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Pot Warehouse Will Pad Oakland's Coffers

OAKLAND (KCBS) - A 15,000 Sq. ft. "We Grow" marijuana outfitter opened Sunday to plenty of fanfare in Oakland. Local officials championed the pot mega-store because of its potential to bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue annually.

"We're estimating the first few years, $5 to $8 million dollars," suggested Oakland City councilwoman Jean Quan. "Now that is a sizeable chunk of change."

KCBS Tim Ryan Reporting:

The store, located on Hegenberger Loop near Oakland International Airport, was stocked with pot plants, pot candy, soil and bongs, among other things, when it opened its doors.

"This is our flagship store, the same store the media has dubbed as The Wal-Mart of Weed, the Home De-Pot and the Marijuana Mega-Store," said We Grow executive Derrick Peterson.

Plans were unveiled for a 60,000 Sq. ft. marijuana cultivation facility nearby.

"We're also excited to revolutionize cannabis production here in Oakland, with the launching of our medical grade cannabis cultivation facility, which we hope to build out early next year," declared Peterson, a former banking executive.

"I left a decade career on Wall Street to enter an industry that was filled with a bit more compassion," he said.

"I look forward to assisting them as they expand this concept throughout the state of California and throughout this nation," offered Oakland City councilman Larry Reid, who suggested the warehouse store could create as many as 40 new jobs in Oakland.

"Our roots are planted firmly here in Oakland," Peterson emphasized.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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