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San Mateo County sheriff, DA challenge pot club permit

 | Published on 11/2/2010


REDWOOD CITY -- The decision to allow a medical marijuana dispensary in North Fair Oaks is being appealed by San Mateo County's sheriff and district attorney as well as a resident based on concerns that the club may violate county rules.

Sheriff Greg Munks and District Attorney Jim Fox filed the protest Monday with the Board of Supervisors, based primarily on questions about whether the Sans Souci Medical Collective would actually be a collective, David Silberman, an attorney for the county, wrote in an e-mail. They also have concerns that the club, which would be at 2676 Bay Road, might violate the county ordinance on medical marijuana collectives, which prohibits marijuana sales.

North Fair Oaks resident Michael Morris filed his appeal Friday and said he believes the collective goes against the county ordinance because it would be within 1,000 feet of a community center. He said Sans Souci is too close to Verbo Family Services at 2798 Bay Road, which includes a church, school and youth center.

"To put a collective in that area is to put families and kids at risk," Morris said. "There's no buffer zone, they walk past there to school, shops and parking."

Authorities have not yet set a date for the hearing before the board.

The club's operator, 28-year-old Bradley Ehikian, disputed the county's concerns, saying Sans Souci will operate as nonprofit collective.

"To be quite honest, it doesn't come as a surprise," he said.

"We look forward to addressing those concerns."

Ehikian became last month the first collective operator in the county to garner a permit from the San Mateo County License Board. That approval came despite concerns from the sheriff's office that the club's membership, which might be in the hundreds, could not take part in growing the marijuana, as is required by the county ordinance.

Ehikian said he sent notices on his project to all residents within 1,000 feet of Sans Souci and has received positive feedback from the few who responded. Monday was the first time he had heard of Verbo Family Services.

"This is brand new to us and we're definitely going to take a look at it," he said.