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Cotati pot provider gets OK to expand


Cotati’s only medical cannabis dispensary won permission Wednesday to expand — but most of its growth will come in areas other than marijuana, its owner said.

The City Council followed most staff recommendations in approving on a 4-0 vote Mercy Wellness’s request to change restrictions in its use permit.

The 2-year-old dispensary, which had been limited to 1,000 square feet of space, will be allowed to expand to 3,500 square feet, though the area used to actually dispense marijuana to customers remains capped at 800 square feet.

The larger space would accommodate services such as yoga classes and massage therapy, said Greg Lucas, Mercy Wellness’s owner.

“We’ve always envisioned this as a wellness center and in our small space we can’t do that,” he said.

Lucas said he has no immediate plans to expand, but that he wants the flexibility to do it when the time is right.

The council, swayed by Vice-Mayor Pat Gilardi’s arguments, balked at Lucas’s request to lift the current limit of 1,100 patients a month.

“That was something that gave the public reassurance,” said Gilardi, recalling the 2007 battle over the city’s medical marijuana ordinance, which permits only one dispensary in town.

The council on Wednesday clarified the limit, saying it applied to “active patients” who visited the dispensary at least once a month, and that it did not mean individual visits per customer.

“We can live with that,” Lucas said. Since the business opened, the most individual customers recorded in any one month has been 346.

The council approved other requests, including that Mercy be allowed to keep 30 pounds of marijuana in stock, up from 15 pounds, and that it can put up more signs, though none can advertise marijuana.

The dispensary is one of 11 in Sonoma County. Three others are in cities, two in Santa Rosa and one in Sebastopol. The rest are in unincorporated areas of the county.

Councilwoman Janet Orchard was absent.

You can reach Staff Writer Jeremy Hay at 521-5212 or jeremy.hay@pressdemocrat.com.

13 Responses to “Cotati pot provider gets OK to expand”

  1. Skippy says:

    God bless Lt. John Pike.
    He is my Occupy hero.

  2. Mr. PepperSpray PIKE says:

    Greg, you are way too easy to debate:) Voters should have to show ID at the polling place. But not to you. People on this board are free if they wish to ID themselves. But not upon your demand. The daily headlines of corrupt and/or criminal police abuse the public trust. But hey… Greg trusts them ! Greg, Greg, Greg. ;) Oh, Greg. Did you figure out the meaning of my “corny” name yet? ;)

  3. Pepperspray: I’m sure you approve 300% of voting without showing ID. If you can’t see the hypocrisy of criticizing police who “hide behind hidden identities” then hide behind your own fake name, then you are not worth the pixels in my posts. So enjoy your misguided bitterness towards the police, and if you are ever pulled over for breaking the speed limit, please, please, please call the officer a doughnut-stuffing fascist redneck pig. After he or she does not beat you silly, as they would in many other countries, but treats you professionally, you might experience a teachable moment.

  4. Mr. PepperSpray PIKE says:

    Uh, so, Greg. Do you stand around polling / voting locations & demand that everyone ID themselves to you, too ? Private ID’s bother you? As for my “corny” name, if you browsed anywhere but the Press Democrat, you’d understand more about this world than you do and you’d understand “Mr.PepperSpray PIKE,” too. Alas, your scope of knowledge is very limited.

  5. Citizens says:

    Greg & Pepper spray your both correct.

    The Sheriff’s do nothing 98 of the time. The 2% of work is significant. The CHP are of course 99.99999% useless.

    The crime rate in the county does not warrant such a large police force.

  6. Speaking of hidden identity, Pepperspray, I put my name on everything I post. I find it ironic that you complain about hidden identity, then hide behind a corny pseudonym.

  7. Mr. PepperSpray PIKE says:

    Greg Karraker is amusing. Cops do nothing 98% of the time other than take reports. $100,000 a year for pushing paper. Oh, wait. They enjoy using pepper spray to inflict pain upon civilians & then hide behind their union when the public demands to know who is behind their hidden identity.

  8. @Pepperspray:

    Your knee-jerk contempt for the police gets really tedious. If somebody breaks into your home at 3 AM, I suggest you call a city planner for help. I could refer you to a particularly annoying one, if you like.

  9. Up In Arms says:

    There is no such thing as “medical marijuana.” There is only illegal marijuana.

    The feds correctly ban it. Only the drooling potheads believe in the “magic.” It smells bad, leaves a very bad odor wherever you go, and its very bad for your brain, if you have one. Employers won’t hire your if you smoke the weed.

    So what is so good about it? I know, you like to get high and so do your hippy friends so you can all think about nothing including what a stupid idea pot and drugs are. Good luck with than one on your travels through life.

  10. Mr. PepperSpray PIKE says:

    Any bets that cops can stuff as many doughnuts into THEIR mouths as they want while driving? No citations for THEM.
    And they can use THEIR cell phones while driving as much as they want but you cannot.

  11. Grapevines says:

    And the club will reward the members of the Cotati City Council with a “Frequent Users Discount Card!” Good for a percentage off future purchases and faster priority checkout so they can return to council business quicker.

    “Far out man!!”

  12. Missy says:

    The medical marijuana thing is such an incredible scam. Close them all. They attract the vermin of society. Give people that really need this stuff PRESCRIPTIONS, from REAL DOCTORS period, outside of that it’s all bs.

  13. Money Grubber says:

    Just an observation:

    Pot clinic given “legal” authority to expand operations…….

    Yet another article says the police plan to cite you for driving while stuffing a Big Mac into your mouth.

    Government sure knows how to instill a sense of direction and priority. LOL !!!