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Where are all the marijuana millionaires?

Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, March, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- When Drew Brown first opened Abundant Healing, a medical marijuana dispensary that serves nearly 300 patients, he dreamed of early retirement to Costa Rica, where he would spend his days as a beach bum renting surfboards to tourists.
 
Then came a regulatory crackdown. Fifteen months later, Brown's business -- mired in red tape and compliance costs -- isn't the moneyspinner he imagined it would be.
 
"I made more money doing concrete," says Brown. A former construction worker and oil rig roughneck, he and his business partner Dave Schwaab are among the thousands of Coloradans who jumped into the legal pot business in late 2009.
 
That's when the U.S. Department of Justice ordered federal prosecutors to lay off busting such businesses where they're legal under state laws -- sparking a Renaissance/gold rush.
 
Marijuana's use by qualifying patients had been quasi-legal in Colorado for almost a decade, since voters amended the state constitution in 2000 to allow it. But there were no statewide regulations governing its sale and distribution. The federal ban still trumps Colorado's state law, but enforcement was light. The rapidly expanding market seemed to promise piles of easy money.
 
Then in 2010 Colorado tightened the screws. New laws imposed tough and often expensive standards on how business could run. Suddenly owning a pot dispensary -- officially called a Medical Marijuana Center, or MMC -- became no more profitable than owning a liquor store.
 

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San Diego City Council passes medical marijuana collective regulations

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO — KPBS.com reports that San Diego City Council passed regulations regarding medical marijuana collectives following nearly five hours of public comment on March 28.
 
Hundreds attended the meeting. The original proposal outlawed collectives from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and parks.
 
Ben Cisneros of Stop the Ban, a group who says the law would impact every collective in San Diego, said the ordinance is a “defacto ban that will close down every medical cannabis facility in the city and will make it virtually impossible to reopen.”
 
City Council voted to reduce the buffer zone from 1,000 feet to 600, and voted 5 to 2 to enact land-use restrictions and public safety regulations requiring background checks for all employees of collectives.
 
Councilman Todd Gloria said the rules, though strict, are better than the unregulated status quo.
 

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Could Oregon be First to End Cannabis Prohibition?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, March, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
(SALEM, Ore.) - About 30 volunteers rallied at the new office for the OCTA 2012 campaign on Portland's East side to meet, pick up packets and get outfitted for outreach early Monday. The Oregon Secretary of State's Election Division announced the approval of the petition, Initiative Number 9, for circulation and signature gathering on March 24th and the group lost no time in getting to work.
 
OCTA 2012 organizers have until July 7, 2012 to gather 90,000 registered voters' signatures to qualify for the November 6, 2012 ballot.
 
If passed, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 will regulate the legal sale of marijuana to adults through state-licensed stores, allow adults to grow their own, license Oregon farmers to grow marijuana for state-licensed stores and allow unlicensed Oregon farmers to grow cannabis hemp for fuel, fiber and food.
 
The state campaign committee is working to achieve ballot status in three ways: hiring paid petitioners, organizing volunteer petitioners and soliciting Oregon registered voters signatures online. 
 
Last November, a cannabis-related measure did not pass in Oregon. The difference between the two is substantial. Unlike OCTA 2012, Measure 74 was specifically regarding medical marijuana dispensaries- not legalization.
 
Paul Stanford, co-petitioner of OCTA 2012 says "there hasn't been anything like OCTA on the ballot, with the exception of California's measure last year, which was only slightly similar."
 
Organizers say that OCTA 2012 will raise $140 million a year for Oregon by taxing commercial cannabis sales to adults 21 years of age and older, and save an estimated $61.5 million as law enforcement, corrections and judicial attention can focus on violent crimes and theft.
 
"We estimate this will amount to $200 million a year more funding for state government. Ninety percent of the proceeds will go into the state general fund, 7% for drug treatment programs, one percent each for drug education in public schools, and two new state commissions to promote hemp biofuel and hemp fiber and food," Alexander said.
 

