(844) 665-0420 · info@agreenalternative.org · 2335 Roll Drive #4, San Diego CA 92154 · Monday - Saturday 9 AM - 9 PM, Sunday 10 AM - 8 PM

Press & Media

Licensed marijuana businesses operate in the shadows without access to banks

Feb 18, 2017 – Sometime next year, the most populous state in the nation will let licensed recreational pot sellers start cashing in on a multibillion-dollar industry.

But even though California voters approved these businesses in passing Proposition 64 in November, a major unresolved issue remains that will force a large portion of the state’s legal cannabis community to continue to operate in the shadows: banking.

Read More at the San Diego Union-Tribune


Properties Zoned For Marijuana Use Are Hot Commodity

Feb 9, 2017 – With recreational use of marijuana set to be legalized for Californians in 2018 and with more cities in San Diego County approving medical use, investors in the marijuana industry are snatching up properties with the hopes of getting a piece of the pot economy.

Some real estate brokers are calling this feeding frenzy the “green rush,” comparing pot investors to settlers who came to California in the 1800’s looking to strike it rich from gold mining.

Read More at NBC 7 San Diego


San Diego cracks down on illegal pot dispensaries

June 7, 2016 – Landlords and operators of two illegal medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego must pay $830,000 total in civil fines, a Superior Court judge has ruled.

The ruling comes less than a month after operators of two other illegal dispensaries were criminally charged under a new, more aggressive approach by City Atty. Jan Goldsmith.

Read More at Los Angeles Times


New state laws bolster local med pot shops

October 17, 2015 – New state laws regulating medical marijuana will make San Diego County’s 12 legally allowed dispensaries more legitimate, help increase the number of dispensaries in the region and make the products they sell safer, local marijuana advocates say.

New fees and taxes on dispensaries for state licenses and product testing could make medical marijuana more expensive locally, but advocates say that’s not a certainty and that potentially higher prices may be a necessary byproduct of the industry gaining more acceptance.

Read More at the San Diego Tribune


Eye On The Locals: An Interview With CEO, Dr. David Blair

July 7, 2015 – I’m a curious person and when I see something historic happening in my community, I feel an urgent need to document and ask questions. When A Green Alternative opened in Otay Mesa on March 20, 2015 — only two blocks from a major U.S.-Mexico port of entry — I couldn’t help but find out more.

A Green Alternative is the first medicinal marijuana dispensary that has legally opened in the City and County of San Diego. It’s a historic moment, highly controversial and located in my neck of the wood–the South Bay. So I walked right up to the storefront security guard and asked for an interview.

Read More at southbaycompass.com


First city-approved pot shop opening delayed

October 29, 2014 – A woman’s appeal of the development permit for the first city-approved medical marijuana dispensary will delay its opening, originally scheduled for the end of November.

Barbara Gordon filed an appeal October 15 against A Green Alternative opening a shop at 2335 Roll Drive in Otay Mesa. She claimed the proposed development is in an inappropriate area of town and poses a danger to surrounding businesses and residents.

Gordon, who is tied to more than one drug prevention group, also said the dispensary should not be in a strip mall.

“Children should not see the normalization of selling marijuana,” Gordon said. “It just doesn’t seem right.”

Read more at fox5sandiego.com


UT San Diego: SD loosens pot shop rules

October 23, 2014 – San Diego officials loosened rules this week governing where the city’s first legal medical marijuana dispensaries can open, giving new hope to several frustrated pot shop applicants.

The city decided to soften a prohibition against opening a dispensary within 1,000 feet of a “minor-oriented facility” because the previously broad interpretation of that term had stymied many applicants.

The change comes one week after a dispensary proposed in Otay Mesa became the first to receive city approval. That dispensary, A Green Alternative, is expected to open by the end of the year.

Read More at utsandiego.com


City Beat:  Meet the men poised to open San Diego’s first legal medi-pot shop

October 22, 2014 – Outside of the third-floor entrance to the city of San Diego’s Development Services Department, around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23, David Blair joined a long line of would-be marijuana entrepreneurs. Other people had been queued up for days in anticipation of the city issuing its first-ever permits for operating medical-marijuana dispensaries.

With a limited number of permits available, Blair hired a security guard for about $1,400 to also wait outside the building for several days prior to the city opening its doors to applicants. However, at the last minute, officials told everyone to walk downstairs to the first floor of the building and form a new line.

Read More at sdcitybeat.com


SD loosens pot shop rules: Clarification of “minor-oriented” policy will make more locations eligible for dispensaries

October 23, 2014 – San Diego officials loosened rules this week governing where the city’s first legal medical marijuana dispensaries can open, giving new hope to several frustrated pot shop applicants.

The city decided to soften a prohibition against opening a dispensary within 1,000 feet of a “minor-oriented facility” because the previously broad interpretation of that term had stymied many applicants.

The change comes one week after a dispensary proposed in Otay Mesa became the first to receive city approval. That dispensary, A Green Alternative, is expected to open by the end of the year.

Read More at sandiegouniontribune.com


Cannabis Clinic Set to Open

October 19, 2014 – San Diego State University business professor David Blair became the first person in the city to receive a conditional use permit for legally operating a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary.

