Castro’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Apothecarium Targeted by the D.E.A.

Interior of the Castro's posh and lovely Apothecarium. Photo: Apothecarium's Website

Interior of the Castro’s posh and lovely Apothecarium. Photo: Apothecarium’s Website

Our pals over at Smell The Truth have reported that the Castro’s legally licensed, voter approved, medical marijuana dispensary, Apothecarium (2095 Market St.) has been added to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (D.E.A) investigative hit list.

In September of 2012 the D.E.A.’s Special Agent from the Finance Investigative Team in the SF Field office, David White, demanded the City provide the Apothecarium’s-and 6 other dispensaries located in SF-business license and application, health permit/application, ownership information, and yearly statements and all other pertinent forms.

Yesterday one of the seven, The Hemp Center, landlord was threatened with 40 years prison time, property forfeiture, and asset seizure for knowingly renting office space to a federally mandated illegal ‘drug’ enterprise.

DEA LogoThe neighborhood’s Apothecarium is a popular and welcomed addition to the Duboce Triangle/Castro Eureka Valley business community who have operated well within the State of California guidelines since first opening in June of 2011. It is fully licensed and offers a wide menu of flowers, edibles and concentrates. San Francisco has about fifteen licensed dispensaries in total. A drop in the bucket compared to San Jose’s 100.

Gov. Jerry Brown has denounced the Fed’s war on marijuana, saying California didn’t need “federal gendarmes” and that the Justice Dept. is interfering with lawful, California, tax-paying businesses.

SF Assemblyperson Tom Ammiano has also weighed in on the subject saying, “the US Department of Justice’s attorneys in charge had ‘gone rogue’.” He called the D.E.A’s threats against landlords renting to any dispensary that are occurring not only here but in every community in the state, “drone strikes”.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Photo: TheWeedBlog

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Photo: TheWeedBlog

Lt. Gov-former SF Mayor and Supervisor-Gavin Newsom last week called for  decriminalizing, regulating, and taxing California’s decades-old, multi-billion dollar marijuana industry as a way to generate much-needed tax dollars, jobs and industry for the State.

Over at the Apothecarium day-to-day activities continue unruffled by this development in one of their competitors business life. They aren’t able to comment on other dispensary’s struggles or any issue regarding what the D.E.A. is or isn’t investigating. However, following the paper trail of both official and media reports, it doesn’t take an investigative genius to see the cat and mouse game between California state medical marijuana laws and Federal drug mandates are in a tug of war and legitimate businesses like the Apothacarium are caught in the middle.

We’ll keep an eye out for more developments and we hope that everyone will continue to keep taking their business and medical needs to the Castro’s much-needed institution until the political hot potato is resolved.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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7 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    For those of us who remember our friends dieing and struggling to find some pot to help them eat, then getting ripped off in Delores Park the Apthecarium is a gift to the neighborhood. Excellent products, great service and they reinvest in the community. Closing the Apthecarium would be a huge loss to many of us.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  2. Patrick says:

    One of the puzzling things about the Obama administration is its pot-friendly public pronouncements one one hand and its take-no-prisoners crack downs on medical marijuana on the other.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  3. rblack says:

    I think it’s great the DEA has so much extra time and resources on it’s hands that it’s able to crack down on the reefer madness that is plaguing our cities.

    Guess the sequester hasn’t effected the harassment of the chronically ill.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  4. Here’s an idea.

    Let’s get a pot-friendly country with an embassy in SF to lease a small part to a dispensary operation. Foreign embassies are protected.

    I’m sure there are reasons why this won’t work, but I thought I would throw this out to the collective.

    Thoughts? Comments? Alternate suggestions?

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