Beate Moore: The best choice for Nevada City’s first medical cannabis dispensary
October 10, 2017
The Nevada City Council will soon be voting to approve its first medical cannabis dispensary.
Council members have the opportunity to select a dispensary with a mission to serve patients, protect the environment, and give 100 percent of its net proceeds to local nonprofits that serve the community. That mission is why I joined the board of directors of "Growing Community," a new, not-for-profit organization that is entirely locally owned and controlled.
I know that medical cannabis is a controversial issue in our community. While I am not trying to change peoples' minds on this topic, I have seen firsthand how people have come to support medical cannabis once it has helped someone they love.
When my husband was diagnosed in April 2012 with Stage 4 liver cancer and sent home with hospice, our lives changed drastically. He did not respond to opiates and we were thankful when a neighbor brought us the oil concentrate of the cannabis plant. His nausea and pain diminished in several weeks and he stopped losing weight. We did not know till several months later that his tumors were also disappearing. While originally given only a few months more to live, my husband and I enjoyed more than four more quality years together thanks to medical cannabis.
During those years, I started a website about the cannabis plant, collecting research and lab tests results from as far away as Israel and Spain. Many of us know how cannabis has helped epileptic children like Silas Hurd. My research found that people are also successfully using cannabis to treat Parkinson's, MS, depression, opiate addiction and even reversing the effects of Alzheimer's. I shared my husband's story and treatment online, too. As a result, people contacted me from all over the world and I was saddened that I couldn't directly help them all.
While my personal story with medical cannabis led me to join Growing Community's volunteer board, I strongly believe that Nevada City needs a dispensary that will also address the social and environmental impacts of cannabis use and cultivation in our community. We are committed to giving the dispensary's profits directly to local nonprofits that provide environmental protections, social services for youth, elderly, people with disabilities, and more.
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Designed to be a full-service health and wellness center, Growing Community will provide education and safe, legal access to high quality, locally grown medicinal cannabis for patients, and link to other holistic health services such as Ayurvedic medicine, massage therapy and herbal medicine.
I am so impressed by the wonderful local people on the Growing Community team, which will be led by Executive Director Paul Harton. Paul is a Nevada City resident and the former general manager of the BriarPatch Food Coop whose sales grew from $1 million to $15 million during his 13 years there. He will manage daily operations to make sure that only qualified patients are served, prevent diversion and keep youth and the surrounding neighborhood safe.
We have picked a location for Growing Community at the end of Lower Grass Valley Road in Nevada City. The building is zoned light industrial and is far from residential neighbors. We are committed to being good neighbors and are working with the businesses on our street to minimize impacts.
The Nevada City's City Council has a hard choice to make. But if you want our community's first medical cannabis dispensary to be run by local people, serve patients with medicine grown by local farmers committed to protecting the environment, and to give its profits to local nonprofits rather that enrich outside investors, than please contact the Mayor and City Council to let them know how you feel.
I have lived in Nevada County for over 40 years and have three children and six grandchildren in the area. Here is the website I built during my husbands illness: http://www.cannabis-cancer-info.org.
Beate Moore is a board member of Growing Community and lives in North San Juan.