In 2010, Berkeley voters approved of Measure T, which granted the city permission to welcome a fourth medical cannabis collective. Currently, there are only three legally operating medical cannabis collectives within the city and the fight for the fourth spot hasn’t been easy. In 2015, the Berkeley City Council voted to consider six collectives to take the coveted spot, which is now down to only three, according to Berkeleyside.
Among the three finalists is the historic and much loved record store, Amoeba Music, which hopes to open Berkeley Compassionate Care Center, a collective that will accommodate part of the company’s Telegraph Avenue location. CULTURE got in touch with Amoeba Co-Owner Marc Weinstein who told us a little bit about Amoeba Music’s venture into cannabis business. “Dave (Prinz) and I have always appreciated cannabis, and currently have a center in San Francisco where patients can get a recommendation,” stated Weinstein. What Weinstein hopes to accomplish with Berkeley Compassionate Care Center is to keep the Berkeley Amoeba Music store thriving, and to help revive the historic Telegraph Avenue. Weinstein also told CULTURE that he wants to create an educational space where patients can approach an information center, similar to the musical information desks in Amoeba Music stores, and speak with real experts about different cannabis products, and which are best suited for them. Weinstein also stressed the importance of Amoeba Music’s commitment in this venture and how it is being the only collective hopeful that is independently funded. “We’ve been trying to get this permit for literally over four years,” stated Weinstein. “The other collectives are big cannabusinesses that are coming into Berkeley, no one is spending their own money.”
On May 10, the three finalists, Berkeley Compassionate Care Center, iCanna Health Center and Berkeley Innovative Health, will get their last chance to convince the Berkeley City Council of why their collective should take the fourth and final spot in the city’s medical cannabis market. “We’re doing our homework and are excited about the potential of having a medical cannabis shop,” stated Weinstein. If approved, Amoeba Music will turn its jazz and classical section into a separate building, creating two separate store fronts, as reported by The Daily Californian.