Damn, I remember when going to the music store was akin to going to church. Not like a Southern Baptist or Pentecostal church mind you, music stores were more of a solemn affair, akin to a Catholic Mass. You stood for hours worshiping your favorite artist, picking through their psalms, trying to find their greatest miracles. I don’t know about you but I found it cathartic and would spend hours looking for music that would ultimately shape certain facets of my personality.
But seriously when was the last time you bought a CD? And don’t lie either. Don’t be one of those fronting hipsters who’s like “I go CD shopping every weekend” fuck you, no you don’t and even if you did you don’t count. I mean god bless you and your desire to keep history alive but take many back row seats.
Because you know good god damn well that no one buys CDs anymore. At least no one who isn’t over the age of 40. And the only reason I say that is because it’s only people close to my generation who seem to possess some strange nostalgia with Discmans and 90’s R&B.
Which brings me to the point of this article. Amoeba Music has been a mainstay in the West Coast music distribution scene for nearly 25 years. If you might be reading this and not from the Bay Area, Amoeba is similar to stalwarts such as Reckless Records or Tower Records. All music stores with ardent followers, even as technology makes music more accessible and stores such as these increasingly more obsolete.
Amoeba has bucked this trend within recent years by including a Marijuana evaluation clinic within their walls that helps music fans get their hands on their own shiny new Prop 215 Card. However, a report from the East Bay Express indicates that the record seller’s flagship store in Berkeley is preparing to step it up a notch by opening a full-scale medical marijuana dispensary.
Amoeba co-owner David Prinz believes the transition from providing pot recommendations to actually selling weed is an obvious one. That it will happen at the same location where CD’s, records and music memorabilia are sold he feels is a solid concept with a wealth of potential.
“Music and weed go together like—music and weed,” Prinz said.
Berkeley will likely award a fourth license to operate a dispensary within its city limits sometime this year. As Prinz puts it, Amoeba applied for the license to provide themselves with a source of “supplemental income” as well as “to do some amazing shit”. His words. Not mine.
If awarded the license Amoeba’s first plan of action is to renovate the store to accommodate the medical marijuana dispensary. And while Amoeba may seem like an ideal location for a medical marijuana dispensary, there are five other organizations vying for the same license. Ultimately it will be up to the city council, and not the opinion of the general public, to decide Amoeba’s fate.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.