Court ruling could limit cities' power to prohibit marijuana dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
The latest development in the fight over medical marijuana could sharply limit cities' power to prohibit marijuana dispensaries.
A recent opinion, from the division of the state's Fourth District Court of Appeals that meets in Santa Ana, holds that since California law provides for dispensaries, cities cannot ban them by declaring them to be a public nuisance.
A dispute between the Orange County city of Lake Forest and a dispensary called Evergreen Holistic Cooperative led to the new opinion.
The city asked for a court order to shut down the Evergreen Holistics because Lake Forest zoning laws did not allow dispensaries, but the appelate court ruled unanimously that Lake Forest's law went too far.
"We conclude local governments may not prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries altogether, with the caveat that the Legislature authorized dispensaries only at sites where medical marijuana is `collectively or cooperatively cultivated,"' the opinion reads.
The court published its opinion last Wednesday. As of Monday, it was not clear how the ruling may affect cities like Upland and San Bernardino which have their own anti-dispensary laws.
"Case law in California has been all over the place," said Jolena Grider, a senior deputy city attorney in San Bernardino. "That case and others will probably be heard by the state Supreme Court."
4 Med. Marijuana Dispensaries Hit Overnight
Four medical marijuana dispensaries were hit Monday morning in Colorado Springs.
The final dispensary hit overnight turned up some clues that officers hope will lead to an arrest.
Police say two suspects, wearing disguises, forced their way into the Total Health Care dispensary on the 1600 block of West Uintah around 2:40 a.m.
Surveillance video caught the suspects as they ransacked the business, but police are not releasing any suspect information because they believe these thieves could be connected three similar burglaries.
Prior to that, Happy Buddha Wellness Center on the 3600 block of Galley, We Grow Colorado on the 2500 block of East Bijou, and Rocky Mountain Miracles on the 2300 block of East Bijou were burglarized sometime between midnight and 1 a.m.
The suspects smashed in doors, but didn't get away with much: one owner tells 11 News the thieves stole an empty cash box.
At this time, it's not certain if the four burglaries are connected, but police hope information gathered at the scene on West Uintah will help lead to an arrest in all cases.
11 News is now working to obtain the surveillance video.
Feds: Every Colorado Medical Marijuana Shop is Target
John Walsh, the U.S. attorney for Colorado, finally has clarified which medical marijuana providers in that state should worry about trouble with the feds: all of them. Two months ago Walsh told 23 dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of a school they had to close or face raids, forfeiture, and prosecution. At least some of those dispensaries were complying with Colorado law, which has a general rule against operating within 1,000 feet of a school but allows local governments to modify that restiction and grandfathers dispensaries that existed before the state started issuing licenses. So it was already clear that Walsh, contrary to Attorney General Holder's repeated assurances on this point, was not prepared to let state law determine whether a dispensary can operate without federal harassment. But when it turned out that one of those 23 dispensaries was near a school building that was not used for teaching, it was taken off the list. That decision fanned the hope that Walsh would stick to enforcing his 1,000-foot rule. Last week, A.P. reports, Walsh stomped on that hope (emphasis added):
U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent a letter Friday to a lawyer representing medical marijuana dispensaries, saying safe harbor doesn't exist for such shops because marijuana remains illegal under federal law....
Walsh said in the new letter that it is at his office's discretion to take enforcement action against any and all medicinal marijuana dispensaries....
[Walsh said] advising clients that there is a safe harbor is "incorrect and untruthful, and would mislead them, factually and legally."
Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said there are other factors that can close down shops like unlawful use or possession of a firearm and having amounts of marijuana not in compliant with state and local law....
Ann Arbor City Council asks city attorney to lay off MMJ Dispensaries
The Ann Arbor City Council is prepared to take up the issue of medical marijuana tonight, and the city's licensing board is asking the city attorney's office to lay off dispensaries.
AnnArbor.com obtained a copy of a letter the five-member medical marijuana advisory body sent to council members on Friday in support of a resolution on tonight's agenda.
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In the letter, members of the licensing board argue the city attorney's office seems to be aggressively trying to shut down dispensaries while the board tries to license them.
The city attorney's office says medical marijuana dispensaries in Ann Arbor must be in compliance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, but the city's medical marijuana licensing board asks: "How can dispensaries be in compliance with the MMMA when they are not even mentioned in the MMMA?"
"These dispensaries are serious, and obeying the local laws for them to be in business," the letter reads. "What more do they have to do?"
The city attorney's office says medical marijuana dispensaries in Ann Arbor must be in compliance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, but the city's medical marijuana licensing board asks in the letter: "How can dispensaries be in compliance with the MMMA when they are not even mentioned in the MMMA?"
"Dispensaries are openly operating in areas throughout Michigan, including our neighbors to the east, Ypsilanti, who recently renewed their dispensaries' licenses for a year," the letter reads. "Our resolution to you Monday is a request for you to tell the city attorneys to stop enforcement activities against dispensaries until you have had time to look over the advisory board's resolutions."
California marijuana dispensaries can't be banned, but must grow on site, court rules
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, March, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder
This could be huge news for California medical marijuana dispensaries! Could we finally have a prescedent set to help save our dispensaries so patients can continue to buy their medication without probelms?
LOS ANGELES - California cities may not ban medical marijuana dispensaries, but the operations may sell only weed that is grown on site, an appeals court ruled in an Orange County case.
The unanimous decision by a three-judge Court of Appeal panel in Santa Ana was the first in the state to prohibit cities from enacting zoning restrictions that effectively ban all marijuana dispensaries. The court was also the first to rule that dispensaries must grow the marijuana they sell, a requirement that would force most of them out of business.
The ruling, issued late Wednesday, struck down a zoning law in the city of Lake Forest that the judges said amounted to "a total bar contradicting state law."
"A local government cannot ban as a nuisance exactly what the Legislature contemplated would occur at cooperative and collective medical marijuana cultivation sites," Justice Richard M. Aronson wrote for the court. Aronson, appointed to the trial bench by former Gov. Pete Wilson and elevated by Gov. Gray Davis, was joined by a Republican appointee and a Democratic appointee.
The decision conflicted with other appellate court rulings on medical marijuana, and attorneys in the case said they expected the California Supreme Court would agree to hear an appeal.
Rhode Island is getting 3 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, March, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island lawmakers and Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced a compromise Thursday that they say will allow three state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries to open without the risk of a federal prosecution.
The deal, which must be approved by the state's General Assembly, would limit the amount of marijuana dispensaries could possess to prevent the facilities from running afoul of federal drug laws. Chafee blocked three state-approved dispensaries from opening last year after federal prosecutors warned that they could face criminal charges.
"We tried to find something the federal government could accept," said state Rep. Scott Slater, a Providence Democrat who worked closely on the legislation. "I don't they (federal prosecutors) are ever going to bless anything, but we're trying to respond to their concerns while giving the patients what they need."
The compromise is good news for the 4,416 people now enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program, according to JoAnne Leppanen, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, a group which called on Chafee to allow the dispensaries to open.
Rhode Island already allows qualified patients to possess small amounts of marijuana to treat conditions including chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and multiple sclerosis. Lawmakers approved the compassion center law after patients said there were few safe and reliable sources for medical marijuana.
"This is a huge relief," Leppanen said. "The dispensaries have had their licenses for almost a year now. We can't get them open soon enough."
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