Oakland Medical Marijuana Clubs
The City of Oakland currently has 8 permitted Medical Marijuana dispensaries listed below.
Harborside Health Center
10am-8pm 7 Days A Week
Purple Heart Patient Center
Mon-Sat: 9am-8pm | Sun: 10am-6pm
415 4th St
10am-8pm 7 Days A Week
161 Adeline St
Mon-Fri 10am-6:45pm | Sat-Sun 10am-5:45pm
Mon-Sat 10am-8pm | Sun 10am-7pm
578 West Grand Ave
Measure Z Clubs
There are a few well known(to those in the know) “measure z clubs” which are basically underground illegal weed spots. No Medical ID card needed, they sell to anyone.
Back in my day you had to go to some very sketch neighborhoods in Deep East Oakland, get out of your car, walk behind a torn up beat down apartment building or fence, meet the guy and exchange for a skimp sack of chronic(grams for dub). If you were white like me, robbery was always a possibility and it happened often so you had to stick to your regular weed spot where the drug dealers knew you.
But now with Measure Z, you walk in a nice business like environment, a security guard may or may not check your ID(for age only) and you just buy weed. From behind a glass case on a pretty display. No questions asked. No card needed. Weird right?
Measure Z Club Locations?
While the Measure Z Dispensaries are not advertised, they are easy to spot. In the Uptown District if you see a small retail front, grimy and maybe newly opened, not so well lit with a security guard and a lot of foot traffic, it just may be a weed spot. A very well visited measure z club, The Sunny Spot Cafe which was on 17th at Franklin had been busted by OPD a few times, moved to more sketch locations only to be busted again. Clubs like this prevent crime and keep a black market under control. It would be nice if they were left alone by the City of Oakland.
Oakland Police Bust Clubs?
It’s been said that the Federal Government is putting pressure on Oakland and forcing them to bust the underground measure z clubs. Oakland has no interest in wasting time for these clubs. In the Sunny Spot bust there had around 30 pounds of weed and they were let go with “possession” and the armed security guard was also let off. So it’s not that bad. Is just a game of musical chairs? Keep moving locations?
Pot Is Decriminalized!
Because marijuana is decriminalized in Oakland even if you are caught with it you pretty much may get a ticket.
Alleged records from Oakland’s Measure Z committee in November of 2013, state that OPD’s Sergeant Fred Shavies says in his experience, marijuana arrests that he has observed “are made very infrequently”. He also states “The District Attorney won’t charge marijuana cases anyway”. So there is no threat to these clubs.
Oakland (also known as Oaksterdam) is taking a step forward while others are taking a step back. The Federal Government has raided and shut down over 200 pot clubs during the last few months but that hasn’t stopped Oaksterdam from growing. While others are shutting down Oakland has doubled the amount of permitted clubs.
In fact, recently the Federal Government has encroached on Harborside and the City of Oakland is suing the U.S. Government.
Oakland has always been cutting edge in the Medical Marijuana Industry
In 2006 Oakland became home to Harborside Health Center, which is now the nations biggest weed dispensary with over 108,000 patients. The co-founder, Stephen DeAngelo claims to have personally taken hundreds of millions of dollars from street gangs and drug cartels via his legal tax paying, job supplying marijuana operation. On the other hand Oakland Police claim to have lowered drug sales themselves. Either way, since drug sales and illegal incomes have been taken from the streets of Oakland, violent crime rates have gone up.
In 2007 Oaksterdamn became home to Americas first Cannabis University or “weed college”. However the feds have raided and shut the weed school down which is a sad point in the forward movement of legalizing marijuana.
In 2009 Oakland was the first US City to tax Medical Marijuana.
Oakland charges a $60,000 fee for each dispensary permit, along side with collecting a 5 percent annual business tax. This brings in about $1 million dollars a year for Oakland and could potentially be doubled to $2 million now that there are 8 legal clubs.
Meanwhile the state of California is bringing in about $100 million a year in taxes from the billion dollar medical marijuana industry.
The Growing Industry market is currently flooded and over saturated with high grade marijuana. Meaning the clubs are turning away growers and not buying their crops. So you can still get a pound of weed a LOT cheaper than you used t be able to. This is good for the middle man black market drug dealer but bad for the growers because they are forced to produce even larger quantities of high grade marijuana.
Illegal Grow Operations Ruining California Environment
While all of this is great and generate a lot of income for many people such as the medical clubs, random growers, middle man drug dealers and even the Mexican Drug Cartel, there is a huge unspoken problem of how the weed is being cultivated and what toll it’s taking on the rural hillsides of Northern California.
Nestled deep in the forest and hillsides of Northern California are thousands of illegal grow operations known as trespass grows that are hosting millions of marijuana plants. These grows are very prosperous for the weed farmers and medical marijuana clubs but are extremely hazardous to the natural local environment. A lot of these outdoor illegal grow ops are actually supplying the clubs and of course black market dealers.
The illegal marijuana farmers are taking over private property, cutting up all the trees, building dams on local creeks and streams to steal the water for their grow and then dumping all of the chemicals and waste byproducts back into the streams. This kills off all of the fish and other local wild life while adding to the California Drought. It undoes millions of dollars in endangered species rehabilitation projects and is very counterproductive to the State of California restoration projects.
The farm guards are usually armed and dangerous and even set up booby traps to keep out would be thief’s and random hikers. In many cases the marijuana growers in North California are actually the Mexican Drug Cartels running these pot farms. The people left behind guarding the operations generally don’t speak English and are usually confused as to where they really are. Most of them are technically being held hostage with death threats to their family if they do not comply and guard the farm.
After a marijuana harvest is done they abandon the land and leave behind tons of waste, garbage, toxic pesticides and a devastated forest. So as you can see this new California Gold Rush is causing major problems.
For more details on the illegal grow ops, farm eradication and exact numbers collected by the Sate of California check out this story.
Taken during Occupy Oakland.
The above Oaksterdam Mural has been painted over by the new landlord of the building after Oaksterdam University was shut down. It’s a shame to see it go because it was a beautiful work of art.
Oakland Medical Marijuana Clubs
Current Permitted Dispensaries: 8 (Cards Must Verify)
Current Measure Z Clubs: secret (No Card Needed)
Oakland Revenue: About $1 million a year in fees and taxes.
San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: 24 (SF does NOT tax them like Oakland)
State Sales: $1 billion
States taxes: $100 Million