HEMPERY'S CLOSURE MEANS ANOTHER POT SUPPLIER STAYS Hayward's Remaining Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Already Busier Because of Reduced Number in Oakland HAYWARD -- Patients and employees at a downtown medical marijuana dispensary were elated Tuesday after learning that the city is allowing the facility to operate for an additional two years. "We're very excited," said Jane Weirick, owner of Hayward Patients' Resource Center. "Now we can start thinking about programs we want to offer long-term." The news came on the heels of the city's revocation of an agreement with the landmark Hayward Hempery, which would have allowed its medical marijuana dispensary to operate through December 2006 under specific circumstances. The decade-old Hempery, which was on the corner of B Street and Foothill Boulevard, violated the grandfathering agreement with the city by never getting a business license, said City Manager Jesus Armas. Hempery owner Cheryl Adams was evicted from her building and faces felony drug possession charges stemming from an arrest in Fremont late last year. Since the Hempery is no longer authorized to operate, the city gave its three-year grandfathering time limit to Weirick's HPRC. That was part of an agreement the City Council made with three dispensaries it sanctioned last year amid a public debate about how to handle a sprouting number of downtown dispensaries. The Hempery and Local Patients Cooperative - also downtown on Foothill Boulevard - were both grandfathered for three years, or until December 2006, as long as they follow a list of regulations. HPRC, which was a newcomer to the scene, was grandfathered for only one year - until now. "I'm encouraged by (the news)," said a Hayward patient nicknamed "Quizmo," who declined to give his real name. "Safe access is the point." Shane, 29, of Newark, who asked that his last name not be used, added that patients like him can now count on the HPRC being there. He has been using marijuana for his chronic gout for three years under a doctor's recommendation. Adams has been unavailable for comment -- none of her four business or cellular phone numbers is connected. In the meantime, Ron Ikebe, who owns the former Hempery building, said he's been fixing it up while it's in escrow. He intends to sell the building to the owner of the adjacent building -- where HPRC is located. The buyer's Realtor, Michael Tanzillo, said his c lient plans to fix up the building and lease it to a tenant who would feed off traffic from the planned Cinema Place movie theater complex across the street. A preliminary hearing in Adam's drug possession case is scheduled for June 11 at the Fremont Hall of Justice. Two Dispensaries Remain The Hempery's closure leaves just two city-sanctioned downtown dispensaries, whose owners have agreed to a list of guidelines. Some of those include limiting the amount of pot on-site to 3 pounds per day, banning advertising and encouraging patients not to smoke on-site. Left out of that agreement was a dispensary downtown in Main Street coffee shop. It remains in operation despite earlier talk of plans to move to unincorporated Alameda County. Bob Swanson, an aide to Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, said there seems to be some growing political support among a couple of City Council and Chamber of Commerce members to allow Main Street to stay. But that's not the read Armas has on the council, he said, adding that the city has no plans to revisit the grandfathering agreement. There are also now three known dispensaries operating in unincorporated Alameda County -- one on Lewelling Boulevard and two new ones on East 14th Street, Swanson said. They made it through a recent county code enforcement officer inspection, Swanson said, adding that Miley plans to work on some county regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. Demand Up Like Hayward's, the dispensaries in the unincorporated area are likely to be even busier now that Oakland is closing all but four of its pot dispensaries, said Jeff Jones, executive director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative. "There is a runoff to Hayward," he said, adding that he has been sending South Bay residents to Hayward because there are no dispensaries in San Jose. "And for lack of a better term, there's a 'Haysterdam' zone -- three dispensaries in a couple-block area. And there's good parking and quality service." Weirick said she has already noticed an increase in patients since Oakland's June 1 ordinance limiting the number of permits to dispensaries took effect. "Oh, yeah. We've had three-or four-dozen new people I've never seen before," she said, adding that it's going to be challenging to meet the 3-pound limit. Shon Squier, who owns Local Patients Cooperative, said he's had trouble with the 3-pound limit since the beginning, especially in light of business taxes. There's no sales tax on marijuana. "The business is always picking up," Squier said, adding that the limit makes it hard to keep all of the different marijuana strains on hand.