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April 10, 2007 > Medical marijuana wins another reprieve in Hayward

Medical marijuana wins another reprieve in Hayward

By Steve Warga and Charlotte Flowers-Weston

At the Tuesday, April 3 Hayward City Council meeting, the Hayward Patients Resource Center sought a 90-day extension of its Conditional Use Permit for storefront operations at its current location on Foothill Blvd. HPRC dispenses marijuana in medicinal quantities to California residents holding physician-approved ID cards. It was the center's second request in the last six months.

In 2003, council granted permits to two entities, HPRC and Local Patients Cooperative, allowing each to sell cannabis to approved patients. Both were located downtown on Foothill Blvd. As part of its decision, council agreed to withhold enforcement of certain zoning provisions, thus retaining the right to revoke the permits at anytime.

Late last year, council did revoke Local Patients Cooperative's permit, based on repeated violations of conditions. Federal authorities also raided the place and arrested several principals of that operation.

In December, council extended HPRC's permit for ninety days, subject to additional restrictions, including establishing hours of operations between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.; prohibiting sales of marijuana outside the building; and providing security through a state-licensed company, acceptable to the city, and staffed with personnel wearing appropriate attire. Council also advised HPRC they would need to relocate somewhere outside the immediate downtown area.

HPRC did find a new location, further out on Foothill Blvd. near Cotter Way. However neighborhood residents strongly objected. As a result, HPRC withdrew its proposal to move to that location.

Despite concerns that a suitable, alternate location can be found, councilmembers voted, 5 - 2 in favor of the requested extension. Mayor Michael Sweeney and Councilmember Bill Ward dissented.

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