need to use it, go ahead. If you want to buy my investment properties in SF with your lucrative proceeds, even better.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      i dont know anyone over the age of 35 who uses pot either.

      • Posted by Local Marina guy

        I know dozens of people over 40 (including myself) who use pot, many have kids, some at tony Pac Heights private schools. The reason you likely don’t know people using it is because there is a stigma associated with it and the stigma is tougher to wear the older, and more successful you are.

        This issue was illuminated with amazing clarity by the conservative journalist Andrew Sullivan on his now-discontinued blog The Daily Dish. It’s still live and here is a link to the entire segment. Dive in and be prepared to have your eyes opened.

        This is a mainstream product that is very misunderstood by most of America. The moms and dads, nurses, doctors, lawyers, business execs, etc. are all slowly coming out of the cannabis closet and want to buy our drug of choice safely and legally, and not from the corner “drug dealer”.

        • Posted by Amewsed

          Pray tell who those doctors and lawyers are who use pot regularly (the ones outside the legal industry and medical industry serving the pot business.) I like to know. As far as I am aware, there are mandatory drug testing for a lot of professions and while I am sure many doctors (and lawyers) are able to skirt it, I like to know because I may not want to have them be my doctor or lawyer.

          • Posted by HousingWonk

            That just shows how naive you are. I’m a former corporate lawyer and believe me, more than one of my colleagues smoked pot. Fact is, there are lots of successfully professionals in lots of industries that smoke pot recreationally in their off-hours. All you have to do is go to Washington or Colorado State where recreational MJ is fully legal to see how non-controversial it is. I know a number of people who work for Microsoft up in WA, and a number of them smoke pot. Welcome to the 21st century – a lot of us have grown up and no longer cling to outdated, odd ball ideas like “pot will ruin your life”.

      • Posted by MarinaBoy

        I know several people over the age of 35 that have very successful careers that use for medical purposes and they live in The Marina.

      • Posted by Anon

        It slows your reaction time and can be traced in your blood for a very long time, so while it may be acceptable in your working environment, it is not safe for operating a car or heavy equipment. There need to be limits set to what constitutes a DUI before it is formally legalized. If you travel by public transit you’re good in my book.

      • Posted by marco

        You do, they just keep it a secret because you’re very negatively judgmental about it.

      • Posted by ess

        Ever heard of “selection bias?”

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          yes, there is selection bias because i hang out with successful, healthy and productive members of society that have an interest in growing and nurturing their brain.

    • Posted by ijustworkhere

      I hate the smell of indian food. None of my friends eat Indian food, and I don’t either. I really disapprove of other people cooking Indian food and lowering my property values with their foul curry odor. They have no right to do that. We need to do something.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        indian food is legal. using pot for recreation is not and 95% of “medical marijuana” users are just using it to get high

        • Posted by AnonAnon

          Not if the restaurant is violating health code – and 95% of all Indian restaurants violate health codes.

          See I can make up fake statistics too – wheee.

  14. Posted by Anon

    So the decision is better made centrally from the mayors office and the planning commission and they should ignore all local input whether it is in SOMA, Mission District or here?

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      Yes. What you are saying is the Liberal version of the Republicans’ “Let the states decide…” battle cry.

  15. Posted by Paul Manasian

    “That being said, while the appeal primarily seeks a denial of the permit, it alternatively seeks a limitation of sales to those over 25 years of age and hours of operation which would minimize exposure to children in the neighborhood.”

    Fortunately, unlike cannabis consumers, people under 25 tend to be quiet and responsible when they are drinking alcohol (as a simple stroll down Chestnut St. or Fillmore St. at 12:30 a.m on a Saturday shows). Also good thing there are only 15 or 20 bars within a half mile of that location, so that the kids understand that you only need to drink alcohol every 100 feet or so. Just because some young woman in the neighborhood drove drunk into two 7th graders walking to school on a weekday morning isn’t a reason to limit alcohol sales in the area. At least she wasn’t high.

    • Posted by SFJohn

      There it is! The Apothecarium is one of the best, most respected dispensaries in the City (I am a patient of the Castro location)! They give back to the community, the Castro Business Assoc. recommended their move to a new location….as has been pointed out by other comments the Marina is hardly a squeaky clean neighborhood

  16. Posted by Fishchum

    This s ridiculous. I’m a 46 year old Marina resident (lived here 16 years) and I fully support this dispensary. As it is right now, I have to drive over to the Market Street location and would love it Apothecarium moved into this site.

