Like most California counties, Marin is deeply divided on the subject of cannabis, with some citizens strongly for and other citizens against.

Unlike most North Bay counties, including neighboring Sonoma and not-too-distant Mendocino, there is no provision for the legal, commercial cultivation of cannabis in Marin. There are very few places where one can buy cannabis legally, though there are delivery services, some of which fly under the radar. Googling “cannabis dispensaries in Marin” yields mostly delivery services, like Flowsent, not brick-and-mortar establishments. Flowsent offers cannabis-infused gummies and pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes.

The opposition to cannabis comes mainly from some parents and some teachers who call cannabis “the gateway drug,” which opens the door to truly dangerous narcotics, like speed and heroin. There is little room to reason with the foes, though most of the evidence gathered and disseminated by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) indicates that young people who smoke marijuana don’t go on to use the hard stuff.

Marin’s cannabis foes also argue that dispensaries attract “undesirable elements,” though studies show that isn’t true. Cannabis aficionados who live and work in Marin often drive across the Richmond Bridge to Oakland, buy cannabis in a dispensary and drive home with their purchases. If that isn’t nuts, I don’t know what is.

Despite all the hoopla, Marinites have been growing cannabis for their own personal use ever since the 1960s, and all through the pot prohibition.

For my money, one of the very best cannabis dispensaries in Northern California is Marin Alliance CBC in Fairfax. It bills itself as “the nation’s oldest continually operating medical marijuana dispensary.” That’s true.

Founder Lynette Shaw is a legend in the industry. President Bill Clinton tried to shut her down. She’s still in business.

Marin Alliance, 6 School St., Ste 210, Fairfax. 415.295.7633. Marincbc.com

Jonah Raskin

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