OAKLAND - There's a new store in East Oakland that's sure to draw a huge cloud of controversy.
The building just down the way from the Oakland Airport is the newest place to pick up gear for growing medical marijuana. But iGrow isn't just a cramped, out of the way space.
The 15,000-square foot warehouse is a one-stop shop for everything cannabis cultivation — from lights and fans to fertilizer and additives. An on-site doctor will issue recommendations and technicians will be on-hand to teach prospective growers how to get their roots into the business.
However, there's one item that won't be on the shelves at iGrow — the plants. Seedlings can only be sold at dispensaries and iGrow doesn't fall into that category
Pot clubs are hardly a new sight in Oakland. After all, the city is home to the now-famous Oaksterdam University, where students can take classes such as "Bud Tending 101" and the city is the first in the nation to pass a tax law for cannabis clubs.
Dhar Mann, the founder of iGrow, is ecstatic over the birth of his business. He says it's about time medical marijuana users and growers come out of the shadows.
"We’re excited that iGrow was born in the epicenter of the cannabis movement." Mann, 25, told Weed Bay. "And we’re even more thrilled to see the strong support that the City of Oakland and the community has shown us for the grand opening of our new business."
The grand opening falls on the same day proponents of a statewide ballot to allow pot for pleasure turn in a petition to qualify the measure for the November ballot. Proponents of the measure say they have twice the number of signatures needed.
A handful of local lawmakers will be at the ribbon-cutting when iGrow officially opens for business at 5 p.m., along with most of the leaders in Oakland's cannabis business.