San Diego Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensary License Fees
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, January, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder
The medical marijuana industry in California has long operated in a Wild West fashion. There are not solid state rules and regulations in place, and cities and counties either have their own rules, or no rules at all. Throw in a lot of conflicting case law and federal raids, and you can see why there has been a lot of chaos in the industry in California. San Diego has been particularly contentious during the last five years. Fortunately, there is now a licensing system in place, at least at the city level. Per KPBS:
The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of a package of amendments to medical marijuana regulations that, among other things, establishes a minimum fee of nearly $1,100 for annual operating permits.
The amendments pertain to an ordinance that sets the terms under which dispensaries will conduct their business. The operating regulations differ from land-use restrictions, which determine the allowable locations for pot shops.
“I anticipate there will be more discussion and more changes down the road as San Diego experiences these operations actually open legally,” Councilwoman Marti Emerald said.
Among other things, the City Council wants the annual permit fee to equal the cost of inspections and other expenses needed to regulate the dispensaries. The city’s projected costs include the use of police officers to make background checks, fire personnel, zoning investigators, planners and City Treasury employees.
It will be interesting to see how dispensaries in San Diego react to the new rules and fee. A lot of them have operated for a long time with while paying no fees and didn’t have to follow any guidelines or rules for the most part. Hopefully this becomes an opportunity for the City of San Diego and the medical marijuana industry to get on the same page. Although, I’m worried about the Councilwoman’s statement above that there will be ‘more changes down the road.’ That doesn’t always mean good changes for the industry side.
Feds Can No Longer Raid State Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, December, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
Federal agents will no longer be able to raid medical marijuana dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal under a provision included in the $1.1 trillion spending law President Obama signed December 16.
Enactment of the law changes a two-decade-long battle between the states and the federal government. Although 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, the Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies it as a Schedule I drug, the same class as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, which signifies it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Before this law, the Justice Department could shut down dispensaries that states legally opened, although under the Obama Administration the department had kept its distance. Under the measure, included in the 1603-page law, federal agents would be prohibited from such raids. The government also cannot interfere in implementation of states' medical marijuana laws, under the amendment cosponsored by Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat Rep. Sam Farr, both of California.
"This is a victory for so many," Rohrabacher said in a statement, "including scores of our wounded veterans, who have found marijuana to be an important medicine for some of the ailments they suffer, such as PTSD, epilepsy, and [multiple sclerosis]."
The move is also a victory for medical marijuana advocates and dispensary owners and operators.
Pharmacist Joseph Friedman, RPh, in Lincolnshire, Illinois, has applied to open three dispensaries in Illinois. He told Medscape Medical News the move brings "a sigh of relief" and adds a layer of protection for owners and operators of dispensaries.
"Every day these dispensary owners open their doors, they had in the shadow the risk of the feds coming in and shutting them down for any number of reasons," he said. "That's not to say that the ones selling to children or that are close to schools or doing anything under the table don't deserve to get shut down.
"We had only heard up until this point that the federal government wouldn't fund any more raids on dispensaries, so this just makes it official," he said.
Read more: http://www.medscape.com
COLORADO MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES OFFERING BLACK FRIDAY SALES
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, November, 25th 2014 by THCFinder
From new marijuana strains for the holidays to gift sets and pot-and-pumpkin pies, the burgeoning marijuana industry in Colorado is scrambling to get a piece of the holiday shopping dollar. Dispensaries in many states have been offering holiday specials for medical customers for years - but this first season of open-to-all-adults marijuana sales in some states means pot shops are using more of the tricks used by traditional retailers to attract holiday shoppers.
Here's a look at how the new recreational marijuana industry is trying to attract holiday shoppers:
Traditional retailers sell some items below cost to drive traffic and attract sales. Recreational marijuana retailers are doing the same.
The Grass Station in Denver is selling an ounce of marijuana for $50 - about a fifth of the cost of the next-cheapest strain at the Colorado dispensary - to the first 16 customers in line Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That works out to less than $1 a joint for the ambitious early-rising pot shopper. Owner Ryan Fox says his Black Friday pot is decent quality, and says he's selling below cost to attract attention and pick up some new customers. As Colorado dispensaries approach a year of being able to sell weed to all adults over 21, not just card-carrying medical patients, Fox says retailers have to do more than just sell pot to get public attention.
Pot shops are using old and new media to tout the sales. One dispensary is taking out a full-page "Happy Danksgiving" ad in The Denver Post and is inviting shoppers to text a code for extra savings.
VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS
Sweets and marijuana seem to go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. Many dispensaries this time of year resemble a Starbucks at the mall, with holiday spices and festive music in the air. One of the state's largest edible-pot makers, Sweet Grass Kitchen, debuted a new miniature pumpkin pie that delivers about as much punch as a medium-sized joint. The pie joins holiday-spiced teas, minty pot confections and cannabis-infused honey oil for those who want to bake their own pot goodies at home. Even some edibles makers that specialize in savory foods, not sweets, are putting out some sugary items for the holidays. "It just tastes too good, we had to do it," Better Baked owner Deloise Vaden said of her company's holiday line of cannabis-infused sweet-potato and pumpkin pies.
