Danville moves to permanently ban medical marijuana dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, July, 13th 2011 by THCFinder
DANVILLE -- The Town Council is moving toward a permanent ban on marijuana dispensaries.
The council, with member Newell Arnerich absent, discussed the issue Tuesday. No formal vote was taken, but the other members -- Mayor Karen Stepper, Candace Andersen, Robert Storer and Mike Doyle -- directed the town's staff to draft a resolution to ban dispensaries. City Attorney Rob Ewing said it would likely come to the council in September for adoption.
"I don't know why we would change what we're doing," Stepper said.
Andersen said she has seen evidence of the medicinal qualities of marijuana but would want to see it distributed by pharmacies instead of dispensaries where she said there is potential for abuse.
The decision was the latest in the town's attempts to discourage the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries. In October 2009, the council adopted a 45-day "interim urgency" ordinance banning dispensaries. Later extensions will continue the ban only until Oct. 6. The town had hoped legal issues regarding the ability of towns to ban dispensaries would be settled by now, but Ewing said it still remains unclear.
Danville cannot extended its temporary ban again, so the town had to decide what direction to take.
Ewing said other cities have adopted permanent bans, with some targeted by lawsuits that claim a broad ban -- at least applied to collectives and cooperatives -- is pre-empted by state law. So far, none of the suits have been successful, he said.
Danville's other option would be to let the current moratorium expire and wait for further legal clarification.
Meanwhile, the town could have tried relying on its general plan and zoning ordinances, which prohibit uses inconsistent with state and federal law.
A third option was to adopt a zoning regulation that would allow dispensaries with strict controls, such as requiring they be a certain distance from schools and parks.
Sheriff Mims proposes to eliminate medical marijuana dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, July, 12th 2011 by THCFinder
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Medical marijuana dispensaries in Fresno County could be a thing of the past if Sheriff Margaret Mims gets her way. The county supervisors will discuss a proposal Tuesday aimed at eliminating most of these collectives.
Sheriff Mims put a 20 page report on the agenda for the Board of Sups meeting. Supporters say it will help the Sheriffs Office control the cultivation of medical marijuana in Fresno County while critics say the ordinance makes it nearly impossible for anyone qualify and grow the plant.
Under the new ordinance proposal -- medical marijuana collectives like the one at Tarpey Village will cease to exist. And anyone who wants to grow pot legally will have six months to do so in the industrial area of Fresno County, where they'll be at least a thousand feet away from schools, parks, and churches.
Supervisor Henry Perea says the ordinance will help stop illegitimate grows taking place all over the county. "Really what I think it's turned into is a lot of criminal activity that has taken advantage of a law that was intended to help people. And we're going to put a stop to that in Fresno County." said Perea.
"We're trying to strike that balance. Yes if you have a medical need and we're going to make sure that need is met for you but at the same token we're not going to let the criminal element profit off of that either." said Perea.
Council votes to allow pot dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, July, 6th 2011 by THCFinder
CHICO — A letter from the Department of Justice stating its concern for Chico's medical marijuana plan did not stop the City Council from passing the ordinance Tuesday.
Council members voted 4-3 to adopt the ordinance that would allow two dispensaries of 10,000 square feet or fewer each to open in the city.
The dispensaries would have to go through a public hearing process and get approval from council.
Mayor Ann Schwab and Councilmen Bob Evans and Mark Sorensen dissented.
Councilman Scott Gruendl said his yes vote does not support criminal activity, but a responsibility to constituents who deserve safe access.
"My intent is to provide a safe way for people in this community who are entitled to this type of medicine to have access to it without being persecuted for it," Gruendl said.
The U.S. Department of Justice's letter to Schwab listed the federal laws people could break while following the city ordinance. United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner of the eastern district of California signed the letter dated Friday.
"The department is concerned about the proposed ordinance in the city of Chico as it would authorize conduct contrary to federal law and threatens the federal government's efforts to regulate the possession, manufacturing and trafficking of controlled substances," Wagner wrote.
"Individuals who elect to operate industrial marijuana cultivation facilities will be doing so in violation of federal law. Others who knowingly facilitate such industrial cultivation activities, including property owners, landlords and financiers, should also know that their conduct violates federal law."
Evans told fellow council members he thinks the community could be committing a crime allowing dispensaries in Chico and recommended the council table the discussion until they have a clear picture of the federal government's intent, he said.
City attorney Lori Barker said the federal government is putting states on notice of their inconsistency with its laws and that it could still come in and prosecute operations following state law but breaking federal law.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey addressed the council and said he thinks city staff could violate federal law with the ordinance and face prosecution, including Police Chief Mike Maloney.
