Federal agents closed a medical marijuana club in Novato two weeks ago, but the Green Door Wellness Education Center remains open right next door to the shuttered collective on Novato's North Redwood Boulevard despite a moratorium on medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the city.
Lawrence Pebbles, who runs Green Door, has kept his collective open since April 2010 despite the forced closure April 24 of the Green Tiger collective and an effort by his landlord, David Cesena, to evict the business, according to a story in the .
On Tuesday, Pebbles spoke during open time in front of the Novato City Council to emphasize that he's waiting for a response from City Attorney Jeff Walter about a proposal for the club to stay open and contribute a special-use fee to city coffers.
Here is what Pebbles said:
In December 2011, we were invited by the city attorney to prepare a proposal for our continuing services. We have spent considerable time and expense drafting a workable document, much of which is similar to Mr. (Jeff) Walter's agreement on behalf of the city of Corte Madera with Marin Holistic Solutions, a medicinal cannabis collective in Corte Madera. Mr. Walter indicated that the city would withhold analysis of our proposal until after the unlawful detainer filed by Green Door's landlord was resolved.
A special-use fee of 1.75 percent included in the proposal could be used for any reason the city chooses. It would bring additional funds to our city, police dogs, drug education for students or any other worthy cause the city deems appropriate. Based on our current numbers and future productions, this could be between $1,000 to $2,000 a month for our city.
Green Door won that unlawful detainer trial in early January. We were then advised by Mr. Walter that the Novato City Council had authorized him to draft an agreement negotiating an arrangement that would allow the Green Door to stay open for an unspecified period and that we could expect to see a draft agreement to review and discuss.
We believe this to be a wise and progressive action that would provide a special-use fee bringing additional income to our city while allowing continued safe access to Proposition 215 patients. This was excellent news that I passed along to our patients, who have been worried about their health and future ability to legally obtain medicinal cannabis.
Our attorney, Jeff Moss, has made numerous attempts to keep communication open with the city attorney Jeff Walter regarding this matter and to inquire as to the status of that draft agreement. Mr. Walter did not return any of his calls or e-mails asking about that agreement. While not responding to the proposal seemed a little bit odd for our city leaders, it's not what we understood to be the turning point toward a win-win for our city and our patients. While our original proposal included a 1.75 percent fee for our continued operation, Green Door did not have any indication of what amount of that fee would be acceptable.
We recognize that we are a unique operation in Novato, and based on what have agreed to, fees could have ranged from as high has $50,000 a year to the city.
The council members did not respond to Pebbles because his comments came during open time on the agenda and were not up for discussion.
Novato Patch about the issue of medical pot collectives. Add a comment below if you have strong feelings one way or another.