HopeNet and Vapor Room, two pot clubs in San Francisco, recently announced that they would stop their operations because of threatening letters received by their landlords from the federal government.
The closure is an evidence of the current suppression of medical marijuana dispensaries of the federal government.
The Justice Department sent out 600 letters since November to landlords who rent out space to medical cannabis businesses, threatening them.Â Nine pot clubs in San Francisco have already closed since November.
HopeNet was founded in 1998 on Ninth Street in the city's South of Market by Catherine Smith and her husband.Â It was an example of a legal pot club that abided by the city laws. Smith was part of San Francisco's Medical Marijuana Task Force and helped formulate the city's ordinance on medical marijuana. She couldn't believe that after accomplishing all these things, the government would be shutting her business down.Â Smith said that they would be continuing their delivery service but was not positive at finding another place for their dispensary and smoking room.
Other businesses have also been affected by the closures. An example is Ray Chico's company, Doob Tubes, which sells plastic containers for medical marijuana. He has let go or lay off employees since the forfeiture letter was received by Vapor Room. Chico was saddened to see HopeNet close. He believed that the medical marijuana shop was like a foundation to the community.
Pot clubs exist for patients who are mentally ill or have physical afflictions. Ramon Flores, a longtime patient, says, â€śThey come here for the marijuana which is also medicine, but they also come here for socialization.â€ť
The Justice Department has been campaigning against California's medical marijuana industry because of the businesses' alleged violation of California's 1996 law that was passed by the voters.Â The second setback came when the LA City Council voted to temporarily ban the 762 marijuana clubs all over the city.
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