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Five medical marijuana dispensary applications accepted Friday morning in Ypsilanti

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, April, 1st 2011 by THCFinder
Camping out to be first in line paid off for Amos Snyder and his family this morning when they were the first to turn in an application for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Ypsilanti.
 
Snyder and his family had been waiting in shifts since Sunday night to be first in line when the city started accepting applications at 8 a.m. today. Several others also braved several nights of freezing temperatures to be one of the first to turn in paperwork.
 
Members of Snyder’s group said the dispensary is about securing good business for the family, but also helping patients and rejuvenating their home town.
 
“We’re going to help build the community,” Snyder, a head custodian at Ypsilanti Public Schools, said. The family wants to open up Cross Street Services dispensary at 513 W. Cross, a space they said is sandwiched between two condemned buildings.
 
Now, they’ll have to wait 30 to 45 days for licensing approval, said city planner Teresa Gillotti. Seven groups waited in line outside of city hall Friday morning to turn in licensing paperwork, she said, including at least one who hoped to open up a grow facility in town.
Snyder’s family members said they’ve poured thousands of dollars into the project. They’ve already printed up business cards.
 
Submitting an application first is important because the city’s new medical marijuana zoning ordinance allows dispensaries in three Ypsilanti business districts. The dispensaries have to be at least 500 feet of one another and 1,000 feet from a school. That means only two dispensaries will be permitted downtown, one in Depot Town and one in the West Cross Street business district. Marijuana growing facilities are being licensed in three commercial or manufacturing districts.
 
Deputy city clerk Ed Golembiewski said that by mid-morning Friday, the city had accepted five dispensary applications, rejected one for being incomplete. The city also rejected an application for a growing facility because it wasn’t in a properly zoned area.
 

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San Diego City Council passes medical marijuana collective regulations

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO — KPBS.com reports that San Diego City Council passed regulations regarding medical marijuana collectives following nearly five hours of public comment on March 28.
 
Hundreds attended the meeting. The original proposal outlawed collectives from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and parks.
 
Ben Cisneros of Stop the Ban, a group who says the law would impact every collective in San Diego, said the ordinance is a “defacto ban that will close down every medical cannabis facility in the city and will make it virtually impossible to reopen.”
 
City Council voted to reduce the buffer zone from 1,000 feet to 600, and voted 5 to 2 to enact land-use restrictions and public safety regulations requiring background checks for all employees of collectives.
 
Councilman Todd Gloria said the rules, though strict, are better than the unregulated status quo.
 

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San Diego considers tougher rules for marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, March, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO—California's second largest city is considering regulating its more than 80 medical marijuana clinics caught in a legal cloud that some say has left the dispensaries vulnerable to raids and arrests.
 
Under the proposed ordinance taken up by San Diego's City Council on Monday, pot shops—both existing and new—would be required to obtain a permit by the city planning commission and prove they are a nonprofit business.
 
They also would have their hours limited to between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and would be barred from doing business within 1000 feet of places of worship, parks, schools, playgrounds, libraries, child-care and youth facilities and other dispensaries.
Opponents say the proposed law is a de facto-ban on the pot clubs.
 
Ben Cisneros, of the nonprofit Canvass for a Cause, said the regulations will push clinics out to far-flung industrial zones patrolled by federal agents near the U.S.-Mexico border and other remote areas that are difficult to reach. More than 3,700 people have written to city officials asking for a less restrictive ordinance to ensure AIDS patients, veterans and others have access to medical cannabis, he said.
 
Cisneros said regulations should allow dispensaries within 600 feet of schools and not require approval by the planning commission if they are in commercial zones and there are no complaints. He also said keeping dispensaries more than 1,000 feet apart from each other limits them because so few landlords want to rent to the clinics because of the stigma.
 
"They're trying to zone out medical cannabis dispensaries as if they were strip clubs and adult book stores," he said. "It's not providing access, if you have to travel for hours on public transit and hours back with medical cananbis on you."
 

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Dozens more L.A. medical marijuana dispensaries ordered immediately closed

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Sat, March, 26th 2011 by THCFinder
Los Angeles city officials have widened their campaign against illegal medical marijuana dispensaries, warning an additional 60 stores that they must shut down immediately.
 
