CFAH

1040 Bryant Street

An application to legally change the use of the Western SoMa building at 1040 Bryant Street from an 18,000-square-foot distribution plant for meat to a “non-retail plant nursery” was approved by the City last year. And while it might seem like a rather expensive piece of real estate to support a nursery, you can probably guess what’s coming next.

According to a feature article in the Chronicle two weeks ago, there are now 18 growers of marijuana within the city limits of San Francisco who have registered with the Department of Public Health, nine (9) which have been licensed by the City.

And according to the head of the San Francisco chapter of the California Growers Association: “There hasn’t been a single complaint against any location, and that’s a testament to the good neighbors, the responsible tenants we are able to be,” which might have been tempting fate.

On Monday, a formal complaint was filed with the City alleging “illegal marijuana grow activity” at the United Meat Company building on Bryant, across from Bed Bath & Beyond and Trader Joe’s.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by thisguy

    Call me crazy, but even if you can grow a high value crop like weed, wouldn’t it still be a LOT cheaper to do it in a warehouse in, like, Fremont? What’s the point of paying SF real estate values for a hydroponic operation? A showroom of weed tech?

    • Posted by Pioneer

      The reasons for paying SF rent for a grow operations are many. The people running it want to live and work here, it’s easy to find labor and supplies, they save time and money on commuting, and they still make plenty of profit.

      • Posted by cfb

        SF is also friendlier towards weed dispensaries than Fremont and most other suburbs.

    • Posted by Brian M

      One could say the same thing about the United States in general.

      Columbia will be taking over the legal weed industry in the future. Just like they did with flowers. Cheap labor. Even, equatorial 12 hour days that pot plants like. Plenty of land and water. A demobilizing (in theory) rich “revolutionary” group with tons of capital from drug trade and extortion. A few hippy farmers in Marin or Humboldt won’t be able to compete.

      • Posted by Jake

        It will be an interesting debate in the US Senate when they consider whether to expand the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which helps keep down the cost of Colombian flowers, to include marijuana.

      • Posted by Rillion

        Maybe, maybe not. Currently wines from South America are on average cheaper than wines from California, but I don’t think there is much danger of their cheaper wines taking over the wine industry.

        It remains to be seen if legal weed consumers will care only about price.

  2. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    i think it’s a high-profile location for that very reason – to be high profile.

    brings publicity and SF is the safest place. Peninsula won’t have it and Oak/Berk are up to their noses with it.

    makes sense a bit. with high SF rents, their survival shows the financial feasibility of what their doing.

  3. Posted by ohmy

    There are all types of fate waiting to be tempted.

    Where there is big money their may well be problems…you have to distribute the processed stuff and criminals can short circuit the distribution. Hope they have super security operation and a brinks truck waiting to cart the processed harvest away.

  4. Posted by #Hatersgonnahate

    So why is this news if it’s a “legal” grow?

    • Posted by Tony

      Why do we still act like this is controversial? Let them grow above ground where we can make sure everything follows the law, their workers are paid fair wages, and they aren’t stealing electricity and water. Being “tough” on this stuff just pushes it underground. If this place had become another brewery in SF no one would bat an eye.

  5. Posted by redseca2

    Back in the early 1990’s, when I first had my architect license, a “friend of a friend of a friend” called and asked me to come look at converting his basement of his Glen Park SFH into a rental until.

    The basement was actually one of those steep hillside spaces that started with stoop down headroom at the front and quickly grew to more than 20 feet of clearance at the rear of the house footprint. What he hadn’t mentioned, but I might have guessed as these were SOMA bar friends, not professional friends, was that it was currently a very successful marijuana growing operation.

    So there you go, even way back then, San Francisco rental property was more valuable that a successful growing operation.

    PS – I passed on the project, this was way before the medical marijuana loophole.

  6. Posted by Jlasf

    Keep the sign: UNITED MEAT CO. Great name for a steakhouse or a bar.

  7. Posted by moto mayhem

    what is a shame is the zoning laws of western SOMA. THe whole are needs to be upzoned as should be done in a true urban core. THis is not an outlying SF neighborhood, or one of the postcard SF neighborhoods to set in amber. Western Soma should be upzoned to at least 12 floors and this should be a 12 floor condo building. this area needs seriously nicer buildings, and market rate condos will help clean up the area.

  8. Posted by Earth

    For the sake of other small businesses, I do hope that the City moves cautiously here. Look no further than Denver, where indoor grow operations have stripped the supply of warehouses and thus driven the price of commercial real estate up dramatically. Many old line businesses have been driven out of Denver, and there is the obvious worry of the same happening here in SF.

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