Local Officials in Massachusetts Work to Head off Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
In anticipation of medical marijuana being approved by voters in Massachusetts in November, some officials are working to head off the prospect of dispensaries in their town.
Wakefield, MA Board of Health Director Ruth Clay is urging the towns under her jurisdiction to move toward adopting zoning laws that would ban dispensaries. There will be a town meeting ballot on November 15th in which voters will decide on two initiatives in Wakefield, one to allow a medical marijuana dispensary in town and one to ban dispensaries. This of course depends on whether or not Question 3, the measure to legalize medical cannabis in MA, passes.
"I believe we are allowed to out-zone it period. There's no constitutional right to have marijuana dispensaries," said Clay, adding that "It's all been vetted through (local town counsels)."
"These dispensaries bring other drug dealers to the area," said Clay, adding that such a facility in Wakefield would also contribute to higher crime rates and perhaps even more fire danger from the lights used by marijuana growing operations. "I'm not sure... whether it would be a great idea to have that dispensary next to your business. Probably not." Clay told Wakefield Rotary members.
Wakefield Police Chief Richard Smith also expressed his opposition to the idea of bringing a medical marijuana operation to town. "Our issue I think we would sum it up is quality of life," said the Chief, acknowledging that there is a "very good chance" the statewide referendum will pass. "I don't care where it goes, but as long as it's not here," he added.
The stigma that still surrounds medical marijuana is as incredible as it is false. Medical marijuana brings drug dealers? No, the inflated prices of marijuana under prohibition brings drug dealers. They have supply already, they just need prohibition to keep prices artificially high. If dispensaries can sell marijuana to patients at a lower price, they will actually serve to drive drug dealers out of business.
The propaganda used against medical marijuana must be fought at every turn.
Who else wants to learn how to open a legal medical marijuana dispensary?
One of the quickest and easiest ways to become a millionaire right now is the pot business, and thousands are rushing to open a dispensary and cash in the pot business while they can.
The Green Rush
It’s been fittingly called the ‘Green Rush,’ and its making dozens of new millionaires every week. The number of new millionaires hatched weekly from this burgeoning industry dwarfs even the California lottery, which makes about 5 millionaires per week. The legal marijuana business has been doubling that. It is the new California Gold Rush, and by far, it is larger than the last one.
Medical marijuana is gaining huge acceptance and support and is providing entrepreneurs who get in early with unprecedented opportunities. The marijuana business is in absolutely phenomenal shape and has been experiencing unprecedented growth.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are popping up everywhere – in Los Angeles, CA they even outnumber starbucks coffee shops. “The industry is like a horse bolting out of a stable on fire,” said Sierra Neblina, owner of the Medimar Haven dispensary and wellness center in suburban Lakewood, CO. “We need to get a hold of our own industry.”
Starting a legal marijuana business is disgustingly lucrative. The figures in this exploding new field are astronomical, the current national market for cannabis is $4 billion. By 2016, the market is expected to boom to over $14 billion. For comparison purposes, that’s a billion dollars more than the whole annual GDP of Jamaica – and it’s all from one single market.
How Much Can One Expect To Profit From This Industry?
Well-run dispensaries are clearing over $100,000 a month in revenues and the best are doing several times that. Even the time needed to make that first million can be extremely short. “Our research shows that a saavy business owner can be a millionaire after taxes in less than a year,” said Charles Schaffer, the editor of one of the largest marijuana trade study journals. “That isn’t guesswork, we have found example after example where it already happened.” If there’s anything close to the equivalent of being able to create solid gold in your basement, this is it.
Perhaps the most profitable dispensary nationwide is the Harborside shop in Oakland, which reported close to $15 million in sales in 2008. The operator of the store, Stephen DeAngelo, says that the average marijuana dispensary grosses $3-4 million per year.
Yes, you read that right. We’ll come back to that in a second. Keep in mind however that if you’re a dispensary owner, much of those profits we talked about in the last paragraph are subject to heavy taxation. In cities like Oakland, CA, dispensary operators can pay up to 20 times more tax than regular store operators. But, according to Forbes, most owners actually demanded to pay more in taxes so they could appear as better citizens to the community they are involved in since sometimes they may not be viewed as positively as they would like.