The new letters went out earlier this week about two weeks after the city attorney's office notified the operators and landlords of another 141 pot shops that they must close. The letters warn that the city could sue violators, seek financial penalties and “padlock the property.”
 
SEARCH: Complete list of dispensaries in lottery or ordered to shut down
 
Asha Greenberg, the assistant city attorney who oversees the enforcement efforts, said that city employees checked every one of the newly notified locations to be certain the businesses were open.
 
“These were locations that we were unclear about,” she said. She added, however, that the office has not determined whether all those stores are selling marijuana.
 
The city’s letter asks for a response. So far, Greenberg said, the city attorney’s office has received information on two dozen locations. At 11, the dispensaries are closed. At six, owners said they were acting to close them. At another six, the dispensaries are still open. And at one site, the business has denied that it is a medical marijuana dispensary.
 
If the notified dispensaries do not close, the city attorney’s office will work with the police department to gather evidence that can be used in court proceedings to shut them down. Greenberg said she could not estimate how long that process would take.
 

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Judge says no to Loveland medical marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, March, 23rd 2011 by THCFinder
A judge on Tuesday denied a request to allow three Loveland medical marijuana dispensaries to remain open while attorney Robert J. Corry fights against cities prohibiting the sale of medical marijuana.
 
Judge Daniel Kaup ruled in 8th Judicial District Court that the temporary restraining order and permanent injunction requested were not proved by three medical marijuana dispensaries and two unnamed medical marijuana patients, represented by Corry.
 
"Granting an injunction would disserve the public," Kaup said. "It goes against the expressed voter will and the majority of voters in the city of Loveland."
 
Kaup said Corry did not prove all the elements necessary to require the injunction and restraining order, therefore, it was denied. Additionally, he said Corry did not prove medical marijuana is a fundamental right.
 
Kaup also said the court understands that some patients might be inconvenienced by having to drive farther or pay more for their marijuana but those factors do not justify an injunction against the city of Loveland. Loveland forced the dispensaries to close March 1 after voters approved a ban on the shops in November.
 
Corry said he was disappointed with the judge's ruling.
 
"There is no love in Loveland," he said after the hearing. "It was unexpected."
 

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Things don't look good for medical marijuana dispensaries fighting IRS, says NORML director

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, March, 23rd 2011 by THCFinder
In a post on Drug War Chronicle, criminal justice journalist Clarence Walker reports that the DEA and FBI are together putting pressure on banks in northern California to report any suspicious activity pertaining to the sale of marijuana. Rather than get involved in messy federal investigations, many banks have opted to simply close the accounts of medical marijuana dispensaries. The news comes at the same time as other recent stories, as reported by The Colorado Independent and The American Independent, have implicated federal efforts to cut the legs off of medical marijuana dispensaries that operate within state laws but are in murky legal territory according to federal drug statutes.
 
As The American Independent has reported, perhaps the most effective of these tactics is a push within the IRS to audit the books of medical marijuana dispensaries and declare all business deductions ineligible. If the move continues and isn’t overruled in court, it could mean that all but the largest dispensaries in the country could shut down within months.
 
Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), tells The American Independent that he believes this is phase three in a federal push to stymie medical marijuana that began in 1996, when medical marijuana first became legal in California. St. Pierre says that federal investigators first went after doctors, threatening to convict any who discussed medical uses of marijuana with patients as accomplices in the procurement and possession of marijuana. That tactic was declared unconstitutional in the case Conant v. McCaffrey.
 
The next tactic was to prosecute landlords. “If you’re renting property to someone breaking federal law, the property can be taken,” says St. Pierre. “Unsurprisingly, a lot of landlords stopped renting to dispensaries.” Eventually, enough landlords found liability loopholes or simply decided it was worth the risk to rent to dispensaries that the government gave up, as the thousands of dispensaries that today populate California alone attest.
 
Now, the federal government is using a time-honored method that could just cripple the medical marijuana industry once and for all, St. Pierre says.
 
“Rather than the SWAT approach, they’re going the Al Capone approach. He didn’t go to jail for cutting off people’s testicles and shoving them down their throats as a calling card,” St. Pierre colorfully offers. “He went to jail for tax evasion. If past is prologue, that route is much more effective.”
 

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