Pot club would be 6th for Upper Market area in San Francisco 

In spite of a concentration of pot clubs in the area, the Upper Market neighborhood seems likely to become home to a sixth medical cannabis dispensary.

The owner of a proposed club called The Apothecary hopes to soon remove the newspapers in the windows of Gramophone, the former adult-video store at 2095 Market St. He is just waiting for a majority vote from the Planning Commission, which could happen today. City planners have already recommended the commission approve the new club.

“Neighborhood organizations seem to be on board,” Planning Commission Vice President Ron Miguel said.

The area is already home to five dispensaries, including Mr. Nice Guy at 174 Valencia St., Ketama Cooperative at 14 Valencia St., The Valencia Street Caregivers at 208 Valencia St., the Love Shack at 502 14th Street and Market Street Cooperative just two blocks north of The Apothecary.

Nonetheless, the group Merchants of Upper Market and Castro voted in favor of the new one, while the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association and the Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association have heard presentations about the proposal and decided not to oppose it.

Photoworks owner Dave Handler likes the idea of a pot club opening next door to his photography shop.

“You have a choice of nothing or that?” he said. “I’ll take that any day.”

The Apothecary would fill the void created in February 2008 when a pot club at Market and Church streets closed because it was not accessible for disabled people.

“There are people who don’t want to have to wheelchair their way up to the Love Shack,” said neighbor David Goldman, who is affiliated with the local chapter of Americans for Safe Access.

According to documents on file with the Planning Commission, only two neighbors have complained about the proposal. The club even seems to have the backing of some competitors.

“The more clubs the better,” said Travis Moore, who co-owns the Market Street Cooperative.

That is not the attitude in other parts of The City, though. Even after the commission approved the opening of a proposed dispensary at Taraval Street and 31st Avenue in the Sunset, neighborhood residents successfully appealed the decision and it was overturned.


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Kamala Kelkar

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