Pubdate: Fri, 03 Mar 2006
Source: Alameda Times-Star, The (CA)
Copyright: 2006 ANG Newspapers
Author: Karen Holzmeister, Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


OAKLAND - Last summer, A Natural Source was in the headlines when a
would-be robber was shot to death outside the Ashland medical
marijuana clinic.

On Thursday, the business's link to criminal events and its location
near an elementary school prompted Alameda County supervisors to deny
the cannabis club an operating permit.

Club operator Billy McDonald has 30 days to close, despite support
from customers who described the Foothill Boulevard sales outlet as
clean and safe.

Mary Lewis told supervisors marijuana eases her pain from congenital
joint problems and allows her to function. Lewis said she appreciates
A Natural Source because it is clean and tidy and the employees are

The supervisors' decision will leave no dispensary in east Ashland and
Castro Valley, the third of three areas designated by supervisors as
sites for medical marijuana clinics.

However, supervisors later this month will reconsider shifting
boundaries so that Foothill Boulevard in south Cherryland, where the
Garden of Eden is located, is added to Area Three.

The Garden of Eden dispensary then could qualify for the prized permit
since it has been cleared by sheriff's investigators.

We Are Hemp on Lewelling Boulevard is the only dispensary to win
permit approval for Area One, San Lorenzo and north-central Cherryland.

If Area Three is expanded to include the Garden of Eden, the Alameda
County Resource Center and Compassionate Caregivers of Alameda County
would compete for the operating permit in Area Two, northwest Ashland
and the remainder of south Cherryland.

McDonald appealed denial recommendations from the sheriff's department
and a county administrative panel. Supervisors Scott Haggerty, Nate
Miley, and Gail Steele voted to deny McDonald's appeal. Supervisors
Keith Carson and Alice Lai-Bitker were absent.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin