by David Downs
The City of Oakland's mainstreaming of medical marijuana has extended to its mayoral races, where leading cannabis dispensaries, hydroponics stores, and the Prop. 19 campaign are showing up in campaign finance disclosures for mayoral candidates Rebecca Kaplan, Jean Quan, and Don Perata.
Tax Cannabis 2010 volunteer coordinator Jennifer Hall donated the maximum personal amount of $700 to Kaplan's campaign, as did Dan Rush of the UFCW Local 5 who recently helped unionize Oaksterdam. Potential Oakland cultivator Jeff Wilcox of AgraMed also donated the maximum of $700, while dispensary Green Mind Gardens of El Cerrito donated a symbolic $420 and UFCW Local 5's political action committee donated $250.
As for Quan, she received the $700 max donation from Oakland hydroponics retailer iGrow. iGrow owner Dhar Mann has also expressed interest in obtaining a coveted Oakland cultivation permit.
Longtime Oakland politico Don Perata received $400 this year and $100 last year from SK Seymour LLC, which is Oaksterdam owner Richard Lee's company. Lee also donated $10,000 last year to a cancer initiative set up by Perata. AgraMed employee Martin Kaufman donated $700 this year to the Perata campaign. Interestingly, natural enemies of medical cannabis like cops and pharmaceutical companies also donated to Perata. The Peace Officers Research Association of California gave $1,300 to Perata through their PAC. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America chipped in $600 to Perata's mayoral campaign.