Some shops are angling for high-end holiday shoppers, not an increase in foot traffic. Colorado Harvest and Evergreen Apothecary timed the release of some top-shelf strains of potent pot for the holiday season. Spokeswoman Ann Dickerson says they're "sort of like the best bourbon or Scotch that will be competing on quality, rather than price."
What holiday shopper doesn't appreciate free gift wrapping? Or a gift set ready to pop under the tree? The Growing Kitchen is making $49.99 gift sets for both the medical and recreational pot user. The sets include the edible-pot maker's new Mighty Mint cookie, a pot-infused confection new for the holiday shopping season, along with marijuana-infused salves for muscles sore from the ski slopes. Other dispensaries are offering free gift totes and stockings with purchases.
For the shopper who wants to give pot but doesn't know how the recipient likes to get high, Colorado's 300 or so recreational dispensaries so far have been able to issue only handwritten gift certificates. That's because banking regulations prohibit major credit cards companies from being able to back marijuana-related gift cards the way they do for other retailers.
Just this month, a Colorado company started offering pot shops a branded gift card they can sell just like other retailers. The cards are in eight Denver dispensaries so far, and coming soon will be loyalty cards similar to grocery-store loyalty cards that track purchases and can be used to suggest sales or new products to frequent shoppers.
Read more: http://abc7chicago.com
Massachusetts Approves Four More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, November, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
Prior to last week, there were eleven medical marijuana dispensaries working their way through the licensing process in Massachusetts. Currently, there are not dispensaries operating at all in the state. You can now add four more dispensaries to the list of hoop jumping applicants. Per WBUR.org:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has given three companies provisional approval to open four medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
Patriot Care Corp., which already has a Lowell dispensary in the works, was approved for dispensaries at 21 Milk Street in Boston and 7 Legion Avenue in Greenfield. Coastal Compassion, Inc.’s proposed facility at 2 Pequod Road in Fairhaven and Mass Medicum Corp.’s on Revolutionary Drive in Taunton were also approved to enter the inspection and permitting phase.
The four dispensaries are proposed in counties that did not previously have any provisionally approved medical marijuana dispensaries.
It’s great that there are now fifteen medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts at one stage of the process or another. However, the fact that there are still zero open is unacceptable. Patients need safe access to affordable, quality medical marijuana. Hopefully these establishments open sooner rather than later.
The (Acapulco) Gold Rush For Medical Marijuana Licensing In Illinois
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, September, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
How great is the demand for medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Illinois? So much they may rival the iPhone 6 in popularity right now.
Monday was the last day to apply for dispensary licenses under the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and state officials were seemingly unprepared for the rush of last-minute applicants, all of them with a backbreaking load of paperwork and a non-refundable $5,000 application fee in tow. (Insert your stoner jokes here.) Program officials noted the (Acapulco) gold rush in a statement and called the applications “voluminous.”
That’s about the best way to guess how many applications were filed, as officials couldn’t even give an estimate on the number of applications filed. The Medical Cannabis Pilot Program will issue only 60 licenses, so these may actually be more in demand than the iPhone, and more valuable. Mark Huddle, an attorney for Illinois Grown Medicine, brought 25 boxes of paperwork to the Thompson Center as part of the application process for five dispensaries in northern Illinois. Huddle told the Sun-Times “everyone from Cheech & Chong types to hedge fund guys” applied for dispensary licenses.
Want to lay odds on who gets the licenses?
It’s a painstaking process to land one of the highly coveted dispensary licenses, part of what Gov. Pat Quinn calls one of the toughest decriminalization laws in the country. Chicago, using its power of home rule, tried to relegate dispensaries and cultivation centers within the city limits to planned manufacturing districts requiring special-use permits from the Zoning Board of Appeals, and establishing minimum spaces based on facility size. But new zoning regulations approved in July by the City Council Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards could potentially allow for medical marijuana dispensaries to be located near the city’s high-traffic tourist areas and tony nightlife districts. The regulations were passed after the state refined language in the medical marijuana law regarding where dispensaries would be located.
Las Vegas Sees Plenty Of Applications For Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, August, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
The medical cannabis industry is about to dramatically expand in the State of Nevada. The State of Nevada is currently accepting applications for medical cannabis businesses. The largest market for medical cannabis businesses in Nevada will obviously be Las Vegas. Las Vegas will allow 12 medical cannabis dispensaries to receive licenses and operate. So far, competition has been stiff. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
Roughly 47 groups have thrown their hats in the ring for dispensary permits. Given that Las Vegas will ultimately allow just 12 dispensaries, at least 35 applicants will be rejected. The city received a total of 63 applications by last week’s deadline for medical marijuana business licenses.
There’s a lot at stake for the medical cannabis industry in Las Vegas. Whenever there are so many more applications for medical cannabis businesses than there are licenses available, I get leery. The criteria for a business to get a license likely won’t be who is going to do the best job, it will be either who is willing to pay the most money, or who wins a lottery.
When that happens, people that would be best at operating the business and have the most applicable knowledge may not get picked, and could get passed up for someone that is simply lucky, or has deep pockets without any past experience in the cannabis industry. With Las Vegas dispensaries recognizing the medical cards of other states, business will likely be booming for yet another industry in the vacation destination.
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