A young man wearing a button-down shirt and tie met the customer at the locked door at just after noon on Saturday. The customer had his identification out and in his hand as the locked door was opened and he entered EcoCann, a cannabis dispensary on F Street in Eureka.
The customer could have been going into one of the other dozens of businesses located in Old Town Eureka but this time he was there to purchase marijuana.
“We have had very little push back,” dispensary CEO and president, Jeff Poel, 58, said. “It’s been a very positive reception. I’ve spoken with the people at Mazzotti’s, Jorge with Amigas Burritos said he’s seen an uptick in customers and we probably attract 10 more people per day down here who are eating lunch or purchasing a T-shirt.”
Poel opened the doors to the dispensary in September 2017 in anticipation of Proposition 64 going into effect in January. It wasn’t easy finding a storefront in downtown, and Poel said the opening was delayed because of the struggle to find a retail space.
“I’m very happy with F Street. It’s been great and we have great landlord. He deserves a mention, Jack Freeman,” Poel said. “He was one of the few people who would rent to us and we were delayed three months because we first needed a space before we could get the permits.”
There were concerns from many in the community that allowing cannabis-related businesses would attract an unseemly crowd but after having spoken with more than a dozen visitors and neighboring businesses that does not seem to be the case.
“They run a tight ship over there,” said Steve Johnson of Old Town Jewelers, located across the street from the dispensary. Johnson pointed out to one unexpected benefit — there