Just over 50 miles north of San Francisco is the City of Sebastopol, California. Due to a Sebastopol city law, there is a cap on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries allowed to operate within the city's borders. That dispensary cap is only one dispensary. Recently, as The Press Democrat's Mary Callahan reports, there are finally efforts in place to propose a second medical marijuana dispensary in Sebastopol, and therefore a lifted dispensary limit.
When medical marijuana came to Sebastopol, there was only one dispensary proposal. Additional worries over the additional security risks associated with more dispensaries pushed the city to pass an ordinance amendment in 2011 placing the existing dispensary cap.
Sebastopol Marijuana Monopoly:
Having only one medical marijuana dispensary is bad for competition. It unfairly awards a citywide monopoly on the distribution of medical marijuana. Without competition, cannabis prices can quickly inflate for patients, driving up the cost of medicine unnecessarily. The lucky dispensary that got and still has the city-wide monopoly is called Peace in Medicine. With an additional location opened in nearby Santa Rosa, Peace in Medicine has seriously benefited from the long standing dispensary cap.
A dispensary review left back in September, 2010 on THCFinder.com said that "...prices aren't that high -you can get chillin' with under 50 bucks-!" The same review also made claims as to the legitimacy of the operation, stating "GREAT staff (they check your papers but they let you buy even if you don't have anything with you and they're very funny)"
Second Dispensary Proposed:
Miguel Gavilan Molina and business partner Jonathan Melrod are pushing forward to secure the city's permission to open a second medical marijuana dispensary through their company, Traditional Living Inc. Of course, this would mean that the city would have to lift its cap first.
According to Callahan's previously mentioned article, "City Planning Director Kenyon Webster and other staff have recommended planning commissioners allow for a second dispensary, in part because Peace in Medicine has been so problem-free."
If lifted, the two propose "a full-service medical cannabis dispensary, education and support center that includes locally sourced marijuana products, books, vaporizers and, even, apparel, with support groups and programming offered off-site." This second dispensary in Sebastopol would give a healthy increase in competition to serve patients in the area. When care providers compete, the patient wins.
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Photo Credit: Screenshot via THCfinder.com