The LA Times printed a piece by John Hoeffel that details some of the major issues with oakland’s plan to license the 4 big grow corporations. It is a shame that there is such arrogance from Jeff Wilcox, the man proposing the continued criminal enterprise, AgraMed. He has thrown his weight and his money around to sell wolf tickets to the Oakland City Council, but I do not think he understands that a victory with the Council is NO VICTORY IN THE MOVEMENT. His statements, like the ones following, just show that Mr. Wilcox has a lot of work to do to be the success he is betting on. Here are the highlights….
LA Times wrote:
And that’s just one part of his proposal. Wilcox, a retired builder, owns a campus of aging, idled industrial plants. On a wall in an unused conference room, a sketch of the property shows how he could fill most of the 172,000 square feet with growers raising high-end pot and entrepreneurs turning out brownies, drinks, tinctures and other products.
“My idea was a business park of cannabis,” he said.
I call bullshit. Wilcox NEVER mentioned this landlord theory in his big plan. Also, how does he see several small tenants, such as in an office park, being housed under one business that is somehow a collective that sells to other collectives? Hello. This is Mickey. I am calling from earth. Get fucking real.
LA Times wrote:
No other city has provided such red-carpet treatment. Oakland is essentially trying to set up legal sanctuaries for pot businesses, although the move may prove too brazen for federal narcotics agents who recently called city officials to request a copy of the ordinance.
Duh. Of course the feds requested a copy. Did you forget federal law HAS NOT CHANGED and that the polict from the USDOJ say “clear and unambiguous compliance with State law.” I would say Agramed is hardly clear and unambiguous. If I were dude, and the city, I would be truly worried. But what the fuck do I know? I am just finishing a federal sentence for providing medical brownies. Get a grip Mr. 170,000 square feet.
Wilcox is one of those mainstream figures. He says he started smoking pot when he was 15 and now uses it medicinally for back pain, but the 50-year-old single father with three teenagers is strait-laced. He sold his construction firm five years ago and retired. But he was bored. He didn’t see marijuana as a business opportunity until DeAngelo approached him about growing in his buildings, which are next to Harborside.
“I don’t look like a pothead, obviously,” he said, “and I struggled with the moral issues for a while, security issues, everything else; and then I decided I wanted to do something with my life.”
Now he is Oakland’s equivalent of a Sand Hill Road venture capitalist and a tilt-up office developer rolled into one. He has money, connections and 7.4 acres off Interstate 880.
Wilcox, who knows his way around City Hall after two decades as a major contractor, approached the idea shrewdly. He set up a company called AgraMed and spent $16,000 to study its economic potential. The 68-page report concluded that he could sell marijuana worth $59 million a year. With a 5% pot tax that the City Council decided last week to put on the November ballot, Wilcox’s operation could pay Oakland $3.4 million a year in taxes. “We did this to move the legislation,” he said.
He also sought help from Dan Rush, a local labor leader with City Hall clout, and promised to hire hundreds of union workers. He reached out to Lee, who is well-regarded at City Hall. He donated $20,000 to the legalization initiative that Lee is backing in November. He hired a lobbyist. He made a few modest political donations.
And he made it known that he was willing to spend $20 million to convert his buildings into an incubator for marijuana businesses. “It’s just such a mind-boggling thing. It makes you speechless,” said Arturo Sanchez, who oversees the city’s medical marijuana programs.
Even buckets of money cannot make your product desirable. you can buy off whomever you like. I will pass. No. I do not have 20 million to cover the costs, but I also believe in a thing called integrity. No amount of money could buy you that, my friend. I see your project being rejected just on principle, as this industry is better than that and better than you. Your ignorance on what it takes to provide high quality and desirable medicine is embarrassing. You can be as connected as you want in the City Chambers, but the patients and cannabis users that make up this industry will reject your immoral venture for what it is- BULLSHIT!
LA TIMES wrote:
Wilcox won over City Council members despite intense opposition from some marijuana activists and growers who supply the Oakland market. Wilcox, who cheerfully acknowledges he enjoys a good brawl, boasts that he won the turf war.
“There was a transfer of power,” he said. “In essence, you could say big business is here.”
Mr. Wilcox, word of advice, get your cart from in front of your horse, pal. This arrogant statement alone has convinced me that you should be resoundingly rejected by this community. Big business is here? Where? You haven’t sold a thing yet, so do not be so quick to pat yourself on the back. You are a piece of work.
God Bless You, Oakland if this is what your future beholds…