With Recreational Cannabis Sales Soon to be Legal, Oakland Bets on the Future
There are two kinds of municipalities in California’s post-64 world: those clamping down on all things cannabis and those vowing to become the next capital of marijuana.
Count Oakland among those in the latter camp. The East Bay city has long been open to medical marijuana, with 8 permitted medical dispensaries currently operating within city limits. When recreational pot sales go legal in 2018, many of these will begin selling recreational marijuana and you can expect many more.
Oakland is already home to a number of cannabis events, such as the Cannabis Cultivation Summit and the National Cannabis Industry Association. It also allows a host of cannabis clubs in defiance of federal law.
“While others are shutting down Oakland has doubled the number of permitted clubs,” notes local blog, OaklandMOFO.
But Oakland is also doing things a little differently. It sees marijuana as a chance to address socioeconomic inequalities, so it adopted the Cannabis Equity Program in March. When it comes to marijuana permitting, it gives deference to people in certain poverty-stricken areas and those previously arrested for pot-related crimes. These policies have not been without criticism, however.
By becoming a marijuana hub, Oakland doesn’t just hope to cash in on the green rush. It’s hoping to reverse social and economic ills and promote equity across the board. It’s got a decent shot. But it will face plenty of competition.