by David Downs
Oaksterdam's Salwa Ibrahim
Oaksterdam's Salwa Ibrahimwill be the owner and general manager, while former WeGrow partner Derek Peterson co-owns, and will serve as CFO. LaTanya Linzie will act as board member and manager. Linzie is also reportedly affiliated with Oaksterdam. Oakland's Assistant to the City Administrator Arturo Sanchez announced the selection in an email March 14. Three other finalists did not receive permits, but could, if they get a new location. They are:
Tidewater Patients Group
Board Members: William Koziol, President; Alexis Parle, Managing Member; David Koziol, Jay Dodson, and Michael Stewart
G8 Medical Alliance, Inc.
Board Members: Toni Mims-Cochran, Leo Bazile, Joel Elliott, Ekundayo Sowumni, Ariana Patino, Aaron Goodwin, Joyal Degani
Jeffrey Wilcox, CEO
One alternate applicant was also picked, in case the other finalists cannot find a spot within four months.
The alternate applicant: Magnolia Wellness Inc.
Board Members: David Spradlin, President, Eli Austin, Harold Rogers, Anna Rae Grabstein
Congrats to Oakland Community Collective. They ran a gauntlet. The city council chose to increase the total number of Oakland dispensary permits from four to eight last July. By October, all California dispensaries had become potential targets for renewed enforcement actions by the federal government. Richard Lee had to move, twice.
Pre-crackdown estimates that perhaps 150 groups would apply for the four new permits, proved wrong. Twelve groups applied, and public hearings were completed on January 9. Two groups were disqualified.
"Of the remaining ten, one applicant, AMCD, Inc, was disqualified for questions about truthfulness and compliance with the RFPA requirements," Sanchez wrote.
Location has proven to be a massive issue in the permit process. Oakland's zoning limited potential dispensaries to the waterfront. And landlords got cold feet as federal forfeiture letters flew across the state.
"Of the remaining nine only five were able to complete the process with their proposed site still under contract. It should be noted that a number of applicant’s agreements with property owners were rescinded or canceled as a result of decisions made by the property owners," states Sanchez.
"Of these five applicants only two have sites in approved areas. Of these two applicants with approvable sites only one is being recommended, Oakland Community Collective."
The other applicant, Abatin, had an overall score that was too low, "when compared to the four eventual applicants selected. The score combined with questions about their local presence and management meant they could not be recommended even if they had a viable site."
"Of those Applicants that were not recommended many shared similar traits and conditions that led to inferior scores in particular their management plans, which for many lacked information on local control and presence, raised questions about who would actually be managing the facility and whether diversion would be a problem as result, the exact manner in which possible excess revenue could be used for community benefits, and generally raised too many concerns over management to be recommended for a permit."
"Please be advised that the City reserved the right to Approve/Recommend an Applicant but not approve their selected site. As such, the City Administrator’s Office availed itself of this authority and selected the “best” potential Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary operators, whose applications best exemplified their ability to conform and operate pursuant to the City’s requirements.
"While location was a factor, the lack of an appropriate site would not be a bar [to] an Applicant, if the City felt that the Applicant was of sufficient caliber and quality that the Applicant could be trusted with a permit. As a result three (3) of the selected Applicants are being recommended subject to their identification of alternate, appropriate sites, a new public hearing would be required for these new sites. These Applicants will be given four (4) months to find an alternate site."