Amoeba Music's Berkeley record store gets license to sell weed

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Amoeba Music's Berkeley location has found a new venture to stay afloat as record sales continue to decrease: an in-house medical marijuana dispensary. The store has been approved for a license to sell marijuana, Fact reports, and plans to convert its jazz section into a dispensary called Berkeley Compassionate Care Collective, which would have a separate storefront from the record store.

In an interview with Billboard in 2015, Amoeba Records co-founder Marc Weinstein admitted that the store earned half of the revenue that it did in 2008 and that it went from employing 90 people to 35. "[Marijuana is] one of the few products that a brick-and-mortar retailer can get into and consider making a living at," said Weinstein.

Amoeba Records Co-Founder Marc Weinstein on Getting Into the Pot Dispensary Business

This isn't a new concept for the music store chain: Their San Francisco location has had a dispensary, Green Evaluations, since 2014.

An employee announced the news of the license approval on Facebook.

While there aren't any exact numbers on the increase of revenue that the San Francisco dispensary has brought in, the addition was said to have helped improve foot traffic along with helping pay for half of the store's annual rent.

"People are already getting stoned and ending up at Amoeba," Brian Zisk, founder of the annual SF MusicTech Summit, told East Bay Express. "They're going to spend four times as much."

The dispensary does not have an opening date yet because of permits still pending from Berkeley's Department of Planning and Development.


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