Pot Dispensary Hurts Hotels, Chronicle Says; But Not at The Luxurious Intercontinental

Don't get us wrong: As a person, we genuinely like oft-maligned San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius. As a columnist, however, Nevius has a tendency to confound us, as he did Thursday when he held forth on the proliferation of medical cannabis dispensaries — pot clubs, in Hearst's parlance — in South of Market.

There's only one glaring factual error in Nevius' column — he writes that dispensary owners don't undergo criminal background checks, when a quick perusal of the city's Medical Cannabis Dispensary permitting process reveals otherwise. His main contention is that a proliferation of pot clubs will stall or perhaps even subvert the Sixth Street corridor's efforts at gentrification, and new city rules are necessary (what those rules could be he leaves up to speculation).

He uses the example of an optometrist — who just moved his offices to Sixth Street — who is furious to hear that a nearby vacant storefront could become a dispensary. That storefront could be next to a future 15-story hotel, the investors of which are incensed at the notion of sharing a wall with marijuana.

“Enough pot clubs,” Nevius concludes, without — we assume — a shred of irony. “Now we need hotels.”

Left unmentioned is the 32 percent hotel vacancy rate as of December 2010. Also left unmentioned is the fact that one of the crown jewels of the San Francisco hotel industry is an across-the-street neighbor to a cannabis dispensary — and not once has the hotel complained.

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