Amoeba Music plans to open a cannabis dispensary next to its store on Telegraph Avenue this April.
City Council awarded Amoeba Music with a permit to open the dispensary in 2016, after the council increased the legal maximum number of dispensaries in the city from four to six. The dispensary, named High-Fidelity, will be located next to the Amoeba Music store, according to Amoeba Music worker Kevin Monteiro.
Set to open at 2465 Telegraph Ave., High-Fidelity will be managed by Amoeba Music and will be the second dispensary to open on Telegraph Avenue. The Daily Californian previously reported that the dispensary was named the Berkeley Compassionate Care Collective, but Amoeba Music workers confirmed that the dispensary is named High-Fidelity.
Amoeba Music’s business has been suffering lately as the popularity of vinyl purchases has decreased, and the dispensary could keep Amoeba Music alive during this time of economic uncertainty, according to Stuart Baker, the executive director of the Telegraph Business Improvement District.
“Part of their appeal was that they needed (the dispensary) in order to keep Amoeba Records viable,” Baker said. “They are one of our flagship stores, and the owners have done a lot for the community over the years, and we felt it important to support the business.”
According to city Councilmember Kriss Worthington, Telegraph Avenue was the ideal place to house a new cannabis dispensary because of the “cultural ambience” of the neighborhood. Worthington added that High-Fidelity will provide a well-regulated and safe system to bring the street sales of cannabis into a legal dispensary.
Additionally, Amoeba Music was chosen because it has been “outstanding” employers in the neighborhood, and several neighboring businesses spoke out in support of the store during City Council’s proposal review period in 2016, according to Worthington, whose district includes Telegraph Avenue. He added that the original proposal Amoeba Music submitted in 2016 was impressive.
“A big reason for getting the permit was the really good proposal and layout for how they were going to operate their facilities,” Worthington said. “They had really good experts put together their proposal of how they were going to operate their dispensary.”
Not only will the business attract new clientele as a result of the dispensary, Worthington said it is likely that record customers will decide to buy marijuana and that marijuana customers may choose to purchase records, further increasing revenue generation for Amoeba Music.
After the legalization of recreational marijuana use for adults in January, Worthington said he expects the sales of marijuana to be even greater than just medical marijuana, though he doesn’t know the exact numbers to expect.
The dispensary is still slated to be in business before mid-April, and Amoeba Music is currently preparing for the opening, according to Baker.
“Amoeba has been a great member of the community, and we look forward to supporting them,” Baker said.