Ancillary Markets Open
In addition to opening a dispensary, lets not forget that the medical marijuana business is opening tons of ancillary markets. Insurance businesses, IT infrastructures, Payment processors, medical marijuana doctor recommendations and several more support businesses to the cannabis industry are also cashing in, with more than 40 new markets opening. These in themselves are also creating millionaires.
Dispensary Owners – Everyday People
The expansion of the medical marijuana market has also shown a difference in the kind of people getting into the trade. More and more small entrepreneurs are getting into the business. Schaeffer says that “The new entrepreneurs are not the thugs and professional criminals that most would think them to be. The majority of those running the dispensaries are natural-born US citizens who are both patriotic and law-abiding. Besides the fact that they are in the marijuana trade, they are no different from you or I running any other legitimate small business. They are no different than the people you knew at your last job.”
While it may not be traded publicly on the stock market any time soon, marijuana has become a cash crop that is truly bringing in the green – and the pot business is one to keep our eyes on.
To learn how to open a legal dispensary, please visit www.start-a-dispensary.com
Marijuana Dispensary Numbers in L.A. Much Lower Than City Claims, Says UCLA
L.A. City Councilman Says Dispensary Ban Enforcement Will Move Forward
Los Angeles City Coucilman José Huizar says in a new interview that city officials continue to move forward with plans to enforce the city’s medical marijuana dispensary ban, despite advocates recently turning in over 50,000 signatures for a ballot referendum to overturn the ban.
“When the 6th comes around,” Huizar said, “I don’t think people should expect a whole, big prohibitionist-style era. We go out there and close down dispensaries. The fact of the matter is, given the resources, we have to go in phases, and it’ll be a strategic approach. The Council’s a policymaker—the legislature—and now it’s up to the administrative arm of the city to enforce.
“Now, we understand we have this submission of signatures by [medical marijuana] advocates. If the signatures qualify, by our city charter, that means that our ‘gentle ban’ is put on hold until the voters decide. But the intention of the LAPD and our administrative arm of our city, from what I understand, is to continue with some enforcement actions. And they will do it under state law or our ‘sunset clause’ from our previous ordinance [under which medical marijuana dispensaries are not recognized as legitimate business entities]. Right now we have no ordinance, and according to state law all sales of marijuana are illegal. And I would say that a majority of these dispensaries are conducting sales of marijuana.
“Absent a ban that has been put on hold, it’s our city attorney’s position that the sunset clause goes into effect, and that only provides for three or fewer people to collectively grown their own [marijuana].
“So, whether we have the ban or not, the LAPD will continue with enforcement actions.”
By any means, Councilman Huizar plans on shutting down the medical marijuana industry in L.A.
Only Licensed Dispensary in San Diego County, CA Forced to Close by Feds
The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Co-Operative is the only medical cannabis dispensary licensed under San Diego County, California’s restrictive ordinance, but it is now being forced to close under threats from the federal government.
“Mother Earth” serves about 2,500 patients, who will soon be displaced when it comes to getting their medicine. Co-founder Bob Reidel says it’s been tough the past few weeks.
"I mean every day we're dealing with people walking through this building crying," said Reidel. "What are we going to do? How come they don't care? And what am I supposed to say to people like that."
“How come they don’t care?” A great question, but one many people have trouble answering. We know “Mother Earth” was helping 2,500 people, so who exactly are they harming?
According to U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy: "It is not a defense to either criminal liability or to the forfeiture of property that the dispensary is providing 'medical marijuana.' The United States Attorney's Office supports eviction of the commercial marijuana businesses, like Mother Earth, that operate outside of federal law."
In other words, screw medical marijuana patients.
“Mother Earth” was able to forestall closure a couple months ago by filing for bankruptcy protection, but their legal maneuvering ran out Monday.
"We're going to keep fighting for it," said Reidel. "We're still a corporation, with no home. But, we can't stop this fight. We will stop dispensing and we will look for other legal means to reopen. Hopefully here. Maybe somewhere else that complies with the ordinance. We don't know."
The closure of “Mother Earth” will leave 70,000 patients in San Diego County without anywhere to get their medical cannabis, leaving the prospect of long trips out of county or the black market.
LA Marijuana Dispensary Ban Suspended
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