Medical marijuana dispensaries battle to remain in San Diego
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, July, 26th 2011 by THCFinder
The controversial issue of regulating medical marijuana dispensaries was front and center at City Hall on Monday afternoon.
This is all about the City's new regulations on the storefront collectives, and whether they should be repealed.
Last April, after much debate, discussion which included a city medical marijuana task force, the City Council adopted new restrictions regarding medical marijuana dispensaries. But, medical marijuana advocates say the council ignored the task force and adopted restrictions which are unreasonable.
"The medical marijuana task force made wonderful recommendations that were not implemented, they were changed at the last minute into zoning restrictions and they were made much more restrictive than they were intended to be," said one activist who addressed the council.
Foremost among them: requiring the City's estimated 160 collectives to shut down and apply for permits. Also, the dispensaries would be limited to certain commercial and industrial zones, at least 600 feet from one another, as well as from schools, parks and churches.
Advocates went out and collected enough signatures to qualify a ballot measure on the issue.
Monday, the council was faced with a choice: conduct an expensive election or repeal the ordinance.
Supporters of strict regulations say the proliferation of such clinics has led to abuse, especially among young adults.
"I can't understand why the shops are still open without businesses licenses, that's not legal," said one supporter.
Medical marijuana advocate Donna Lambert appeared on KUSI's Good Morning San Diego.
"That is the one main reasons why it's important for us to work with the council and the police to end such abuses, we can do that by bringing the issue out of the shadows and into the mainstream, we can get rid of that," said Lambert.
Under the headline, "be careful what you wish for," the City Council reluctantly voted six-to-two to repeal the ordinance, rather than spend upwards of a million dollars for an election.
Council members cautioned that since a compromise wasn't reached, it's likely none will ever be able to be found.
Which could lead to a moratorium or an outright ban of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City.
Medical Marijuana High On San Diego Councilâ€™s Agenda
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, July, 25th 2011 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO — On a hot, steamy day in July, Vey Linville stands in front of a medical marijuana collective in Pacific Beach. Despite the warm weather, 50-year-old Linville looks dapper in a crisp, gray suit. A tube snakes up from the oxygen tank sitting beside him and curls under his nose. Linville is suffering from severe emphysema. He rejected his doctor’s suggestion he undergo a double lung transplant. Instead, he turned to medical marijuana.
Above: A marijuana plant from the home of medical marijuana advocate Dennis Peron.
"I joined a collective here in San Diego and drank cannabis medicines and was able to stop taking all the pharmaceuticals they were giving me to breathe," he said. "And I have been able to not get a transplant and continue living."
Linville is perhaps the model medical marijuana patient: Someone with a serious disease who uses cannabis to help alleviate his suffering.
He and other supports say San Diego’s regulations on collectives are too harsh. Among the restrictions, a 600-foot buffer is required between a collective and schools, churches, parks and other areas. Supporters say that effectively bans collectives in the city.
"If this ordinance had taken effect, what we have seen is a mass closure of every single facility in the city of San Diego," said Eugene Davidovich, with the San Diego Chapter of American’s for Safe Access." "And then, maybe, a small handful opening up a year down the line. So you have a year with no access."
Now supporters have gathered enough signatures to let voters decide in June whether the regulations should stand or not. The petition drive is forcing the city council to reconsider the issue. It can either repeal the current regulations or let the voters decide.
Councilwoman Marti Emerald called the latest move frustrating.
"I believe this referendum is totally driven by people who operate these shops and don’t want the city messing with their cash flow. I think that’s it," she said.
More dispensaries than Starbucks stores in Denver? So what?
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, July, 22nd 2011 by THCFinder
â€‹Back in the fall of 2009, trying to get a handle on the growing medical marijuana business, Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown visited Los Angeles, where he discovered that there were more dispensaries than Starbucks outlets. In January 2010, the Denver Post reported that there were now more dispensaries than Starbucks stores in Denver -- a statement that got a lot of international attention when William Breathes repeated it two weeks ago on NPR. But here's the real question: So what?
Wouldn't we rather have more dispensaries than Starbucks stores? After all, Starbucks outlets compete with all the mom-and-pop coffee shops that struggle in this city. Fewer Starbucks stores could simply mean more hometown java joints.
