October 8, 2009
Walnut Creek Chamber welcomes C3 Collective with ribbon-cutting ceremony
C3 Collective, the controversial medical marijuana dispensary, officially opened its doors this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony overseen by (pictured above) CEO Brian Hyman and representatives of the city's Chamber of Commerce.
Yes, it is a delicate matter for the Chamber, celebrating the opening of a business against which the city has filed suit. The city asserts that the Oakland Boulevard dispensary is operating illegally because it is violating Walnut Creek's zoning laws. Hyman says that C3 Collective is piling up about $500 a day in fines and must pay up nearly $15,000 by the first week of November. But he adds that C3 is determined to stay open. It wants to be a part of the community and to provide vital medical services to the public, he says.
C3 Collective also serves as the city's first, openly operating reminder of the local, state, and national debate on if and when to make marijuana legal for certain purposes.
Despite the controversy, one chamber "ambassador" said that the chamber makes it a practice to welcome new businesses to the city, and new members to its organization. The C3 Collective, a nonprofit "wellness collective," joined the chamber, and is therefore entitled to a chamber ribbon cutting ceremony.
The ceremony was accompanied by live music, and plates of sandwiches, salads and cookies provided by Morucci's, the excellent Boulevard Way delicatessen. Some attendees, including chamber representatives, were delightfully surprised by the clean and chic interiors of the collective--dark, hardwood floors, modernist furniture. A few joked about whether the refreshments would also include some free samples of the featured product.
Besides being able to purchase marijuana--for the time being, for however long it can stay open--members can also enjoy "wellness services," such as yoga, meditation, and massage classes, and can find referrals for legal consulting and hospice services.
C3 Collective, which, in fact, boasts of a "chic, boutique environment," offers a variety of medical marijuana products: "top-shelf strains to suit the divergent tastes of our patients." The collective seeks to find "what is best for each individual, hoping to consistently and effectively deliver the results that each individual wants."
Chic? Boutique? Well, you couldn't expect anything less from Walnut Creek, could you?