The Mission will get its sixth pot club after eight members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Shambala Healing Center.
The center, at 2441 Mission Street, between 21st and 22nd streets, will take over half the retail space left vacant by Privilege, a clothing store that closed recently after failing to win over the neighborhood with its hip-hop-style fashion.
Unlike proposed dispensaries in other neighborhoods, this center received relatively little opposition and strong backing from community organizers and Supervisor David Campos.
“They are responsive, with a strong connection with the Mission,” said Commission Vice President Christina Olague of the project’s sponsors. “I have faith it is going to be a positive project for the Mission.”
Some nearby business sent letters of opposition to the Planning Commission, but none made it to the meeting. They complained that there are already enough pot clubs in the Mission, and they perceived such dispensaries as “magnets of crime.”
“We believe this to be a highly inappropriate location for this club as the proposed location is only three minutes away from both Mission High School as well as the Mission Playground,” wrote Robert Verhoeff, the president of Best Collateral. “Surely you don’t intend to put a Cannabis Club so close to minors and the park they play in?”
Supporters meanwhile, said that they respected and trusted Krissy Keefer, a longtime Mission resident and executive director of the Dance Mission Theater who is one of the the new dispensary’s sponsors.
Supporters said the pot club would also be a good fit because there are other medical buildings in the area, like Los Portales Medical Building and several dentist offices.They added that it would be a prime location because the closest pot clubs in the area are near Duboce to the north and Cesar Chavez to the south.
“People feel that if these [marijuana dispensaries] operate to the letter of the law, they are positive,” said Philip Lesser, president of the Mission Street Business Improvement District, adding that he is confident that the center will be a positive addition even though some of the members of his organization oppose it.