Landlords of Marijuana Shops Could Lose Property

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 13th 2012 by THCFinder
As California courts and government officials try to unsnarl conflicting state and local laws on medical marijuana, U.S. attorneys are sending a clear message to anyone who rents property to a pot dispensary: We can and will seize your property. 
The state's four U.S. attorneys in October began sending warning letters to medical marijuana dispensary operators and owners of the properties they occupy, including some in the Inland area. In some cases, the U.S. attorneys filed civil asset forfeiture lawsuits. 
Steven Welk, chief of asset forfeiture for the U.S. attorney's central district of California, gave an update on those efforts at a Thursday meeting of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. 
Out of hundreds of cases his agency has reviewed, Welk said, they found maybe one dispensary operator who owned the property rather than leasing. Under federal law, authorities can seize property linked to criminal activity, he said. 
"(Asset forfeiture) is the most potent weapon that the federal government has, particularly with respect to drug policy," Welk said. 
Riverside City Attorney Greg Priamos, who invited Welk to speak to the chamber, has sought to close all marijuana facilities in the city using court injunctions. In January, he and Police Chief Sergio Diaz asked U.S. attorneys to provide enforcement help in Riverside to close remaining dispensaries. 
California voters approved the medical use of marijuana in 1996, but state law is currently a mess, with conflicting court rulings on whether local governments can ban or merely regulate dispensaries. The state Supreme Court has agreed to review several appeals court rulings on marijuana cases, including one brought by Priamos. 
"From my point of view, I really don't care what the current state of the law is in the state of California, because there's no ambiguity whatsoever with respect to federal law," Welk said. "Marijuana is a controlled substance under federal law." 
Medical marijuana supporters have decried the federal crackdown, arguing it is a state issue and closing dispensaries will force legitimate users to turn to illegal sources.


Marijuana dispensary in Upland raided by DEA

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 13th 2012 by THCFinder
UPLAND -- The federal Drug Enforcement Administration served a search warrant Monday at G3 Holistic Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary that has been at odds with the city for the past couple of years.
DEA officials said they seized at least 25 pounds of marijuana and 89 pounds of edible products containing marijuana, according to the DEA.
No arrests were made.
DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen confirmed that the search warrant had been issued at G3 and that the federal agency has been working with the state Attorney General's Office.
G3 President Aaron Sandusky said law enforcement officers also took security camera equipment and raided a safe as well as an ATM from the second floor facility at 1710 W. Foothill Blvd.
Law enforcement "is acting like a terrorist organization," Sandusky said.
DEA officials came into the dispensary with guns drawn about 9:30 a.m., he said.
"I had four patients in here, and they were all handcuffed and interviewed," Sandusky said.
Law enforcement officials were seen leaving the facility at 11:30 a.m. with evidence bags filled with marijuana.
Paul Chabot, founder of Inland Valley Drug Free Community Coalition, said G3 Holistic has been blatantly disregarding the will of the community.


Authorities raid Costa Mesa pot clinic

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, March, 9th 2012 by THCFinder
Three people were arrested in a Costa Mesa marijuana dispensary raid Thursday, according to medical pot advocates.
Local police and federal Department of Justice officials would confirm only that a federal search warrant was executed at about 11:30 a.m. at Bayside Patients Assn., 1799 Newport Blvd.
Some details of the advocates' accounts could not be independently verified with police.
Seized in the raid were about 10 pounds of marijuana and less than $1,000 in cash from a safe that was sawed open on the sidewalk, said Chico resident Weston Mickey, a campaign manager for collectives seeking to craft an initiative that would protect dispensaries from federal intervention.
Mickey said about 15 Drug Enforcement Administration agents, along with about six Costa Mesa police and 12 Costa Mesa firefighters, were present when the search warrant was served.
Firefighters assisted DEA agents in opening the safe, Mickey said.
Images of the broken safe — reportedly opened by the urban search and rescue team — were posted on the Costa Mesa Firefighters Assn.'s Facebook page.
"It's a total shame they were raided," Mickey said, adding that raiding medical marijuana dispensaries undermines state medical marijuana laws, which in turns drives people to buy marijuana through illicit means that enrich cartels and the criminal drug market.
"We should not be chasing dispensaries around when our schools are underfunded," said Scott Allen, another advocate of medicinal marijuana. "There's better things to spend our money on."


Brea and marijuana dispensaries at stalemate

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 8th 2012 by THCFinder
"Moore said. "We're continuing to fight. We've been spending a lot of money, and it kills me because it's public funds." If they gave a shit about the public funds at all then they would be working with dispensary owners to help and create a group of legitimate marijuana dispensaries where medical marijuana patients who need their medication to get by day to day can still have a safe and realiable location to obtain those meds. Instead they are more than happy to spend any amount of tax payers hard earned money on shutting these places down.
BREA – City officials are claiming victory against medicinal-marijuana dispensaries attempting to set up shop within city limits – but the lawyer for one dispensary said the fight is not over.
At a City Council meeting, City Attorney Jim Markman told the panel that the half-dozen businesses attempting to open a dispensary have been whittled down to one, thanks to a combination of laws prohibiting the dispensaries in Brea, and legal action.
Physis, a Brea medical marijuana dispensary, has closed and withdrawn its court appeal against an injunction won by the city. It was photographed here in July.
"Brea has managed to very effectively, with the support of the council, arrest any proliferation of these establishments in the city," Markman told the council at the Feb. 25 meeting.
In the city officials' eyes, the most-recent victory was a decision by Physis Patients Association to drop its appeal of a court-ordered injunction to close its doors; the court ruling that the dispensaries were in violation of city law. Councilman Roy Moore said it was imperative that the city take action to prevent more dispensaries from opening in Brea.
"Instead of two or three or four, we'd have 20, so where does it stop?" Moore said. "We're continuing to fight. We've been spending a lot of money, and it kills me because it's public funds."


Marijuana Dispensaries Told to Shut Down

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 8th 2012 by THCFinder
Medical marijuana shops in Fresno County have been told to shut down on Thursday, which is the deadline set by an ordinance passed last year.
The shops have until the end of the business day to comply. 
Medical marijuana is legal under state law but illegal under federal and more cities and counties are regulating where those shops can open. 
Some say it's a matter of pubic safety. Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochigian said, "That is our intent; get them out of neighborhoods, and I think, you know, I think the ordinance does that."
Attorney Brenda Linder said, "I think rather than curbing crime, they're creating more, and they're taking sick people that are in compliance with state law and I think they're making them feel like criminals."
Supervisors say they're prepared to sue any dispensaries that refuse to close.


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."



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