Corte Madera Pot Club Can Stay Open

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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Corte Madera Pot Club Can Stay Open

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File Photo: A young woman wearing a paper marijuana leaf on her head marches in support of the legalization of marijuana in Germany during the annual Hemp Parade on Aug. 7, 2010.

Corte Madera won't evict its healthcare workers -- at least, not yet.

The city has a strained relationship with Marin Holistic Solutions since it opened in 2009. Earlier this year, the Town Council voted to send cease-and-desist letters to the cannabis dispensary. The town attorney claimed that cultivating cannabis is not authorized under the town's zoning codes.

After months of negotiations, an agreement has finally been reached: Marin Holistic Solutions can remain at its current location until its lease ends in 2014. In the mean time, it must restrict its new patients to those over 21, add warning labels, install security cameras and alarms, and hand over extra taxes to the town.

Bizarrely, some of those taxes must be spent on alcoholism treatment, even though the company doesn't sell alcohol.

The town still needs to decide whether it will permit marijuana dispensaries in the future. If it decides to move forward with licensing, Marin Holistic Solutions will have to re-apply in 2014.

Patients who need cannabis to treat anxiety and chronic pain were relieved to hear that the dispensary would remain open. Anti-pot activists who moved to restrict patients' access to medical treatment considered it an acceptable compromise as well.

Starting in January of 2013, Marin Holistic Solutions will be required to hand over 1.4 percent of its proceeds to the town. Those payments could wind up being quite large, since a similar dispensary is among the top 10 sales tax producers in nearby Fairfax.

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