Michigan Supreme Court: Medical marijuana dispensaries not allowed

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, February, 8th 2013 by THCFinder
In a 4-1 decision, the state's highest court affirmed an Appeals Court finding that Michigan's 2008 medical marijuana law does not allow people to sell pot to each other, even if they're among the tens of thousands who have state-issued marijuana cards.
"The Court of Appeals reached the correct conclusion that defendants are not entitled to operate a business that facilitates patient-to-patient sales of marijuana," the court's majority wrote.
The state's marijuana law makes no mention of dispensaries, nor does it indicate how people should get the drug. It says people can possess up to 2.5 ounces of "usable" marijuana and keep up to 12 plants in a locked place. A caregiver also can provide marijuana.
Matthew Abel, a Detroit attorney who specializes in medical marijuana law, said now the issue of dispensaries has been settled, it is time for Michigan lawmakers to weigh in.
"This is the end of the road. This is it," said Abel, whose firm is known as Cannabis Counsel PLC. "It will be a mess until the Legislature clarifies what kinds of business entities are allowed to exist."
The Supreme Court said Compassionate Apothecary in Mount Pleasant can be shut down as a "public nuisance."
The business' owners had claimed they weren't doing anything illegal because the law allowed for the "delivery" and "transfer" of marijuana. The business allowed its members to sell marijuana to each other, with the owners taking as much as a 20 percent cut.


Marijuana Dispensaries raided by DEA in San Bernardino

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, February, 7th 2013 by THCFinder

Another tragic blow to the Medical Marijuana Community and it's patients who need their Medical Marijuana to get by day to day.

SAN BERNARDINO - Federal drug agents, local police, city attorney's, investigators and code enforcement officers fanned out across the city Wednesday, raiding a chain of medical marijuana dispensaries and a private residence, police said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration served warrants at Kush Concepts East at 1996 Del Rosa Ave., south of Highland Avenue, Kush Concepts West at 1600 N. Arrowhead Ave., at 16th Street, and Kush Concepts North at 305 W. 40th St. Authorities also served a search warrant at a private residence at 3577 Manzanita Drive, according to the search warrant affidavit.
"The search warrants were all served simultaneously without incident," said a DEA spokeswoman, Special Agent Sarah E. Pullen. "Once the evidence is processed the U.S. Attorney's Office will make the final decision if any criminal charges will be filed against Kush Concepts."
Assistant City Attorney Jolena Grider said these businesses are attracting criminal elements that loiter and panhandle, making people uncomfortable.
"The crime rate has risen within a one-mile radius of these businesses," she said. "I think everyone is waiting on the (state) Supreme Court ruling that would decide how much further we can go in these cases."
Even though California voters voted to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, medical marijuana businesses were banned in the city in April 2011, according to a letter issued by City Attorney James F. Penman.


California Supreme Court to Address Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, January, 28th 2013 by THCFinder
After the federal government’s large-scale crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries throughout 2011 and 2012, the California Supreme Court will now revisit the issue to determine the legality of counties banning dispensaries.
On February 5, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding this issue, which the Legislature has yet to define state laws or pass beneficial regulations.
Though many cities in the state currently have operational dispensaries, several others have seen mass closures. Since no concrete regulation has been set at the state level, local governments are taking on this issue; trying to decide whether dispensaries should be allowed in their prospective counties.
If the court upholds the bans of local governments, it is extremely likely that many more will follow suit.
In San Diego, newly elected Mayor Bob Filner ordered, through a series of memos, the San Diego Police Department’s “targeted code enforcement” against dispensaries be halted immediately.
Current city zoning ordinances do not allow legal areas for dispensaries. San Diego City Council, however, adopted a special “marijuana zoning ordinance,” but subsequently dropped it in July 2011. Under the guidance of city attorney Jan Goldsmith, more than one hundred dispensaries were closed throughout the city.
In response to medical marijuana activists, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Filner requested that Goldsmith not pursue remaining active cases related to this issue, which Goldsmith agreed to do. Filner, a Democrat, takes a different approach to the issue than his Republican predecessor, Jerry Sanders, who widely supported Goldsmith’s “targeted action.”
With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, nationwide discourse on the topic has leaned towards a more progressive approach. The California Supreme Court’s ruling should ultimately provide a consensus on dispensaries throughout the state.


