Vermont dispensaries inch closer to opening

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, January, 11th 2012 by THCFinder
The Department of Public safety answers questions posed by the legislature about how Vermont can implement medical marijuana dispensaries. 
Vermont has more than 400 registered medical marijuana patients. Many are eagerly anticipating the scheduled July opening of dispensaries, but several hurdles must be cleared before that becomes a reality. 
A recently released report cleared one such hurdle Tuesday, as Vermont's Department of Public Safety answered three questions posed by the legislature.
The first task for the administrators, determine the actual and projected costs of administering the state's new medical marijuana dispensary law.
"There's no general fund monies that will be used to offset this program, it will all be generated through fees," said Paco Aumand, a division director at the Department of Public Safety.
He says fees that will be imposed on dispensaries and patients are based on the projected cost of the program. The report estimates those costs to be slightly less than $140,000 in fiscal year 2013 - most of which would be paid by the dispensaries.
Question number two asked administrators how dispensaries could deliver marijuana to patients.  "We offer no recommendation as to whether it should be done but we've come up with a concept that's been used in Maine," said Aumand.
Currently, the law prohibits marijuana delivery, but if lawmakers change that, Aumand envisions a ticket system for packages. In-transit marijuana would be locked, and marked with the name of the sender, recipient, and its contents.
Aumand said the final question - whether patients who receive marijuana from a dispensary should also be able to grow their own medicine - can't be fully-answered yet. That's banned under the law, but two thirds of respondents to a patient survey say they'd like to see that changed.
"Therefore our preliminary position is that possession limits should really be the guiding principle around whether a person should grow marijuana versus getting it from a dispensary," said Aumand.
The department has requested more time to consider that question. Aumand said they'll likely reinvestigate that matter once dispensaries are in place.
He said he also expects a committee to present new proposed rules for medical marijuana to the legislature in a couple of weeks time. 
Aumand said federal raids on dispensaries in other states have not had any real bearing on Vermont's program. The federal prosecutor for Vermont said he hasn't seen the report yet and therefore had no comment.


Ariz. marijuana dispensaries waiting on green light

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, January, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
PHOENIX - The Valley's self-proclaimed "Wal-Mart of Weed" is declaring the dismissal of Arizona's medical marijuana lawsuit a victory for patients who need the drug.
Sunny Singh owns weGrow at 29th Avenue and Thomas and said there will soon be safe access to patients who have had to grow their own while the dispensaries have been in a holding pattern since last June.
"We have seen patients who initially did not want to grow their own medical marijuana but had no choice without other access to marijuana," he said.
But Singh said many people are still under the wrong notion that medical marijuana is for recreational use.
"They don't see the patients we see," he said. "People using synthetic drugs right now who don't want to use them."
Singh said there's always the chance of the dispensaries being sidelined again by appeals to the decision by the federal judge.
"If it does get flipped over again, it's just a stall tactic to slow the program down," he said.
Right now weGrow sells everything a person needs to grow marijuana with the exception of the seeds. They offer classes on marijuana and they have a doctor who is expert on medical marijuana in-house.


