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YPSILANTI: 3rd Coast medical marijuana dispensary to continue operations despite court ruling, raid

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, August, 30th 2011 by THCFinder
Ypsilanti’s 3rd Coast Compassion Center, the first medical marijuana dispensary opened in the state, is continuing operations as normal despite a state Court of Appeals ruling last week prohibiting “patient to patient” sales of medical marijuana.
 
The court opinion overturned an Isabella County Circuit Court ruling involving Compassionate Apothecary LLC, located in Mt. Pleasant, in which owners Brandon McQueen and Matthew Taylor had testified they retained at least 20 percent of the sale price of medical marijuana.
 
The ruling stated the dispensary can be shut down as a public nuisance as it is in violation of the Public Health Code.
 
Jamie Lowell, director for the 3rd Coast Compassion Center, said Tuesday they are a non-profit organization that accepts private donations in order to pay bills and salaries. He said they have not closed their doors, unlike some dispensaries in the area, because they are continuing to operate within the confines of the law according to the spirit and intent of the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
 
“A lot of us have been running as non profits,” said Lowell. “We are looking at this ruling in a lot more narrow sense in that it affects one specific place that runs its business in a specific way. But we’re still trying to figure it all out and whether it affects us.”
 
Lowell said they did close the day the appellate court ruling was released but reopened the following day. He said they have been in contact with city of Ypsilanti administration.
 
“Again, we’re not positive on whether we are directly affected by this. We are going to evaluate it and continue to help out the patients that come here," he said.
 
 

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Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law Stoned to Death

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, August, 26th 2011 by THCFinder
Michigan’s law enforcement authorities have been determined to undo the will of voters who overwhelmingly approved a 2008 ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana. They’ve looked for every which way to stop patients from accessing marijuana. For example, the law allows patients to possess 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. However, they've been arresting patients for possessing raw marijuana over that amount, even though it loses 80 percent of its weight once it is processed and dried. And today they took a giant stride forward in achieving their end as numerous medical marijuana dispensaries around the state shut their doors following an appellate court ruling Tuesday.
 
The court ruled that although the initiative protected the right of registered patients to use “marihuana” (the way the law chose to spell the word), it didn’t explicitly authorize the dispensaries. This presumably leaves patients the option of growing and processing their own “marihuana.” But won’t they need to buy seeds to do so from—err—dispensaries or some commercial source?
 
There is no doubt that the Michigan law was poorly written (partly to steer clear of the federal ban on marijuana), and has become something of a hornet’s nest for patients and communities. Patients are planning to appeal the ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court. And there are plans afoot to clean up the law in the fall legislative session.
 
However, where there is a will there is a way. Many communities and authorities—including the state’s Republican Attorney General Bill Scheutte—are so implacably opposed to allowing dispensaries in their midst that they will leave no stoner unturned for loopholes to exploit. Scheutte, for example, has gone after registered patients who engage in the collective growing or sharing of marijuana plants on cooperative marijuana farms. Why? Because the law, he believes, requires each patient’s plants to be grown and maintained in a “separate” enclosed, locked facility that is only accessible to the registered patient or the patient’s registered primary caregiver.
 

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Police raid 2 medical marijuana clinics in Ann Arbor

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, August, 25th 2011 by THCFinder
Michigan State Police drug investigators raided 2 medical marijuana dispensaries in Ann Arbor today, but said the raids had nothing to do with a state appeals court ruling Wednesday that prohibits dispensaries from selling marijuana.
 
Witnesses said 3 people were taken into custody.
 
Det. 1st Lt. Wynonia Sturdivant of the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team said MedMar clinic at 1818 Packard St. and A2 Go Green Corp at 206 S. Main St. were raided because their employees allegedly failed to follow guidelines established for operating dispensaries. She declined to be more specific.
 
Sturdivant said both dispensaries have been under investigation for at least a couple of weeks and the raids are not related to each other. She said she did not know what was seized.
 
"It's an ongoing investigation," she said.
 
Police officers dressed in black and wearing masks executed a search warrant at MedMar about noon, seizing computers, boxes, plastic bags and other items. Witnesses said 3 people were taken into custody as part of that investigation.
 
Shortly after noon today, officers executed a search warrant at A2 Go Green Co-op, seizing boxes of files, computers and brown paper bags. U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents were there, but Sturdivant declined to say why the federal agency was involved.
 
