In historic move, Berkeley grants 4Front partner license to open a senior-focused medical cannabis dispensary
Sue Taylor is expected to be the first senior African-American woman to open a medical cannabis dispensary
May 11, 2016
BERKELEY, Calif. — What will likely be the first medical cannabis dispensary to be owned by a senior African-American woman, as well as the first to cater specifically to the needs of seniors, has received approval to open in Berkeley, Calif.
The Berkeley City Council on May 10 voted unanimously to grant the city’s coveted fourth and final (for now) license to iCANN Health Center, a member of the 4Front family. Competition for the license was fierce, with many well-established cannabis businesses in the running, but the council chose to go with a first-time operator with a unique vision. The council at the same meeting asked the city’s planning commission to begin the process of expanding the number of available dispensary licenses.
Sue Taylor, iCANN’s founder and president, began working seven years ago on a plan to open a medical cannabis dispensary focused on serving seniors, a population that could benefit from the use of medical cannabis, though may feel uncomfortable shopping at a traditional dispensary.
“I’m humbled by the council’s unanimous vote of confidence in iCANN, its team, and our plan to help the city’s senior community realize the benefits of medical cannabis,” said Taylor, a Berkeley resident and former Catholic school principal.
iCANN, which submitted one of 13 applications for Berkeley’s one remaining license, has been supported throughout the process by 4Front. In fact, Kris Krane, 4Front’s president, is a former Oakland resident and long-time friend of the Taylor family. He began working with Taylor on this project six years ago, before co-founding 4Front.
“Sue and iCANN have developed a unique business model that caters to a population that is largely underserved by current medical cannabis businesses,” Krane said. “It was noteworthy that city council members openly acknowledged the importance of yesterday’s decision in bringing much needed diversity to the industry, and empowering members of communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition.”
Berkeley currently has three dispensaries: Berkeley Patients Group, Patients Care Collective, and CBCB. Berkeley voters in 2010 approved Measure T, which authorized the city to add a fourth dispensary.
iCANN Health Center is a medical cannabis dispensary designed to address the specific needs of seniors. It will be located at 3243 Sacramento Ave. and is expected to open in late 2016.
4Front Ventures is a leading firm in the emerging legal cannabis industry. Through its subsidiaries, 4Front Advisors, Linchpin Investors and Mission Partners, 4Front Ventures’ seeks to professionalize the cannabis industry through impactful collaboration and informed perspective. Its underlying mission is to defeat prohibition through sensible regulation.