West Hollywood’s Original Dispensaries Fear City Will Leave Them Behind

The stores have all been operating on temporary licenses since last year

Jason Beck has waited longer than most other California dispensary owners for a chance to sell recreational cannabis.

First invited to open Alternative Herbal Health Services by then-West Hollywood Mayor John Duran in 2004, Beck proudly claims to own California’s “longest continuous retail” marijuana business “south of San Francisco.” He says his store has been raided at least three times by federal law enforcement agents, but the lost product and threats of prosecution weren’t enough to force him out of business.

A lifelong believer in the healing power of cannabis who smokes to treat the effects of cerebral palsy, Beck isn’t all that surprised that someone has taken actions that could threaten his store again. But he is a little stunned by who — the same city that asked him to open his doors in the first place.

“The government has never been able to close us down … yet a local ordinance passed by a city that had invited us here, and appreciates the work that we’ve done for the community, could possibly jeopardize our livelihood,” Beck said.

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