"Landmark" Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ruling May Hurt Feds

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, October, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
A court ruling in San Diego could hinder the federal Justice Department's war on California's legal cannabis industry.
In what cannabis advocates called a "landmark ruling," an appeals court in San Diego tossed out a dispensary operator's drug-dealing conviction. Jovan Jackson was found guilty of marijuana sales only after a judge refused to allow him to use state medical marijuana law as a defense, a tact pursued by Attorney General Kamala Harris' office.
But Harris lost, and Jackson won, on Wednesday when the court ruled that he should have been allowed to use state law in his defense -- a novel concept -- and that he was legal despite his large collective where not every member participated in the growing of cannabis, according to Americans for Safe Access, which argued Jackson's case.
Jackson will be retried in San Diego, where District Attorney Bonnie Dumais has been a helpful hand in the quest to quash all legal weed. But he'll get a defense -- and one that might be useful for the state's largest medical marijuana dispensary's looming battle in federal court.
Harborside Health Center, the largest cannabis collective in California -- and by extension, the nation, the world, the universe, etc. -- will appear in court on Nov. 1, when United States Attorney Melinda Haag will ask a judge to forfeit the dispensary's Oakland property to the government. Among Harborside's sins are its size, according to Haag. The fact that the dispensary has 108,000 patients means its somehow violating state law -- although Haag hasn't yet identified specific violations.


Feds move against Southern California medical marijuana stores

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, October, 25th 2012 by THCFinder

Another sad day for Medical Marijuana patients in Southern California.

SANTA ANA, Calif.—Federal authorities have arrested a dozen people associated with a chain of nine marijuana stores that operated in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

The U.S. attorney's office says the 12 taken into custody Thursday are among 14 people named in a drug-trafficking indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week.
Most of the stores had been targets of search warrants executed in 2010 and 2011, and most are now closed.
Prosecutors say the stores generated tens of millions of dollars in income. The indictment alleges that none of the income was reported to federal tax authorities and the owner ordered a bookkeeper to destroy all records about the income.
U.S. attorneys in California are enforcing federal law that doesn't recognize a state initiative that legalized pot for medicinal use.


Court backs Calif. marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, October, 25th 2012 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A California judicial panel sided with medical marijuana growers, ruling pot collectives can provide the drug to members, even if the members didn't grow it.
The San Diego district attorney and California Attorney General Kamala Harris argued the provision in the state's medicinal marijuana law permits non-profit collectives, but they were intended to be small groups of people who grew the plants together, not a massive enterprise with thousands of patients serving as a mass dispensary, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
But a three-judge appellate panel in San Diego said the state's law protects non-profit pot collectives regardless of size.
Prosecutors were said to be eyeing Harborside Health Center, an Oakland non-profit marijuana collective with 108,000 patients, making it the largest medicinal marijuana provider in the country.


Long Beach may shut down medical marijuana shops on East Anaheim Street

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, October, 23rd 2012 by THCFinder
LONG BEACH -- City officials want to revoke the business license of a property owner who is allowing a medical marijuana dispensary to operate without a permit.
The Long Beach City Council will decide Tuesday on whether to uphold an appeals hearing officer's recommendation to take away the commercial business license of Bentech LLC, the owner of a strip mall at 3721 E. Anaheim St.
Bentech has permitted several collectives to operate in a space at the mall, most recently the Healing Tree Holistic Association, according to Erik Sund, the city's business relations manager.
Tenants didn't have had their own licenses and Bentech hasn't been responsive to administrative fines levied nor has the company evicted the collectives as the city requested, Sund said.
Taking away Bentech's commercial business license -- which is separate from an individual business license -- will prevent any new permits from being issued at the entire property for one year.
"At the end of the day, it will affect the property owner significantly because they cannot lease that space out to a business," Sund said.
Current operators at the location won't be affected by the revocation, officials said.
Long Beach has struggled to control "rogue" dispensaries for years.


Tacoma dispensary busted for marijuana beer

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, October, 22nd 2012 by THCFinder

Talk about idiotic! These are the kinds of things that just hurt the forward progress of our industry. Be smart people, think before you do something stupid.

TACOMA — The state Liquor Control Board says a Tacoma medical marijuana outlet sold “cannabis enriched” beer to a minor.

The board says it organized a covert buy with the help of the Pierce County sheriff’s office, and an underage informant bought three bottles of “cannabis enriched honey beer” from the Hashford Compassion club.
The News Tribune reports the club does not have a license to sell alcohol. Officials are pursuing the case as a liquor sales violation.
Cases of the beer were seized Friday as evidence.


Melrose makes preemptive strike against marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, October, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
Melrose is joining a growing list of communities throughout the Commonwealth in a preemptive push to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within the city.
Melrose, Reading, Saugus, and Wakefield are simultaneously pushing for a change in zoning ordinances that would effectively outlaw the dispensaries, said Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan. A similar control is set for consideration in Malden, and a Melrose public health official said efforts are also underway in Hudson.
If passed, the law would establish a maximum of 35 nonprofit treatment centers that would be licensed with the state Department of Public Health and capable of cultivating and selling marijuana to qualified patients who obtain a prescription from their doctor.
The prohibition of the facilities springs from what Dolan said are dubious standards that could unwittingly allow abuse of the law, which defines a qualifying patient as someone diagnosed by their doctor with a debilitating medical condition, and who would derive a benefit from medical use of the substance.
"Due to these poor standards there could be crime and quality of life issues," the mayor said. "Our Planning Board believes that this is the right piece of legislation for Melrose."
The push comes less than a month before voters in Massachusetts are expected to overwhelmingly pass the measure, also known as Question 3, at the Nov. 6 election.
Ruth Clay, the director of the regionalized Board of Health for Melrose, Wakefield, and Reading, said other states that have medical marijuana laws have seen vast abuse.
"In the experiences of these other states the primary purchaser of marijuana in these stores are not people with chronic debilitating illnesses in great pain," Clay said. "The average purchaser in California is a 32-year-old white male with no other underlying medical conditions."
For instance, Clay said, the law allows for a qualified patients to keep a 60-day supply of the substance, but does not define a specific quantity. There is also no age minimum for recipients, she said.
"There are a lot of issues still to be addressed."
Next for the measure, which has already received preliminary Planning Board approval, is a joint meeting between the Board of Aldermen and the Planning Board. A public hearing also will be necessary, and must be scheduled within 65 days of Planning Board approval.
"The problem with doing nothing is the uncertainty of how its going to be interpreted," said Denise Gaffey, Melrose city planner. "And if it is defined as closely to one of the medical uses in our zoning ordinance, it could be allowed."
Gaffey said surrounding communities will be notified of the hearing, and that anyone with strong opinions should speak out.
"We want everyone to be aware of it, and if there are issues or concerns, or if you support it or opposed to it, come and say why," Gaffey said.
In Massachusetts, all town bylaws come under review by the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley for compatibility with other state laws. But city ordinances do not face the same process, giving those such as Melrose freedom to pass ordinances as they see fit, according to Coakley's office. 
Coakley's office declined to speculate on the legality of bylaws not yet passed at town meetings. In general, laws passed by cities are only reviewable once a legal challenge is filed, and Coakley's office did not comment on the potential legality of the Melrose ordinance.



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