Under Colorado rules, dispensaries here are all essentially homegrown outfits -- and all compete with each other. They also took on spaces that landlords were desperate to lease after the economy went to hell and may have represented Denver's only real growth industry over the last three years.
For the record, within Denver city limits, Starbucks reports that it has 44 of its own stores, along with a certain number of franchises that it declines to reveal. Meanwhile, there are close to 200 dispensaries -- the numbers are always shifting, but the trend shows the total heading down as competition shakes out the market.
And when a space opens up, maybe a local coffeehouse will move in.
The Federal Crackdown on Oregon Dispensaries Claims a Victim
This past spring, U.S. Attorney for Oregon Dwight Holton followed the lead of several U.S. attorneys in other states and issued a strongly worded letter warning medical-marijuana dispensaries—and their landlords—that they were violating federal drug-trafficking laws.
Now, Holton's campaign—which he said led to a death threat against his staff—has claimed a victim in Portland.
The Foster Healing Center, a nonprofit dispensary in Southeast Portland that started up last November, closed its doors after Holton issued his letter in June. Foster Healing Director Steve Geiger says his landlord cited Holton's letter and forced him to close the dispensary and alternative-medical clinic.
"If it wasn't for our landlord, we were willing to stay right up until they raided us. We felt strongly what we were doing was right," Geiger says.
Geiger and the operators of other dispensary-style clubs and collectives maintain such setups are legal under Oregon law. But Washington County deputies raided a dispensary-style club in Aloha last month. And possessing or selling marijuana remains illegal under federal statutes.
"Was money exchanged and people walked out with cannabis? Yes. Was it done in a way we feel was in line with the law? Yes,” Geiger says.
Get dispensaries up and running in NJ
Gov. Chris Christie is relying on his instincts as an ex-prosecutor to end his technical wrangling that’s delayed implementation of the state’s medical marijuana law.
Christie asked the Obama administration in April to say it wouldn’t prosecute anyone, including state personnel and dispensary workers, for administering the compassionate-use law. It was a reasonable request, but a late one, since the law has been on the books since January 2010.
The feds refused any guarantee, since marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Christie nonetheless surmised Tuesday that federal agents wouldn’t enforce the federal statutes because their limited budgets would be better spent chasing bad guys than going after chronically ill people who need to relieve symptoms and side-effects of other medical treatments.
The U.S. Justice Department did issue a memo last month suggesting, but not specifically stating, that it would lay off unless a medical marijuana law — 16 states now have them — significantly raised the scope of commercial sales. With tight regulation on who can sign up to purchase marijuana legally, and only six initial sales venues, there’s no chance that will happen in New Jersey.
Sufferers can now look toward relief, even if it’s odd for Christie, a former U.S. attorney for New Jersey, to kind of root for federal agents to have insufficient funds to enforce a law.
Opening the dispensaries is long overdue, and all New Jerseyans should be glad the governor is finally on board. Once they get their grow lights going, dispensaries estimate their marijuana will be available by Thanksgiving.
Deputies Raid Medical Marijuana Shop Outside Stevensville
Stevensville, Mont. -- Ravalli County deputies raided a medical marijuana shop just off Highway 93 near Stevensville Wednesday evening.
Sheriff Chris Hoffman says Banana Belt Caregivers is suspected of housing an illegal grow operation.
The raid comes after a district judge ruled most medical marijuana practices could continue under state law.
It wasn't like the raids you see on TV shows. Ravalli County Deputies didn't bust down the door to Banana Belt Caregivers. They took their time.
Eyewitnesses say deputies stood outside the shop for almost five hours before bringing down a search warrant. One employee says he doesn't know what they did wrong.
"We felt we were going through every possible loophole we could to maintain and be within the legal limits of the law," says Edward Smartt.
Employees said they had fewer than 99 plants in-house and about 80 patients on the books.
Smartt says the shop has been in business for about a year and a half and has $20,000 worth of equipment in this shop. He says deputies showed up without warning.
"Right now they are seizing all of our plants. We'll have to close our shop, and we will be done from here on out," says Smartt.
Employees watched while deputies cut down plants.
We asked Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman if any other raids were going on in Ravalli County right now his response, but he had no comment.
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