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To: City Council | The City of Santa Cruz

Support WAMM, a Champion of Medical Cannabis Access and Community Safety in Santa Cruz

To the Honorable Members of the Santa Cruz City Council,
We, the undersigned residents and supporters of Santa Cruz, come together to voice our strong support for the proposed WAMM Phytotherapies (WAMM) and The Hook dispensary at 1129 Mission St. This initiative represents more than just a business proposal; it is a commitment to compassionate care and community wellness which provides WAMM a compliant location to serve westside medical cannabis patients as they have for over 30 years in our community. Federal Court Judge Jeremy Fogel described WAMM (Phytotherapies) as "the gold standard of the medical marijuana movement.โ€

Background:
WAMM has a long-standing history of providing compassionate care to those in need, offering therapeutic-quality, regeneratively-grown cannabis products to chronic and terminally ill patients. Their operating partner, The Hook has demonstrated a commitment to responsible retail operations, community education, and the prevention of underage access. Together, they propose to establish a dispensary that upholds the highest standards of community service and compliance with an unwavering goal to Continue WAMM's legacy of compassionate care by providing free medical cannabis to their members. Offer legal access to affordable, tested, cannabis products for the community and Combat the black market with competitive pricing that incentivizes people to choose legal, regulated products.

Community Benefits:
Health and Wellness: Expanding access to medicinal cannabis for patients in need, supporting physical and mental health in our community.
Economic Impact: Creating jobs and generating tax revenue that can be reinvested in local services and infrastructure.
Education and Prevention: Implementing robust education programs about safe cannabis use, contributing to a well-informed community.
Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to all local zoning, setbacks, and city laws, ensuring a safe and regulated environment.
Established Precedent: The proposed project aligns with existing standards for operational dispensaries, which have successfully integrated into the community without incident, demonstrating responsible business practices.

Addressing Concerns:
We acknowledge the concerns raised by some community members and affirm that the proposed location exceeds the required setbacks from schools, with measures in place to prevent visibility and access by minors. Furthermore, studies and data from reputable sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association, indicate that regulated dispensaries do not increase youth cannabis use or community safety risks. While we agree we as a community need to work together toward educating and discouraging our youth from substance use, there is no evidence supporting claims that legal dispensaries are providing access to minors or encouraging their use. There has not been a single incident of a dispensary marketing to or transacting unauthorized sales in the county, as confirmed by the Santa Cruz Police Department and the County Cannabis Licensing Department.

Call to Action:
We call upon the Santa Cruz City Council to acknowledge the significant community backing for the proposed dispensary at 1129 Mission St. With over 70% of Santa Cruz voters supporting Proposition 64, our community has clearly voiced its approval for regulated cannabis. By greenlighting this project, the Council will not only honor the wishes of its constituents but also uphold a tradition of regulating and overseeing cannabis businesses that have consistently demonstrated safety, reliability, and a commitment to the community.

In conclusion, we earnestly appeal for the City Council's positive endorsement of this proposal. Such an action would embody the democratic principles and community ethos that Santa Cruz is known for, while further supporting WAMM's invaluable contributions to our community. Let's move forward together, championing health, education, and responsible access to cannabis.
Supporting research can be accessed here: Research

Why is this important?

The project, a collaborative effort between WAMM Phytotherapies and The Hook, stands at the forefront of compliance with the city's legal frameworks, zoning regulations, and established setbacks from schools. Despite being fully compliant, it faces significant opposition from the school board, which has embarked on a campaign to thwart its development. The board's push for a 2000ft buffer between dispensaries and child-centric areas such as schools and parks would effectively impose a de facto ban, eliminating all parcels currently eligible for cannabis business operations within the city. This proposed buffer would render the four dispensaries that are currently operating in the city ineligible under the new criteria, despite the absence of evidence suggesting that legal dispensaries contribute to underage cannabis access.

The potential success of this opposition threatens not only the project but also the broader community fabric. It jeopardizes the contributions of two organizations that have been pillars of service in Santa Cruz, adhering strictly to all existing legal standards and regulations. The imposition of such restrictive measures would contradict the communityโ€™s values, overlook the democratic processes that have legalized cannabis, and negate the positive impacts these organizations have made. At its heart, this partnership between WAMM Phytotherapies and The Hook promotes responsible cannabis access, prioritizing education and the well-being of the Santa Cruz community, in line with the city's progressive and health-conscious ethos.

Updates

2024-03-28 14:04:44 -0400

Our proposed dispensary project has faced an appeal to the City Council. A small but vocal group is pushing for zoning changes that would effectively ban ALL legal cannabis businesses in Santa Cruz and effectively put us out of business in the city.

We believe this approach not only undermines responsible operations like ours, but also disregards the extensive public process that led to the current, well-crafted ordinances.

Your Voice Matters
We need your continued support to ensure the City Council understands the importance of:

Upholding established laws and precedents.
Supporting responsible cannabis businesses that serve the community.
Providing patients with compassionate access to medical cannabis.

Take Action Today!
Learn more about our project, sign our petition, and let the City Council know you support responsible cannabis access in Santa Cruz: https://lnkd.in/gYKMTKAA - Petition of Support
(https://lnkd.in/gPnPR276) - Appeal

2024-03-07 14:52:09 -0500

1,000 signatures reached

2024-03-05 12:47:06 -0500

500 signatures reached

2024-03-05 09:34:00 -0500

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RECM7TXokBg

2024-03-04 14:29:16 -0500

100 signatures reached

2024-03-04 12:19:18 -0500

50 signatures reached

2024-03-04 10:56:50 -0500

25 signatures reached

2024-03-04 04:26:31 -0500

10 signatures reached