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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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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Banned In Grand Junction

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, April, 6th 2011 by THCFinder
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- The results certified showing that voters in Grand Junction made their choice to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.
 
The polls closed at 7:00 p.m. and the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder's Office has tallied the votes. 56.6% of votes counted are for the ordinance to ban dispensaries within city limits. 41.4% are against the ordinance.
 
The local medical marijuana industry is left in shock and tears after seeing the results. The thought of closing their shops is an overwhelming feeling for many involved, right now.
 
But, for the people in favor of the ban, they're ready for the city to move quickly in removing these dispensaries. "It took a lot of people to accomplish this," Betty Beidelschies with the Citizens For Liberty said.
 
Grand Junction now joins a handful of other Western Slope communities in outlawing the pot shops.
 
Marijuana advocates who have been outspoken in recent weeks declined to comment after the vote. But, they've made their fears very well known. "If we vote dispensaries out, then it's going into homes and there's no regulation on the caregiver model," Cristin Groves with the Mesa County Constitution Advocates told us on March 31st.
 

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Vermont considers medical marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, April, 4th 2011 by THCFinder
Lynn, a 40-year-old professional photographer who lives in Burlington, said he believes in marijuana’s medicinal value for those who suffer from chronic pain and he thinks it’s wrong that such people have nowhere legal to buy the relief.
 
“People having to go out and buy it on a corner from someone — it’s not right,” Lynn said. “I see this as an opportunity to run a successful, local, nonprofit business which would provide medical respectability to the current and future patients on the registry. It would open a more honest, serious dialogue about the benefits of cannabis.”
 
Medical marijuana has been legal in Vermont since 2004, for those with qualifying illnesses — including cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis — who sign up for the state’s registry. The 2004 law allows patients to grow their own marijuana, but advocates say many find that a daunting task, leaving them with the prospect of making illegal deals for street dope.
 
The state’s medical marijuana registry specifies, “The Marijuana Registry is neither a source for marijuana nor can the Registry provide information to patients on how to obtain marijuana.”
 
The answer, advocates say, is to legalize a small number of medical marijuana dispensaries — nonprofit operations that would grow marijuana and sell it to those on the medical marijuana registry.
 
The bill has the backing of Gov. Peter Shumlin. With a series of restrictions added that are designed to avoid problems seen in other states, it also has the support of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn.
 
Some worry, however, that the dispensaries will become drug havens and the medical marijuana registry will quickly be flooded with those looking for a legal way to smoke pot.
 

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