Marijuana Businesses in City of Santa Ana Targeted with Warning Letters and Asset Forfeiture Lawsuits

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Sat, May, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
In federal court this morning, prosecutors filed three asset forfeiture lawsuits against properties in Santa Ana where a total of seven marijuana stores are currently operating. Authorities also executed federal search warrants at two of the stores involved in the asset forfeiture actions. Additionally, prosecutors sent warning letters to people associated with 56 other stores not involved in the forfeiture actions. The federal actions involve all known marijuana stores in the City of Santa Ana.
The federal actions in Santa Ana were done in cooperation with the Santa Ana Police Department and the Santa Ana City Attorney’s Office.
The three civil asset forfeiture complaints filed this morning in United States District Court target three properties in Santa Ana where seven marijuana stores are currently operating. The civil lawsuits state: “Under federal law, the distribution of marijuana (a Schedule I controlled substance under Title 21) is prohibited except under very limited circumstances not applicable here. The government is informed and believes that at all times relevant to this complaint, the operation of the [marijuana stores] on the defendant property was not (and is not) permitted under California law.”


Raided pot dispensary hopes to reopen

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, May, 3rd 2013 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO — Federal agents raided the One on One marijuana dispensary in downtown San Diego last week, but the owner he wants to reopen as soon as possible.
“That’s what my heart tells me to do,” said Ken Cole, owner of One on One.
But Cole said the risks are still too high and he wants to wait on city government to vote on a new medical marijuana ordinance currently being drafted.
It would allow dispensaries to operate and be regulated within the city, but many are questioning whether an ordinance could offer any protection from US Drug Enforcement agents to dispensaries given the conflict between state and federal law.
“I thought we were being robbed,” said Mike Klein who was working at the dispensary when the Feds broke through the glass entrance to conduct their search warrant.
“Honestly they kind of looked like terrorists since they were wearing masks,” said Klein.
Federal agents ripped out every security camera and raided the place claiming it was operating illegally under federal law, which unlike California, does not approve or recognize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
“Does a criminal organization register with the Secretary of State, pay sales tax, pay employee salaries?” said John Murphy, an attorney representing the dispensary.


DEA cracks down on 11 pot dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, May, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
Cease-and-desist letters were sent to eleven Seattle area pot dispensaries because they are within 1,000 feet of schools or other  prohibited areas, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA would not identify the businesses or their precise locations. Spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said they are in the greater Seattle area.
Despite Washington state’s new legal recreational pot law, enacted by voter-approved Initiative 502, all forms of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A policy statement from the Obama administration is supposedly coming on the new legal pot laws in Colorado and Washington.
Underwood said the 11 dispensaries received the same letters that went to 23 local dispensaries last August. She said the letters, dated April 29, did not have implications for Washington and Colorado’s new laws.
“DEA enforces federal drug laws and these letters have nothing to do with any pending legislation or state law.  The ballot initiatives in both states are under review by DOJ,” she said.
The letters warned dispensary operators and landlords that the pot businesses appear to be within 1,000 feet of a prohibited area, which tend to be places such as schools and playgrounds frequented by youth. The DEA told recipients of the letter to stop distributing marijuana within 30 days or face property seizure and forfeiture.
“As we continue to identify locations, additional letters will be sent out,” Underwood said.
The DEA sent letters to 63 dispensaries in Orange County, California last week. But a Department of Justice spokesman and California marijuana activists saw those actions as part of a continuing crackdown in Orange County rather than a signal of new federal policy in Colorado and Washington.
Last week a DOJ spokeswoman in Washington, D.C. responded to questions about legal pot with a terse statement: “The legalization initiatives in Washington and Colorado are still under review by the Department.”


