Country’s Largest Marijuana Dispensary on Its Way to SF?

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco could soon be home to the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the county, if not the world.

According to SF Weekly, the commercial building at 70 Second Street is for sale—along with the marijuana dispensary the building currently houses.

John George, the agent handling the sale of the property, told the outlet that bids for the aging, three-story building have topped $10 million. That figure is well north of the roughly $5 million the building would fetch (according to the average price of commercial real estate in the city) if it were any normal building.

The reason for the astronomical bidding is simple: The property comes with the ability to operate a medical marijuana dispensary, an uncommon perk in a city that has tight regulations governing the location and number of dispensaries legally allowed to operate.

While those wishing to open a dispensary in San Francisco must jump through myriad hoops—including securing a permit from the Department of Public Health and a land use permit from the city’s Planning Commission—purchasing this property completely eliminates those barriers. The new owner could simply have the health permit transferred to his or her name, and, because the building already houses a dispensary, the land use has already been approved by the Planning Commission.

Savvy weed entrepreneurs can thank San Francisco real estate developer Marty Higgins for discovering the shortcut.

According to the Weekly, Higgins recently purchased a building at 4811 Geary Boulevard that housed the Hemp Center, a marijuana dispensary. After evicting the tenants earlier this year, a brand new dispensary called Harvest will begin operating in the building soon.

California is poised to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes as early as next year. Advocates have already gathered the necessary signatures to place a measure on the 2016 ballot, and a poll conducted earlier this year by the Public Policy Institute of California found record support among voters for full legalization.

While the Bay Area could soon be home to the largest dispensary in the nation, it could also be home to a practical solution to legalization’s safety problems—one Oakland-based startup claimed this week that it has invented a Breathalyzer for pot.