Federal raid draws criticism from marijuana activists

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 17th 2011 by THCFinder
In a move that drew fire from medical marijuana advocates, federal authorities raided 26 medical marijuana dispensaries, saying they have probable cause to believe that the businesses are involved in large-scale trafficking.
The search warrants executed Monday are the culmination of an “18-month, multiagency investigation into the drug trafficking activities of criminal enterprises,” Michael Cotter, U.S. attorney for the District of Montana, said in a statement Tuesday.
In addition, he said, civil seizure warrants for financial institutions in the Montana cities Bof ozeman, Helena and Kalispell were executed, seeking up to $4 million. Authorities did not disclose items that were seized pending the filing of search warrant returns in federal court.
Probable cause exists to believe that the shops were involved in conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana and evade financial reporting requirements, authorities said. No criminal charges have been filed.
“When criminal networks violate federal laws, those involved will be prosecuted,” Cotter said in the statement. Individuals who are in compliance with state law are not the focus of the investigation, authorities said.
Items seized included marijuana plants, computers and cell phones, CNN affiliate KULR reported. In some instances, the station said, bank accounts were frozen.
Medical marijuana advocates cried foul.
“Not only are these raids very harmful and unnecessary, they are aimed at undermining the democratic process by preventing the people and legislators of Montana from addressing their own public health concerns,” Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, said in a statement.


Drug Raids Go Hollywood as Obama Admin Breaks Promise (Again)

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 17th 2011 by THCFinder

Dispensary raids continue despite Obamas promise to stop wasting Federal resources on enforcing medical marijuana...




Hollywood Dispensaries raided

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, March, 16th 2011 by THCFinder
Two West Hollywood medical marijuana dispensaries were raided Tuesday afternoon. One arrest was made, according to City News Service.
Federal agents along with Los Angeles Police Department officers and West Hollywood sheriff’s deputies raided Alternative Herbal Health Services and Zen Healing Collective on Santa Monica Boulevard around 2:10 p.m., the Los Angeles Times reported.
Acting on a tip from a reader, Weho Patch visited the dispensaries late Tuesday afternoon. A black tarp covered half of Zen Healing's front window, with handwritten signs that read "Closed" and "Closed Permanently" posted on the front door.
At least three people were inside the collective when Weho Patch knocked on the door. An employee came to the door, but would not open it. He merely said, “We’re closed permanently.”
Further east at Alternative Herbal Health Services, a handwritten sign on the door read, “IM Sorry. We Will Be Closed for a Couple Days.” Beside the text was a sad face. Computers and a big screen TV were still visible through the window. 
Customers came to the doors of each of the shops, all seemingly startled by the signs saying that they were closed. At Zen Healing, an older man was crying, pleading with the store employees who would not open the door.
Don Duncan, the director of the California branch of Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana organization, sent out an e-mail blast alerting people that the raids were occurring at Alternative Herbal and Zen Healing early in the afternoon. 


Boulder shuts down six medical marijuana shops over background checks and zoning

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, March, 16th 2011 by THCFinder
The city of Boulder has sent six cease-and-desist letters to medical marijuana businesses after finding problems with their business license applications, and two more will be sent soon.
The letters, all sent in the first two weeks of March, went to High Grade Alternatives, 8th Street Care Center, Southwest Alternative Care, Timberline Herbal Clinic, Mountain Medicine Group and Fresh Baked Dispensary, city spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said.
Huntley declined to name the other two dispensaries because the owners had not yet seen the letters.
Mountain Medicine Group's application was denied because of zoning issues. The other five were turned down because of problems that came up on background checks of principal investors or general managers of the companies, Huntley said. She declined to specify the problems, citing privacy concerns.
City ordinance says that anyone with at least a 10 percent stake in a marijuana business must submit to a background check. Anyone convicted of a felony in the last five years cannot operate a medical marijuana business. The city application asks for information about felony convictions in the last 10 years, DUI convictions and any misdemeanors related to abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Owners of the dispensaries could not be reached late Tuesday.
A recorded message at High Grade Alternatives said the dispensary was closed until further notice "due to complications with our application to the state."


Judge to decide on reopening medical marijuana dispensaries next week

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, March, 16th 2011 by THCFinder
A judge in the 8th Judicial District Court will hear closing arguments from attorneys on both sides of the medical marijuana debate March 22 and plans to make a ruling on the case brought forward by attorney Rob Corry the same day.
Corry, an attorney based in Denver who is well-known for his work defending medical marijuana patients and dispensaries, is fighting for a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction. These legal actions would allow the three medical marijuana dispensaries that are plaintiffs in the case to reopen and would prohibit the city of Loveland from enforcing its prohibition of the shops. They were forced to close March 1 after Loveland voters approved a ban during November's election.
Corry claims the dispensaries operating in Loveland are not technically licensed medical marijuana centers under state law at this point, so the city's ordinance prohibiting them from operating should not affect them.
The three plaintiff dispensaries Corry is representing are Rocky Mountain Kind, Magic's Emporium and Colorado Canna Care. Additionally, John and Jane Doe are named as plaintiff medical marijuana patients.
The defendants in the case are the city of Loveland and the state of Colorado, represented by Josh Marks, who is a private attorney; Loveland's city attorney John Duval; and Geoffrey Blue, deputy attorney general for the state of Colorado.
The defense is arguing that after a law was passed at the state level in June of 2010, the decision about whether or not to allow dispensaries to operate was up to local authorities — such as a City Council. Rather than simply outlaw the dispensaries, the council voted last summer to put the issue to a vote. Voters rejected by a fairly wide margin the idea of letting the dispensaries continue to operate.


RI Health Dept. picks 3 medical marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 15th 2011 by THCFinder

PROVIDENCE -- The state Health Department has selected three dispensaries to sell medical marijuana to the growing patient population in the state.

They are: Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick, The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence, and Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth.

The annoucement was made in a 3 p.m. news release.

"After a thorough and thoughtful review of all applications, health (officials) determined that these three applicants were best able to offer safe, conveniently located options for patients currently enrolled in the medical marijuana program,'' said Interim Director of Health Michael Fine.

The principals in each dispensary are Mark J. Berergon, at Summit; Gerald J. McGraw Jr., at Slater; and Seth Bock, at Greenleaf. Cuttino Mobley, the former NBA basetball player and ex-University of Rhode Island great, is the sole financier of the Summit project.

Last fall, 18 applicants submitted detailed proposals to open marijuana dispensaries across the state. The vast majority of them planned to open in the Providence metropolitan area, but there were also proposals for centers in North Kingstown, Coventry and Portsmouth.




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