Blair is just one of dozens of people who applied for one of these licenses since the San Diego City Council approved new zoning and operating guidelines that allow up to four medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in each council district in late February. His company, A Green Alternative, was approved by a city hearing officer on Oct. 15, and the permit will become official following a 10-day appeals period.

If everything goes according to plan, A Green Alternative hopes to set up a shop in Otay Mesa by the end of this year. The San Diego Police Department will inspect the dispensary annually until the conditional-use permit expires in five years.

Read more at ucsdguardian.org


San Diego Approves 1st Dispensary

October 16, 2014 – Let the rebirth of San Diego’s medical marijuana industry begin.

On Wednesday, the city granted initial approval to what could become the first legal dispensary in San Diego since officials established new regulations earlier this year.

A hearing official determined that the dispensary – A Green Alternative – meets all the necessary criteria for approval. Barring any setbacks, the dispensary hopes to open by New Year’s Eve in the Otay Mesa neighborhood, just north of the Mexican border.

It would rank as the first legal dispensary within the city’s boundaries under the new regulatory structure.

San Diego has one of the oldest MMJ scenes in the country, but the industry has experienced numerous booms and crackdowns in the absence of strict regulations. Officials are still trying to close the estimated 100 or so illegal dispensaries that have ignored the new rules and remain open without approval.

Read more at mjbizdaily.com


KUSI: San Diego’s first hearing for medical marijuana dispensary scheduled Wednesday

October 14, 2014 – San Diego’s first hearing to issue a license for the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary is scheduled Wednesday at the City Administration Building.

David Blair applied for a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at 2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa, according to city documents.

Despite the 1994 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana, some cities have banned them based on a state Supreme Court ruling that said they could. Read More at kusi.com


CBS News: City approves first legal marijuana dispensary

October 16, 2014 – The City of San Diego Wednesday approved a license for the first legal medical marijuana dispensary in the city.

David Blair applied for a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa, according to city documents.

“Medical marijuana is the law of the land,” said A Green Alternative attorney Dan Riffle.

Despite the 1994 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana, some cities have banned them based on a state Supreme Court ruling that said they could. Read More at cbs8.com


San Diego approves first medical pot dispensary

October 15, 2014 – The first permit allowing for the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego was approved Wednesday.
David Blair was granted a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at 2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa.

Blair said he was exciting to be the first applicant “through the system.”

“We will operate ethically and serve this community with the best intentions to help patients in need of medical grade cannabis,” Chief Operating Officer of A Green Alternative Zachary Lazarus said.”

Read More at fox5sandiego.com


KPBS: San Diego Approves First Medical Marijuana Dispensary License

October 15, 2014 – The city of San Diego has approved its first license for the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary under new city zoning guidelines.

David Blair applied for a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at 2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa, according to city documents. A hearing officer for the city’s Development Services Department approved Blair’s application at a hearing in the City Administration Building Wednesday morning.

“We’re at the end of the beginning and the beginning of the next step,” Blair said.

Despite the 1994 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana, some cities have banned them based on a California Supreme Court ruling that said they could.

Read More at kpbs.org


College Professor Holds Permit for San Diego’s First Legal Pot Shop

OCTOBER 15, 2014 – San Diego will have its first legal medicinal marijuana dispensary within city limits.

The San Diego Development Service Commission approved the City of San Diego’s first medical marijuana dispensary license Wednesday.

The company called A Green Alternative will be located on Roll Drive in Otay Mesa.

Dr. David Blair, a business ethics professor who teaches a course through San Diego State University, said they have done everything the city has asked.

Read More at nbcsandiego.com


SD approves first ever license for medical pot dispensary

October 15, 2014 – San Diego Wednesday approved its first ever license for the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary in city limits.

David Blair applied for a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at 2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa, according to city documents.

Despite the 1994 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana, some cities have banned them based on a state Supreme Court ruling that said they could.

A hearing officer for the city’s Development Services Department approved Blair’s application at a hearing in the City Administration Building Wednesday morning.

Read More at 10news.com


Otay Mesa Shop is City’s 1st to Get Medical Marijuana Permit

October 15, 2014 – The first permit allowing for the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego was approved Wednesday.

David Blair was granted a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at 2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa.

Blair said he was exciting to be the first applicant “through the system.”

“Our plans are to set the benchmark for others to follow by providing reliable safe access to patients in the city of San Diego who suffer from serious and, in many cases, debilitating illnesses,” Blair said after Kenneth Teasley, a hearing officer for the city’s Development Services Department, approved his application.

Read More at timesofsandiego.com


First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Permit Granted in San Diego

October 15, 2014 – The first permit allowing for the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego was approved this week.

David Blair was granted a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at 2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa.

Blair said he was exciting to be the first applicant “through the system.’’

“Our plans are to set the benchmark for others to follow by providing reliable safe access to patients in the city of San Diego who suffer from serious and, in many cases, debilitating illnesses,’’ Blair said after Kenneth

Teasley, a hearing officer for the city’s Development Services Department, approved his application.

Despite the 1994 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana outlets, some cities have banned them based on a state Supreme Court ruling that said they could.

Read more at patch.com


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