Marijuana Dispensaries Remain Open Despite County Lawsuits

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, December, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. -- Riverside County is moving forward with its push to close down marijuana dispensaries operating illegally in unincorporated county areas.
Wednesday was the day dispensaries were supposed to tell the county whether they planned on staying open or closing down.
More than a half-dozen are in Thousand Palms. So far, every single one that News Channel 3 has visited is still operational.
The lights were on at Desert Care Solutions just before News Channel 3 arrived, but once the crew pulled out the camera, the place went black. Patients were still inside.
One of the managers, Julie Montante, pushed News Channel 3's camera two weeks ago. This time, she again declined to speak on camera, but over the phone, she confirmed that at this point, there are no plans to shut down.
Inland Valley Therapeutic Healing Center is still open, and the same goes for Harmony Wellness next door. But both declined to comment and both asked that News Channel 3's crew leave the property.
Gold Star Organic Cooperative on Ramon Road has been open since Aug. 1, and it, too, has been served papers by the county.
"I'm not allowed to comment on anything," said Daniel Bosch, an employee. "You'd have to talk to my manager."
Alternative Wellness Center is less than 100 yards away from Gold Star and its business hours have not changed since the Riverside County Board of Supervisors gave the go-ahead two weeks ago to have county attorneys sue dispensaries and their property owners, unless the operations voluntarily close down.
Relevance Alternative Health Care is also still serving the public.
Brothers Ricky and Jake Wright co-own Sublime Remedies, and they've received papers similar to a county complaint against Platinum Collective in the City of Riverside dated Dec. 21, which states that the dispensary is a public nuisance, and is operating illegally under county zoning laws.
"It's frustrating. It's sad, and it's hard," said Ricky Wright. "(The county) kind of looks at one person, just the dispensaries, where they should look at it across the board -- like the doctors and how the doctors are modifying who they're giving prescriptions to."
"(The patients) are very nervous," said Jake Wright. "They're scared. They don't want to go back to pills, first off. A lot of people have had problems with those in the past."
When asked if they plan on staying open, Jake Wright said, "We're playing it by ear. We're waiting to hear back what our lawyer says."
The operators are facing fines of up to $20,000 before their case even goes to trial if they don't shut down, said county officials.
At least 35 dispensaries are operating illegally within county areas, and almost half have closed up in the past year, said county officials.


Pot clubs turning to delivery With feds threatening storefronts, couriers become alternatives

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, December, 26th 2011 by THCFinder
Medithrive, a cannabis dispensary in San Francisco's Mission District that was forced to close last month, has re-emerged as a delivery-only service, part of a growing trend in California's billion-dollar medical marijuana industry that's recently come under attack by federal authorities.
Threats of property forfeiture, fines, lawsuits and raids this winter have made brick-and-mortar locations less enticing to pot entrepreneurs. Hundreds of storefronts have closed amid the new federal crackdown. Delivery services remain, offering a lower-profile, albeit more dangerous, alternative.
"It just makes sense. When you have a storefront, you're on the map. You don't have those issues with a delivery service. No one's going to know about it," said William Panze, an Oakland defense attorney who represents Northstone Organics, a delivery service based in Ukiah (Mendocino County).


Voters May Save Pot Dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, December, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
Medical marijuana dispensaries that are being run out of San Diego have unveiled a proposed ballot measure to help them survive.
The proposed initiative would set a 2.5-percent sales tax for the storefront collectives and prohibit them within 600 feet of schools and playgrounds. The 18-page measure also lays out security and inspection requirements.
"Our intent is to bring back safe access to medical cannabis for qualified patients," said Jessica McElfresh with the Patient Care Association of California, which helped to draft the proposal.
Proponents will need to collect about 62,000 voter signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
"Voters have almost always overwhelmingly supported medical marijuana responsible regulation," McElfresh said.
San Diego's city attorney has sued collectives for violating local zoning laws.
Federal authorities also are cracking down on the dispensaries and even if the local initiative passes they'd remain illegal under federal law. Last month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sent a letter to pot shop landlords, saying if they do not kick out the dispensaries, the landlords could lose their own property.
In October, a San Diego court ruled that marijuana dispensaries could not be permitted within the city limits.
“I think it is clear that building owners and dispensaries that don’t voluntarily close their doors will be held accountable for violations of the law,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said in a media release in October. “We are obligated to enforce the law and we will do so.”
The initiative would address the city’s ordinance, according to the Patient Care Association of California’s website.


Berkeley Collective Offers Potent Marijuana Christmas Trees

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, December, 16th 2011 by THCFinder

The Patients Care Collective (PCC) in Berkeley, California, has been helping medical marijuana patients for more than 10 years now, having originally opened their doors back in 2001. They're a festive group; during the holidays they help patients celebrate the season with yummy, cannabis "Christmas Trees" augmented with potent concentrates.

(Full story



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