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SJ city council may shut down medical pot outlets

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, April, 19th 2011 by THCFinder
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose's City Council takes on the issue of regulating or possibly banning over 100 medical marijuana outlets this afternoon, an issue it has been grappling with for a year and a half. When the debate began, the city had only two dispensaries. Frustration has grown among council members over the issue, and several have suggested banning all pot-selling facilities if a resolution cannot be reached today.
 
Council member Nancy Pyle suggested the ban in a memorandum that is filed with today's afternoon council agenda. Mayor Chuck Reed agrees, along with council member Kansen Chu, who wants the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to create regulations. We'll be talking to Mayor Reed ahead of the 1:30 PM council meeting.
 
The executive director of Harborside Health Center, one of San Jose's marijuana dispensaries, will be on hand for the council's deliberations this afternoon. Steve DeAngelo could not be reached this morning, although he has told our media partner, The Mercury News, that he is distressed about the potential of an outright ban.
 
The council has recommendations before it to revise its codes and to pass ordinances that would restrict where dispensaries can be located and to require all facilities to apply for permits and to pay a $4,975 processing fee and $167 per hour for background checks. Individual council members have made additional recommendations to allow off-site cultivation of marijuana, to require 24-hour security, and a limitation of 10 or 20 facilities in the city.
 
The issue was debated for most of the afternoon at last Tuesday's council meeting. Further action was deferred until today's meeting. We'll be there and will update this story later today.
 

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San Jose may ban medical marijuana shops

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, April, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
Frustrated and divided on how to deal with the rapid spread of medical marijuana shops, the San Jose City Council may be heading toward banning them outright when it continues the debate Tuesday.
 
Such a move would be a stark reversal for a council that for the past year and a half has signaled it would welcome a limited number of medical marijuana outfits.
 
Only four days ago, the council tentatively approved zoning for the clubs, which now number more than 100 in San Jose even though the city doesn't technically consider any of them legal.
 
But council members were clearly frustrated this week after their third meeting on the matter stretched for four hours without reaching decisions on how many pot clubs there should be and rules governing their operation.
 
Councilwoman Nancy Pyle has since stated in a memorandum that if the council can't agree on rules -- which, after Tuesday's meeting, seems likely -- it should just ban the clubs altogether.
 
Mayor Chuck Reed said Friday that he agrees. And Councilman Kansen Chu, who had signaled his distaste for marijuana clubs Tuesday, also issued a memo arguing that the city should prohibit them and let county officials decide on regulations.
 
"I think it's becoming clear that this is a difficult area to arrive at a reasonable conclusion," Reed said. "Whether or not the votes are there for a ban, I don't know because positions have changed over time. But for me personally, I've reached a
point where if we don't reach a resolution Tuesday, I will be supporting a ban."
 
Stephen DeAngelo, executive director of the Harborside Health Center medical marijuana dispensaries in San Jose and Oakland, said he was surprised and disappointed.
 

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Feds turning up the heat on dispensaries on Colorado

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, April, 14th 2011 by THCFinder

Despite federal efforts in other states to crack down on dispensaries, feds in Colorado say they haven’t changed their tune on how they deal with medical marijuana and have no plans to do so.

They say they are focused on large-scale, illegal distribution and sales operations, not the individual patient or the dealer on the street corner.

While dispensaries seem to be a bit of a gray area, it seems that if federal officials in this state stick to 2009 guidelines set by the U.S. attorney general’s office, Colorado dispensaries that keep their noses clean should not attract the attention of federal prosecutors and drug enforcement officers.

An Oct. 19, 2009, letter — referred to as the “Ogden memo” because it came from U.S. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden — has served as the law of the land when it comes to how the Obama administration intends to deal with medical marijuana in states where its use is authorized. (Marijuana remains illegal as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law.)

The Ogden memo lays out guidance for U.S. attorneys in states where medical marijuana is legal. In an environment of limited resources, the memo says, the Department of Justice is primarily concerned about “significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, and the disruption of illegal drug manufacturing and trafficking networks.”

The memo says federal resources should not be focused on “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance” with state marijuana laws, and it differentiates between the individual patient/ caregiver and large-scale operations, including questionable dispensaries hiding behind state laws.

(Read more)


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Get your hit on Route 66

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, April, 14th 2011 by THCFinder
Tom Schwerin didn't get too involved in the medical marijuana debate last fall.
 
He had friends with chronic back pain that would benefit from it, but the lifelong Flagstaff resident didn't see how it would really have an impact his own life.
 
That changed when he started paying attention to the problems many dispensaries were having with zoning regulations. For example, they can't be too close to schools, parks, churches or even pharmacies, and they also need ample parking and heavy security measures.
 
It was then the owner of the Arrowhead Lodge wanted to transform his business on the corner of East Route 66 and Arrowhead Avenue into a full-fledged medical marijuana dispensary later this year.
 
The main building could serve as the dispensary, Schwerin believes. The cellar would be perfect for a vault, while the small motel rooms could be converted into doctor's offices and places to cultivate marijuana indoors.
 
Also, the Arrowhead Lodge is in a properly zoned area and isn't close to any schools, churches or parks.
 
Schwerin's proposed dispensary, which he calls Blueberry MMD, is one of only two sent to the city of Flagstaff for a conceptual review as of this week.
 

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Marijuana dispensary sues Dana Point for $20 million

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, April, 14th 2011 by THCFinder
A marijuana dispensary that's been ordered to pay the city of Dana Point $2.4 million in civil damages for alleged illegal operations is now suing the city, San Diego Gas & Electric, city council members and individual staffers for conspiracy, defamation and other issues to the tune of $20 million.
 
Beach Cities Collective and its owner, David Lambert, filed the complaint in Orange County Superior Court on Wednesday. The complaint says city staff and council members "conspired in an extra-judicial crusade to prevent (Beach Cities) from legally supplying medical marijuana to their member patients."
 
Beach Cities Collective was run at 26841 Calle Hermosa in Dana Point by founders David Lambert, left, and Tim Louch.
 
City Attorney Patirck Munoz said he hadn't had a chance to review the lawsuit Wednesday afternoon. City Council members said they were unaware of the complaint.
 
Beach Cities and Dana Point have been embroiled in an almost two-year legal battle prompted by the city suing several dispensaries in town for alleged illegal operations. The city says the dispensaries were selling marijuana for profit for nonmedical purposes. State law allows nonprofit collectives to distribute marijuana to patients with a doctor's recommendation. The illegal sale of a controlled substance is considered a nuisance, according to the civil code. The collectives say they were providing medicine to patients.
 
Separate from its lawsuits against the dispensaries, the city shut down three collectives in January, claiming they had violated building code violations without inspecting them first. SDG&E officials removed Beach Cities' electric meters. SDG&E and Angela Duzich, a code-enforcement official, are being sued, as well. A message left on SDG&E's public affairs line was not immediately returned.
 
Two dispensaries, Holistic Health and Beach Cities, appealed the closures in February, but were denied by a retired Orange County judge hired by the city as a hearing officer. The city said the code violations were based on certificate of occupancy, security and building modification issues.
 

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Feds warn local marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, April, 7th 2011 by THCFinder

It's a sad day when something like this comes out in the spotlight.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane face federal prosecution if they do not end their operations immediately, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Federal authorities hope for voluntary compliance but are prepared “for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores,” according to a statement by Mike Ormsby, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.
 
Federal authorities will target both the operators of the stores and the owners of the properties where the stores are located, he said.
 
“We intend to use the full extent of our legal remedies to enforce the law,” Ormsby said. Depending on the amount of marijuana, some federal crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years or more.
 

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