CA Supreme Court rejects medical marijuana case

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, January, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A legal victory for a local medical marijuana advocate could have a major impact on sales and distribution across the state.
The Supreme Court of California has refused to take up a case involving a San Diego man. Jovan Jackson was convicted of possessing and selling medical marijuana.
The ruling could now give operators a defense from prosecution in San Diego and statewide.
Jackson's conviction was overturned last year when a court ruled that he should have been allowed to argue that his conduct was legal under state law.
Jackson's case can now be re-tried or dropped.


San Diego halts all actions against marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, January, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
— At the order of newly elected Mayor Bob Filner, the city is dropping all legal efforts aimed at forcing marijuana dispensaries out of business.
In memos last week to the San Diego Police Department and code compliance officers, Filner ordered that "targeted code enforcement" against marijuana dispensaries end "immediately." Both departments report to the mayor.
Filner, a Democrat, also plans to revisit an issue the City Council has shown little eagerness to tackle: the creation of zoning rules to permit marijuana businesses.
Filner restated his support for making marijuana accessible to people "who legitimately need it for relief of pain." He said he will soon propose an ordinance allowing operation of dispensaries, although not near schools, playgrounds or anywhere that would harm neighborhoods.
"I believe that, in order to be a great city, we must also be a humane city and show compassion toward those who need help in dealing with chronic pain," he said.
Under current city zoning regulations, there are no legal areas for marijuana dispensaries. The City Council adopted a marijuana zoning ordinance but dropped it in July 2011 when marijuana activists complained that it was too restrictive.
As a result of Filner's action, the city will no longer pursue a dozen cases against dispensaries, said City Atty. Jan Goldsmith. More than 100 dispensaries have already been forced to close because of code-violation litigation by the city attorney.
Filner appeared Tuesday before a group favoring legalization of marijuana, and referred to Goldsmith's actions as "persecution." He suggested that the group may need to stage protests.
Goldsmith subsequently sent the mayor a letter saying he would halt the remaining cases, which had been filed at the request of the code compliance staff and Police Department.
"Rather than pursue the drama last night and call for a demonstration, you could have achieved your goal in less than 30 seconds" with a phone call, Goldsmith wrote.


Colorado Springs owes $3.3M-plus after dispensary prosecution fails, attorney says

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, January, 11th 2013 by THCFinder
In March, Rocky Mountain Miracles owner Ali Hillery was hit with felony charges over alleged discrepancies in the Colorado Springs dispensary's plant count. She was cleared of these charges last month, and her attorney, Sean McAllister, issued a motion calling for material seized by authorities to be returned by Monday. It was not -- so now, he's laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against the city, with damage demands expected to exceed $3 million.
McAllister offers a quick summary of the case.
Hillery "was raided on March 19 and 20. She had about 1,300 plants, and police said she had about fifty pounds of marijuana -- but when they raided her, they said she was only allowed 700 plants and about eighteen pounds of marijuana. So they took away 600 plants and 35 pounds of marijuana. They just cut down the plants, and they grabbed the marijuana whether it was cured, dried and harvested or wet and curing."
This last action was only one of many problematic parts of the seizure, in McAllister's view. "The local police clearly didn't know the rule that only finished marijuana counts as inventory. At the trial, the state's own expert came in and said it was in the process of curing -- it had fan leaves on it and was on the stalk. And that was one of the big reasons why we got an acquittal -- in part because they didn't know the rules about how to weight the marijuana, and in part because the jury found there was no way for the dispensary owner to know how many patients she had."
Indeed, McAllister has regularly raised questions about the vague process for record keeping at medical marijuana dispensaries. "The health department won't tell them how many patients they have, so there was no way for her to comply with the law -- because how do you comply if you don't know how many patients you have?"
In the end, Hillery was acquitted on all counts, prompting McAllister to ask that the city return the plants and product, in order to determine if any of it is still unable -- something he considers to be extremely unlikely. And that's only the beginning.
"The first step is to assess my client's damages," he says. "When they ceased all of the plants and marijuana, they basically turned her business upside down. She had to go out and buy wholesale marijuana, and make less than half the profit she would have otherwise, which caused real damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we estimate in our complaint" -- read it below in its entirety -- "that the plants and product they took was valued at $3.3 million."
This figure is based on "the DEA's own numbers," McAllister continues. "They say every plant produces a pound, and a pound is worth $5,000."



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