The name Amber Senter is familiar to anyone who follows the cannabis social and racial equity movement. Senter helped the city of Oakland craft their first-in-the-nation Cannabis Equity Program that’s been a model for other cities and states across the country. She co-founded the EquityWorks! Incubator that helped open the Oakland Cannabis Kitchen, California’s first shared-use licensed cannabis edible manufacturing facility. And she helped write the statewide California Cannabis Social Equity Act of 2018.
And now she’s part of a team that’s bringing a new dispensary to Bayview, as Thursday night the SF Planning Commission approved a cannabis dispensary for a company called Bayview Ventures, which has Senter as the chief operating officer.
“Our team is led by strong, experienced women of color with over 25 years experience in the cannabis industry,” Bayview Ventures CEO Tiara Mitchell said before the vote. “We also plan to carry a diverse inventory of equity trade certified, Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ owned products on our shelves.”
Senter also spoke briefly Tuesday night in capacity as COO, mostly in highly technical language about the facility’s odor mitigation plan.
The site near Oakdale Avenue and Rankin Street is already a licensed cannabis distribution facility, that is, they have a permit to transport and store cannabis before it’s sold by retailers. And state law is pretty strict that you need a separate license to grow, sell, or store cannabis, and these things usually can’t be done under the same roof. But state law also carves out a “microbusiness" designation, where smaller operators can engage in multiple forms of cannabis business under the same roof, and this will be one of those.
That’s appealed to the commissioners, who approved the dispensary unanimously. Commissioner Kathrin Moore hailed the proposed dispensary as an example of “what it is really possible to create if we look at this particular facility as an example for microbusiness and vertical integration.”
It’s unclear the timeline for the dispensary’s opening, or what its name will be. The application came from the company Bayview Ventures, and the current distribution facility is called Breeze Distro.