Matthai Kuruvila writing for the San Francisco Chronicle:
Call it the Walmart of weed.
In a 15,000-square-foot warehouse just down the road from the Oakland Airport, an entrepreneur is opening a one-stop shop for medicinal marijuana cultivation that’s believed to be the largest in the state.
Don’t know the first thing about growing pot? The folks at iGrow have a doctor on site to get you a cannabis card and sell you all the necessary equipment for indoor, hydroponic cultivation – from pumps, nutrients and tubing to lights and fans.
Don’t know how to set it up? For a fee, on-site technicians will show you how to build it in your home and even maintain it weekly.
“A lot of people don’t know much about growing pot,” said Dhar Mann, 25, the owner, who stood in front of an array of Ikea-like displays, showing different rooms of cannabis cultivation systems. “Since there are no full-service resources like us, they take risks, like electrical fires.”
This is hardly a fringe business. When iGrow opens today, at least three City Council members will attend. So will most of the leaders of the cannabis industry in Oakland, a city long at the vanguard of medicinal marijuana.
Today’s opening also comes on a key day for proponents of a statewide ballot measure to allow recreational marijuana. They plan to turn in about twice as many signatures as needed to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
The supporters of that measure are being led by Richard Lee, owner of Oaksterdam University, an Oakland-based business that trains people for work in the cannabis industry…
[continues in the San Francisco Chronicle]