Stephen Ellison

Shuttered Berkeley Nursery May Get New Life as Cannabis Education Center

A Berkeley family who owns a nursery with a 127-year history in the city had to close about five years ago, and now cannabis may give them new life.

The Yabusaki family has owned the nursery since the 1980s, and they showed up at Tuesday night's Berkeley City Council meeting because they want to turn that traditional nursery into a place people come to learn how to grow cannabis.

Masao Yabusaki shut down the nursery five years ago after his aunt died, but if the city gives his family permission, he may be back in business, with a slight twist.

"We’d have to draw a fence line between our old office and here our new office," Yabusaki said, envisioning a business that could turn what use to be a place to buy pots and flowers into a place to sell cannabis seeds and starter plants. "No flowers, no oils, no edibles no drinks, no candies, just the seeds. I’m excited. I think this is something the public really needs."

Many businesses who choose to sell cannabis already see profits, but the Yabusaki family wants to educate those new to the industry or those who would like to expand their profits.

"Since Prop. 64 passed in California January 1st, I think it's ludicrous we can keep going without education," Yabusaki said.

Now it’s up to the city to give the Yabusakis an opportunity to sell something they say will thrive.

"I think the nursery is an exciting combination of it meets a totally different need than a dispensary does," Councilman Kriss Worthington said.

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