Feds threaten medical pot dispensaries with 40-year sentences

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, May, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
In the latest act in the ongoing drama pitting federal drug laws against state legislation permitting the sale of marijuana, a U.S. attorney is threatening the landlords housing medical marijuana dispensaries with 40 years in federal prison. After ballot measures legalizing the sale and possession of recreational pot use passed in Colorado and Washington state, we wondered whether Obama’s second term would see the beginning of the end of the federal war on drugs.
But as the San Jose crackdown, among others, suggests, the Justice Department will not be backing down. In January, Southern California medical marijuana dispensary operator Aaron Sandusky was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for running a business deemed legal in his state since California legalized marijuana for qualified patients, caregivers and collectives in 1996 and 2003. Now, as the East Bay Express reported, “a new round of actions against lawful medical cannabis dispensaries in the South Bay” has begun following crackdowns in 2011:
Landlords are receiving threatening letters from US Attorney Melinda Haag, warning of forty-year-prison sentences if landlords do not evict their dispensary tenants…


Seven S.F. Marijuana Dispensaries Targeted by D.E.A.

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, May, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
We received word Wednesday that seven medical marijuana dispensaries permitted by the City of San Francisco are being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. In Sept. 2012, D.E.A. agent David White requested from San Francisco the public records of: Ketama Collective; Igzactly 420; 1944 Ocean Collective; The Hemp Center; Mr. Purple Skunk; The Apothecarium; and Bernal Heights Collective.
White requested each dispensary’s business license and application, health permit and application, ownership information, yearly statements/forms (i.e., not for profit, affirmation of not crossing state lines, etc.). White is a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration Financial Investigative Team in the San Francisco Field Division.


Starting a Collective

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, April, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
Starting a Collective
To start a dispensary you need to start a collective. A legal medical marijuana dispensary serves its local community through its contribution to the physical well being and health of the community. A well run medical marijuana dispensary will adopt community friendly policies, such as a good neighbor policy to enhance the service that it provides. These are the guidelines that anyone considering opening a medical dispensary will take into account as they prepare to embark on a new medical marijuana dispensary service. The service may be referred to as dispensaries, compassion clubs, or marijuana centers, however the following guidelines still apply.
The first step in opening a legal medical marijuana dispensary business is starting a collective. However before we look into this aspect of the business we need to be informed about the legal position. Under state law, patients and caregivers are authorized to collectively or co-operatively cultivate marijuana for medical purposes. In order to comply, the collective must be a properly organized and operated association. Before embarking on such a venture, it is always advisable to seek legal advice as the above can only be taken as a guideline for consideration.
Having established that the collective will operate within the confines of the law, there will be four mandatory requirements when planning on starting a collective:
patients need to be legally qualified
medicine needs to be sourced exclusively from members
medicine needs to be provided exclusively to members
basis of operation will be not for profit
These are fundamental rules to starting a collective and organizers will seek to ensure that they are observed at all times. 
Perhaps one of the most challenging of those four criteria is restricting the supply to that received from the members. Starting a new collective will obviously mean a limited membership and supply will be short. However by gradually increasing the membership and encouraging members to return with their excess medication, it is will quickly become possible to help more and more new members.
As noted above, the trading basis for the collective will be not for profit, i.e. it will not be operated as a commercial business. In practice this means re-investing all surplus income in non commercial activity or in the provision of services for its members. This can be a particularly rewarding part of starting a collective, knowing that you will be helping people through the efficient running of the collective services. 
It is worth noting at this point that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) differentiates between Not for Profit and Non Profit companies. A non profit activity may be exempt from federal and state taxes (for example churches and schools) whereas a Not for Profit business will still be liable for taxes. Having said that, even a non profit collective will be liable for taxes. However, having said that, when starting a collective it is a good idea to start up as a Non profit Mutual Benefit Corporation. This adds credibility to the service and can assist with relationships with elected officials and the general neighborhood.
Many patients rely on collective services and very much appreciate the convenience that they offer. When starting a collective it is important to remember this, and to engage with all members of the community towards this goal of helping those who cannot help themselves.
Your members will understand if you do not have a wide selection when you first open.  Encourage those members who do grow cannabis to bring their excess medication back to the collective to help the other members. Some legally qualified medical cannabis patients are very good at growing medicine.  In fact, some have relatively large stores of excess medication. These fortunate patients will often be looking for a dispensing collective or cooperative to join.  Some people refer to these patients as “vendors.” A better term is patient-cultivator. It has been my experience that these patient-cultivators will find you when you open your collective. I am sorry to say that I cannot help you locate medication for your new dispensing collective. 
To learn more from the free guide check out here: Start-a-dispensary.com



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