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Hayward Council Considers Hemp Club

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HAYWARD -- The City Council might reconsider a decision it made
Tuesday that forces the closure of The Hayward Hempery's medical
marijuana dispensary.

At the request of Mayor Roberta Cooper, who is concerned about
"fairness issues," the council is scheduled Tuesday night to decide
whether to revisit a surprise decision it made a week before.

Earlier that night, Cooper warned the crowd of medical marijuana
proponents to keep testimony brief because the council's ability to
make rational decisions drops significantly after 11 p.m.

At 11:13 p.m., the council voted unanimously to allow two other
dispensaries to continue to operate in downtown Hayward, but not The

The council was scheduled to consider grandfathering in The Hempery
and the Local Patients Cooperative as part of a compromise agreement
that evolved from a city task force on medical marijuana. The
dispensaries, including a third that opened recently in the same
vicinity on Foothill, have been operating in violation of Hayward's
zoning law.

Instead, based on the facilities' reputations, the council sanctioned
Local Patients Cooperative and the new Hayward Patients' Resource
Center (HPRC), a revival of the former B Street Helping Hands
Patients' Center.

Cooper, who was later contacted by Hempery owner Cheryl Adams, said
the council's late decision may have been made unfairly and in haste.
She's not sure the city did its part in notifying Adams about the meeting.

She also said many dispensary proponents had mistakenly concluded,
based on an earlier work session, that the council was going to
grandfather in all three existing dispensaries.

"We didn't have a deal," she said, chalking up their interpretation to

Cooper and other council members also said they were dismayed to
learn, after the fact, that The Hempery was robbed earlier this month,
but Adams didn't report it to police by the urging of HPRC owner Jane

Councilman Joe Hilson said he felt that, by hiding the robbery, people
weren't being "straight" with the council.

Tuesday's discussion is expected to be quick and purely procedural. If
the council wants to reconsider the item, it will be put on a later
meeting agenda.

Pubdate: Mon, 24 Nov 2003
Source: Oakland Tribune, The (CA)
Copyright: 2003 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Website: East Bay Times - Contra Costa and Alameda county news, sports, entertainment, lifestyle and commentary