"In general, I have some concerns about the road that we're traveling down," Maloney said.
First permitted medical marijuana co-op opens in San Diego
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, July, 6th 2011 by THCFinder
Mother Earth’s Alternative Healing Cooperative reopened at 10 a.m. Monday in an industrial park outside El Cajon. Riedel shuttered his former location in Fallbrook because it would not have qualified for an operating permit.
The county’s year-old restrictions limit collectives to industrial areas and prohibit them from operating within 1,000 feet of places such as parks, churches, homes, schools, libraries and other medical marijuana facilities. Supervisors later approved an $11,000 annual fee for collective operators.
On Monday, more than 50 people joined the co-operative, which lists its hours of operation as 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed Sunday.
About 90 percent of those who signed up were over the age of 45, Riedel said. Medical marijuana dispensaries have historically drawn the ire of neighbors who argue that many members are young and appear to be healthy.
Riedel is hiring licensed pharmaceutical technicians, testing all of the product on site and doing customer surveys to determine which strains of medical marijuana are most effective. He also promised not to run advertisements depicting marijuana or to advertise free or discounted product.
Colorado Springs jacks medical marijuana fees
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, July, 5th 2011 by THCFinder
The Colorado Springs City Council decided unanimously last week to impose a $2,200 charge on all medical marijuana businesses in the city. The fee went into effect July 1 and applies to all new and existing businesses. Prior to this vote, medical marijuana businesses were only required to pay a $500 pre-registration fee.
The new fees were proposed as a way to provide processing and maintenance fees that the city covers for the facilities. There were other proposed charges that will be under deliberation by the Council in 60 days, including two extra charges of $1800 each.
Audrey Hatfield, President of Coloradans for Cannabis Patient Rights (C4CPR), was not pleased with the new fees.
“I think this new fee is ludicrous,” she said. Hatfield said that she believes the city is unfairly picking on dispensaries, which could have negative effects for the local economy.
“These businesses are barely breaking even as it is, and I’ve already heard from several businesses that will be closing as a result,” Hatfield said.
Council-member Brandy Williams acknowledged the concerns, but said that the fees are necessary to pay for the amount of work that has to be done by the city clerk, especially for a business mired with so many regulations on a city, state and federal level.
“This is certainly a precarious situation, especially since it’s still an issue undecided on many levels. Perhaps as things change, many of these fees may go away,” said Williams, “Right now we’re in an adjustment period.” Williams also said that the fact that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, further complicates the situation.
Williams said that currently the position of medical marijuana businesses is in a position of “limbo” as both the state and the city make slow movements on how best to regulate the growing industry.
Peoria, Arizona OKs 2 applicants for medical-pot dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, July, 4th 2011 by THCFinder
Peoria's Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved permit requests for two medical-marijuana dispensaries, but such facilities are in limbo as the state seeks clarity on whether the voter-approved ballot measure conflicts with federal drug laws.
As Arizona waits for an answer on opening medical-pot facilities, the state health department has issued thousands of patient cards for marijuana use. More than 98 percent of 6,669 applicants were approved as of Wednesday. In Peoria, 169 residents applied for the card.
If requested, cardholders will be able to grow their own marijuana for personal use, at least until dispensaries open. The law allows cardholders to grow their own if a dispensary is not located within 25 miles of their home.
Peoria requires patients or caregivers to grow medical marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility, such as a room inside a home.
Arizona voters in November approved medical-pot use for cancer patients and those with other debilitating illnesses to get a medical-marijuana card with doctor approval.
The state was scheduled to accept applications for dispensaries and growing facilities in June. Then a letter raised concerns. The U.S. Attorney for Arizona warned the state Health Director of prosecution of prospective pot growers and sellers under federal drug-trafficking laws. The Arizona Attorney General in May filed a lawsuit in federal court to clarify whether Arizona would run afoul of the federal government.
With no response yet, those interested in opening facilities are moving forward. In Peoria, one applicant hopes to open at the southeast corner of Loop 101 and Peoria Avenue, while another wants to open at the northwest corner of Lake Pleasant and Beardsley roads.
Arizona Natural Selections Patient Center seeks a dispensary near Loop 101, in an area zoned commercial and geared toward retail shops and offices. The applicant estimated the dispensary would see as many as 30 patients a day at the site, which would be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
Arizona Grown Healthcare proposes the northern Peoria location, which is in a commercially zoned area. Hours of operation would be weekdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and closed Sundays.
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