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from Business Week

Silicon Valley Is High on Innovation. And Pot

Douglas Chloupek, co-founder and chief executive officer of MedMar Healing Center, a medical-marijuana dispensary, looks at the root structure of a young marijuana plant in San Jose

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Being a computer coder takes a physical toll. The long hours sitting at a keyboard can cause back and wrist pain. You can run to a pharmacy and pick up some Advil, or if you’re in Silicon Valley, you can drop by the Palliative Health Center for some Sour Diesel. Palliative Health is a medical marijuana dispensary, one of many in San Jose, Calif. Inside, iPads are mounted on pedestals so patients can scroll through and check prices and availability of Sour Diesel, Chem Dog, and a dozen or so other strains. The shop offers marijuana-infused sodas, muffins, and chocolates, and monthly classes on cooking with cannabis.

Around 40 percent of Palliative Health’s clients are tech workers, says Ernie Arreola, 38, the assistant manager. “We’re seeing people from some semiconductors, lots of engineers, lots of programmers,” he says. That makes sense, because the shop is an easy shot from some of the area’s biggest employers—Cisco Systems (CSCO), Google (GOOG), Adobe Systems (ADBE), Apple (AAPL), EBay (EBAY)—and a short drive from dozens more. Also, people in Silicon Valley do like their pot.

San Jose is the medical marijuana capital of the Bay Area. The city has 106 pot clinics (four are delivery-only)—more than four times the number in San Francisco, twice as many per square mile as Los Angeles, and, according to San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, “many more than are necessary to meet the medical needs of our population.”

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Posted on March 8, 2013 by Editor

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