The stoney dreams of bad seafood pungently mixed with the aroma of medical cannabis wafting from the SF-branded fleeces of confused tourists may have died a less-than-glamorous death last week, as the Planning Commission rejected one medical cannabis dispensary's application to open shop in Fisherman's Wharf.
The rejection follows a battle between the CEO of the would-be dispensary, Romwald Connolly, and members of the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District. In the early fall FWCBD's Executive Director, Troy Campbell, started a Change.org petition to oppose the business. Campbell argued that the dispensary, Krinze, would encourage other dispensaries to move to the area and would ruin (just ruin!) the pleasant Wharf atmosphere.
"Fisherman’s Wharf is a jewel of San Francisco and I stand firm that it is not a suitable site for the proposed dispensary," reads the petition. "To approve an MCD at this location would be a complete disregard of the district’s identity and with no clustering controls for MCDs this will be the beginning of a corrosive effect on its status as a family friendly destination."
(As to the neighborhood's status as a family friendly destination, take note patrons of the nearby Gold Dust lounge.)
In response to the FWCBD petition, which as of the time of this writing has 119 signatures, Connolly started a petition in support of Krinze which now has almost 19,000 signatures.
The Planning Commission voted 5-2 against Krinze being allowed to open the dispensary, reports Hoodline, who spoke with Connolly about the decision.
"I didn’t even get a fair shake," explained Connolly, who went on to note that one of the Commissioners, Michael Antonini, told him that the decision had been made before the hearing and was based on public opinion.
"He said, 'Oh I’m sorry; it’s down.' He said, 'Oh, you lost. You’re not going to win.' I said to him, 'We haven’t even had the hearing yet; why would you say that?' He said, 'It’s because of public opinion.'"
If true, this would be quite counterintuitive, as the Planning Commission's discretionary review analysis helpfully broke down the public opinion on either side of the dispensary.
In favor of the dispensary: "Ten (10) letters of support; hard copy petition with 1,008 signatures (neighborhood); online petition (Care2Petitions; www.thepetitionsite.com) with 17,145 e-signatures (global); online petition (ipetitions; www.ipetitions.com) with 102 e-signatures (neighborhood)."
And opposed? "Two (2) letters from: Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District, and the Fisherman’s Wharf Merchants Association."
For those keeping score, that's 18,265 in favor of the dispensary and two opposed.
With public opinion overwhelming in support of Krinze, one can only suspect that fears of eventual marijuana legalization — thus potentially allowing the store to serve tourists at some future date — have forced the Planning Commission's buzz-kill hand.
As for Connolly, Hoodline notes that he has said over and over again that he just wants to bring medical cannabis to the people of Fisherman's Wharf.
"I don’t understand why there’s so much stigma to this," he said.