Business Acumen! Amoeba Music Diversifies Into, Um, Selling Weed on the Side


The outcome of the great Presidential debacle debate isn’t the only news that’s simultaneously amusing and depressing today. You may have heard the news that LA institution Amoeba Records is shaping up as the latest victim of the condofication of our biggest cities — its building has been sold to developers, and while initial reports that its closure was imminent happily proved premature, one generally can’t rely on the goodwill of property developers indefinitely.

Amoeba’s owners have clearly been thinking about how to safeguard the future of their other stores, and today brought the news that the store’s Berkeley location has been granted a new license: to sell marijuana. When you think about it, this is genius: while not all music obsessives are also incorrigible stoners, enough of them are, ahem, weed enthusiasts to make the idea of a one-stop weed/vinyl shop a pretty compelling commercial proposition. The idea’s been on the table since last October, when Amoeba co-owner David Prinz told the East Bay Express, “Weed can [absolutely] help save music,” and now that his application has been approved, we’ll see if he’s right. It’s sad that just selling music isn’t enough to keep a record store afloat these days, but at the same time, if ideas like this can keep stores like Amoeba in business, we’re all for them!