Ed Jew linked to unlicensed pot club
District 4 Supervisor Ed Jew's troubles continue to mount. According
to city records,
Jew is part-owner of a building that houses an unlicensed marijuana
By Tamara Barak
May 26, 2007
Troubles continue to mount for embattled San Francisco Supervisor
Ed Jew with the revelation that he is part owner of a building
that houses an unlicensed medical marijuana club.
Jew and his parents, Howard and Anne Jew, each own a third of
a building that houses addresses 1543 and 1545 Ocean Ave., Katie
Muehlenkamp, aide to San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting,
"It's a multi-family residential building including a flat
and a store," Muehlenkamp said.
The store is cannabis club NorCal
Herbal Relief Center, which is one of four medical marijuana
dispensaries in San Francisco that has failed to apply for an
operating permit, according to the city's Department of Health.
There are 31 known dispensaries in the city.
"As of today, I have not received an application for them
to operate that facility," said Larry Kessler, senior environmental
health specialist at the health department.
If NorCal Herbal Relief Center doesn't obtain a final permit
by the end of June, it may be subject to closure, said Kessler.
However, if legislation introduced by San Francisco Supervisor
Michela Alioto-Pier is passed, that deadline will be extended
Under Alioto-Pier's amendment, pot clubs would have to start
the application process by July 1, Kessler said.
The dispensary's attorney, Matthew Kumin, said his clients at
the member-owned cooperative plan to bring their dispensary into
"They are trying to get a permit. It's a very long, involved
application and they're planning to get it in under the deadline,"
Kessler agreed that the permit process could be a lengthy one.
"There's a bit of paperwork involved and approvals necessary
from other city departments," he said.
Jew's property was the former home of a pot club called Herbal
Relief Center, which was closed following a Drug Enforcement Administration
raid in June 2005. The raid, called Operation Urban Harvest, targeted
medical marijuana clubs that DEA investigators believed were fronts
for illegal drug trafficking.
Kumin said NorCal Herbal Relief Center is a completely different
cannabis club than the one that was raided in 2005 and is staffed
by different people.
"These guys had nothing to do with the prior operation,"
Kumin said the sudden attention from the dispensary's apparent
connection to Jew has overwhelmed the staff at the small club.
"I don't think my clients even knew who Ed Jew was,"
A woman who answered the phone at the NorCal Herbal Relief Center
yesterday denied that the city supervisor was one of the club's
"Ed Jew is not part owner of our building," said the
woman, who refused to give her name.
"We deal with Howard Jew, that's his father. We have no
ties, no contact, no dealings with Ed Jew."
Special Agent Joseph Schadler said he couldn't comment on whether
Jew's interest in the building would become part of the FBI investigation.
The FBI's public corruption unit is investigating possible illegal
payouts accepted by Jew. The supervisor is also the subject of
a probe by the city attorney's office into whether he lives in
the Sunset District, which he represents.
Jew, who is in China, has until June 8 to submit a copy of his
2006 federal and state tax returns, driver's license, vehicle
registration and utility bills from 2450 28th Ave. in San Francisco
to City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
Herrera's spokesman, Matt Dorsey, said the city attorney's office
would likely not be looking into Jew's involvement with the Ocean
Jew's attorney, Steven Gruel, did not return calls for comment.
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