San Andreas is now home to one of only three medical marijuana dispensaries legally operating in Calaveras County.
Green Gold Cultivators, a medicinal cannabis dispensary, has recently become compliant with Calaveras County zoning laws, having begun the certification process nearly a year ago. While some dispensaries have been faced with the prospect of closing their doors, Green Gold has taken root and thrived.
Green Gold owner Tom Calmese has long been involved with the process of growing and selling cannabis for medical purposes in the area.
“Before opening Green Gold, I was growing for several dispensaries,” he said. “But I wanted to do more to help local residents.”
Calmese and his partner, both Calaveras residents themselves, were concerned with the high costs at other medical dispensaries in the county, so they decided to do something about it. The two came to their own conclusion that the county in general – and San Andreas, in particular – needed a dispensary that cared about patients first rather than profit.
“Seeing the high prices inspired us to open a better collective where people would pay less,” Calmese said. “We’re less expensive than other collectives in the state.”
That dedication to helping others prompted Calmese to take the necessary steps to come into compliance with Calaveras’ building and zoning laws. The process was arduous but completely worth it, Calmese said.
“We wanted to become a legitimate business,” he said when asked about his reasons. “The main obstacle for compliance was our location. Because of that, we moved to a new location in March 2014.”
The prior location in San Andreas was not in the proper zoning to comply with county code, so Calmese moved the shop down the road and up the hill on Angels Road in San Andreas.
After its move, Green Gold had to undergo evaluation and certification by every county …read more