    The objections to this are utter nonsense. Any idea how many times I’ve heard someone doing cocaine in the bathrooms of just about any bar in the Marina/Cow Hollow? Ever see how drunk some patrons get at these bars? But yeah, marijuana is a dangerous drug and it’d be a real “problem” if this dispensary set up shop.

    I also find it laughable that all the Libertarian types who scream about property rights are noticeably silent on this issue. What about the landlords legal right to rent his property to a dispensary?

    Moto Mayhem and Confer’s objections are simply laughable. “A family place”? Give me a break. A majority of residents don’t want it? Got a link to that?

  17. Posted by Philip

    Fortunately, Apothecarium delivers. But it’s still fun to go to the store, and the Lombard location would be very convenient for me. Would the folks objecting to this prefer to see the gangsters getting the sales instead of a responsible, tax paying local business? Only an imbecile would think it is hard to buy illegal weed in this city, no matter how old you are.

  18. Posted by Local Marina guy

    I’m sure the Apothecarium would appreciate people coming out in support at the hearing. Public opinion is certainly a consideration in how the political winds blow. If you want to see them open, go down to City Hall and show your support!

  19. Posted by SF Social-lite

    I am a Marina homeowner. NIMBY. There, I said it!. I think property owners SHOULD have a say in what type of business goes into their neighborhood. Isn’t this how North Beach has kept Walgreen’s at Bay – pun intended.

  20. Posted by MarinaBoy

    I live in The Marina, own 3 properties, and 15 units and I am very big supporter of bringing this to The Marina!

  21. Posted by RW

    So after reading all of the comments…

    1. An overwhelming number of people still think that marijuana is a very dangerous drug. Even moreso seemingly still seem to hold that it is far more dangerous than cocaine, psychedelics, synthetics, heroin, and prescription opiods. May i ask that we let some of these notions pass along with Nancy Reagan. I was a D.A.R.E. kid too and i realized a long time ago that program was mostly about boosting Ronnie’s drug laws that directly led to our staggering prison populations. Although makes for a cool retro t-shirtr now at Urban Outfitters for 24.99. Btw. Reefer madness is pretty much considered a cult film/dramedy these days so to say what needs to be said…if you are so scared of Marijuana its probably because you still associate it with people of brown and black skin but still don’t want to admit it in mixed company.

    2. While marijuana is not legal for recreational use, it is legal for those who have obtained a prescription. Those going into the dispensary have obtained a prescription, and only those persons may enter. Yet despite those persons acting legally and a business operating legally, people seem to hold the idea that their objections to a law and its administration, should be the deciding factor as to whether a city adheres to accepted law? Someone riddle me that? (along with any kind of LEGAL justification for the argument).

    3. There is a sense that marijuana is being forced upon a community? Does the presence of a marijuana dispensary suspend choice? Whether it is used to relax/be stoned, or for something of medical benefit, obtaining it is still a matter of choice. A stroll down Chestnut provides you with choices as well, including whether you want to buy a bottle/glass of wine or not (about every 100 ft.) , or even something less refined, and yet still a matter of choice. So where is a community having anything forced upon them? Go to any dispensary in the city and its pretty much the same set of visuals. People walk in, they walk out…they go about their day/night. Nobody comes out does a happy dance and lights up right outside, so lets please suspend that notion.

    4. Property owners seem to believe the have a say in what business goes into their neighborhood…wrong. Government has a say…you have the right to object. What you think, is well what YOU think, end of story. When you can add a legal argument to go along with that or create some kind of binding legislation by way of statute then it can be something more than just what you think. Until that time…just keep thinking it as you drive/walk by.

    5. If you seem to think that the presence of a dispensary is a flashing neon sign that attracts a less than desired crowd…then you truly have no idea of the cost of medical grade marijuana. At over $2000 a pound (low end), it isn’t those low of means who go to dispensaries, its going to be your neighbors, who like you, own or rent, have the means and have opted to use as they choose…legally!

    • Posted by Fishchum

      Well said, RW. I’d love to hear the response to this of people who oppose this dispensary, but I suspect it will be something akin to a child closing his eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting “LA-LA-LA-LA” as loudly as they can.

  22. Posted by BobN

    which would minimize exposure to children in the neighborhood

    Really, I’m touched that everyone would be so considerate, but I really don’t mind seeing them, as long as they don’t say anything and, of course, stay off my lawn.

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