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Cannabis has Medical Benefits

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, March, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
Marijuana or Cannabis is an extravagance in the teenage over potato chips. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active component of cannabis has some medicinal effects. Cannabis contains more than 60 psychoactive compounds.
 
An Irish Physician, conducted a cannabis experiment in 1830, and used it to treat muscle spasms, stomach cramps and general pain. Then cannabis started using for medicinal purpose throughout the West.
 
China was being refined marijuana by 6,000 BC; it used as medicine around 3,000 BC in China. After 2,000 years of cultivation the drug used to make textiles in China.
 
Marijuana has been used as a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and South America.
 
It increases appetite and also helps in the treatments of eating disorders. The component THC prevents vomiting, and hence useful to treat patients receiving chemotherapy. It can be used to treat many other diseases including multiple sclerosis.
 

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Rules about medical marijuana in Arizona released

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, March, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
"(The patients have) been walking away with sheets of paper that they believe are certifications that we'll accept. The fact is, we will only accept certifications that are on the department-provided form," Humble said.
 
The main changes made to the final version relate to selecting and distributing dispensaries:
 
- Dispensary selection
 
The final version builds on the previous draft's proposed two-step process of approving applications. Dispensary agents will be required to first apply for a registration certificate, which would include a background check and basic information such as location. The agent then will apply for an operating license, which requires more detailed plans, such as a site plan and a certificate of occupancy.
 
ADHS has added more requirements to the first application step. For example, applicants must include a business plan that shows projected expenditures before and after the dispensary is operational, and the projected revenue.
 
The final rules make it easier for dispensary owners to change locations within their designated health area.
 
- Dispensary distribution
 
There will be one dispensary in each Community Health Analysis Area, a geographical breakdown of the state that the DHS previously used to track public-health statistics. There are 126 of these health areas in the state, close to the number of dispensaries allowed.
 
If there is one qualified applicant for one health area, the department will approve the dispensary. But if there is more than one qualified application for the same health area, prospective dispensaries will be evaluated on a set of standards: whether the dispensary has access to $150,000 in start-up capital; whether the applicant has been bankrupt; whether anyone with a 20 percent or more interest in the dispensary is a board member or a principal member; whether the applicant is a resident of Arizona for three years; and whether the applicant has outstanding fees, such as federal, state and local taxes and child support.
 
If the applicants all rank the same, the department will choose dispensaries randomly.
 
One of the reasons this provision was included in the final rules was to encourage applicants to set up shop in rural areas of the state, Humble said. If applicants do not meet the standards, they will have a better chance applying for a less competitive health area. After three years, dispensary owners can apply to move to a different health area, perhaps inside the Valley.
 

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San Diego considers tougher rules for marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, March, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO—California's second largest city is considering regulating its more than 80 medical marijuana clinics caught in a legal cloud that some say has left the dispensaries vulnerable to raids and arrests.
 
Under the proposed ordinance taken up by San Diego's City Council on Monday, pot shops—both existing and new—would be required to obtain a permit by the city planning commission and prove they are a nonprofit business.
 
They also would have their hours limited to between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and would be barred from doing business within 1000 feet of places of worship, parks, schools, playgrounds, libraries, child-care and youth facilities and other dispensaries.
Opponents say the proposed law is a de facto-ban on the pot clubs.
 
Ben Cisneros, of the nonprofit Canvass for a Cause, said the regulations will push clinics out to far-flung industrial zones patrolled by federal agents near the U.S.-Mexico border and other remote areas that are difficult to reach. More than 3,700 people have written to city officials asking for a less restrictive ordinance to ensure AIDS patients, veterans and others have access to medical cannabis, he said.
 
Cisneros said regulations should allow dispensaries within 600 feet of schools and not require approval by the planning commission if they are in commercial zones and there are no complaints. He also said keeping dispensaries more than 1,000 feet apart from each other limits them because so few landlords want to rent to the clinics because of the stigma.
 
"They're trying to zone out medical cannabis dispensaries as if they were strip clubs and adult book stores," he said. "It's not providing access, if you have to travel for hours on public transit and hours back with medical cananbis on you."
 

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