Police vehicles were parked in the middle lane of Main Street for at least 45 minutes.
 
Chuck Ream, longtime medical marijuana advocate and partner at MedMar, said two of his employees, were taken away in handcuffs about 10:30 a.m. Another employee was arrested later in the morning.
 
Ream and 3 other people were holding signs promoting medical marijuana and protesting the police action, yelling at the officers who were carrying items out.
 
The law enforcement action comes one day after the state appeals court ruled medical marijuana sales are illegal.
 

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Bank shutting out marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, August, 25th 2011 by THCFinder
DENVER, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Colorado Springs State Bank, the last bank in the state willing to do business openly with medical marijuana suppliers, has asked them to close their accounts.
 
Senior Vice President John Whitten said the bank's parent company, Herring Bank, does business in Oklahoma and Texas, both states where medical marijuana is not legal, The (Boulder) Daily Camera reported.
 
"There are unresolved issues with regulations, law enforcement and other agencies that need to get resolved before the industry can progress and become bankable," Whitten said.
 
A letter last week to operators of medical marijuana dispensaries asked them to shut down their accounts by the end of September, Whitten said.
 
Diane Czarkowski, one of the owners of Boulder Kind Care, said the dispensary, which now has an account at Colorado Springs State, has been through six other banks since it opened in October 2009. She said Kind Care is now talking to a local bank.
 
"I think a lot of people will be in a really bad position," she said. "They will be forced to do things under the radar, which is not helpful to the industry."
 
 

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Santa Fe Springs cracks down on medical marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, August, 22nd 2011 by THCFinder
SANTA FE SPRINGS - For the second time in just over a year, two brothers and their cousin are being forced to shut down their medical marijuana dispensary.
 
Victor Munoz, who co-owns 3P Wellness Center, 13535 Marquardt Ave., with his relatives, was one of 19 dispensary owners in this city to receive a cease and desist order from law enforcement.
 
Officers from the Whittier Police Department, which covers Santa Fe Springs, and city officials gave out the eight-page order, Director of Police Services Dino Torressaid.
 
"It's illegal to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the city," he said.
 
The letter, dated July 29, 2011, ordered owners to "stop all medical marijuana dispensary activities by Sept. 26,"
and gave notice "that enforcement activities, if required, will be directed at both the property owner who are violating the law and the dispensary operators and management."
 
Torres said it's illegal to operate a business without a proper business license, and the dispensaries are not zoned in the city.
 
"There is neither an ordinance that bans or allows them," City Manager Thaddeus McCormack said. "The city's zoning code doesn't allow for them."
 
The city's stance, he said, is not that the dispensaries are not operating at state requirements, but that they are in violation of the city's municipal code.
 
Torres said, according to his investigation, the 19 dispensaries are the most in one city the size of Santa Fe Springs.
 

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Authorities raided pot dispensary, owner's house

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, August, 22nd 2011 by THCFinder
Help fight the prohibition of Cannabis so these useless raids stop happening at the Tax payers expense. Our Country is broke yet we still put money into stupid raids like this which only hurt our states financial situation and the medical marijuana patients who have every right to obtain their medication worry free.
 
Authorities revealed during testimony at a board of supervisors meeting last week that there was a raid in April of the Purple Cross marijuana dispensary on Bolsa Road. 
 
Deputy Sheriff Michael Moll, a county sheriff's deputy who works for the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team, noted to county supervisors Friday that he led a raid on Purple Cross after two undercover agents from Santa Clara County obtained medical marijuana cards so they could make purchases at the dispensary.
 
The San Benito County Board of Supervisors on Friday officially declared that the Purple Cross Rx medical marijuana dispensary near Hollister is a public nuisance and it must be abated.
 
Moll noted that the person at the front desk couldn't verify the cards, but said "it's good enough" and returned them to the officers and sold them marijuana.
 
"Neither of the undercover officers were asked what kind of ailment they have," he said at the meeting.
 
UNET confiscated more than 1,600 grams of processed marijuana, 59 grams of hash and 135 immature pot plants during its raid. It also took receipt books that noted nearly $94,000 in sales, mostly from January through April, as well as a receipt book that noted more than $8,300 in payments from Purple Cross to vendors.
 
During that time, dispensary owner Scott McPhail was also stopped by deputies and his house was raided. No charges have been filed as a result of the raid, McPhail's attorney noted. 
 

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