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Once-popular Venice-area medical marijuana dispensary is barred from reopening

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, March, 11th 2011 by THCFinder
Los Angeles has won a court order permanently barring Organica, a once-popular Venice-area medical marijuana dispensary, and its former operator from reopening. 
 
In a judgment issued Wednesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson also ordered the dispensary and Jeff Joseph to pay nearly $326,000 in fees and penalties. 
 
The dispensary, which was in a sprawling building on Washington Boulevard that straddles Los Angeles and Culver City, drew intense law enforcement scrutiny for its high-volume business and the charge that its representatives distributed fliers near Culver City High School. 
 
“I feel like Organica was truly one of the big bad apples out there,” said Anh Truong, an assistant supervising deputy city attorney. “They were so off the hook with their activities.” 
 
The city has used costly, slow-moving civil actions to close four of the illegal dispensaries in the city and is trying to persuade a judge to evict a fifth.
 
 
The city attorney’s office this week warned 141 dispensaries in letters sent to operators and landlords that the stores must close immediately or face legal action. “We hope that this process will be smoother and quicker,” said Asha Greenberg, an assistant city attorney.
 
 
Organica, which registered with the city in 2007 to operate under the moratorium, was raided three times. In two searches, about 290 pounds of marijuana were seized. Records indicated the dispensary had almost $5.3 million in sales over a 13-month period. 
 

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IRS tells Fairfax medical marijuana dispensary it owes millions in unpaid taxes

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 10th 2011 by THCFinder
The Internal Revenue Service has notified the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax that it owes millions of dollars in unpaid back taxes, according to the alliance's founder and director, Lynnette Shaw.
 
Shaw said the IRS audited the alliance's tax returns for 2008 and 2009 and disallowed all of its business deductions. She said that although dispensaries throughout the state are being audited by the IRS, the alliance is the first to be told it can't deduct business expenses.
 
"Every dispensary in the nation, past, present and future is dead if this is upheld," Shaw said.
 
Shaw would not disclose the exact amount she is being ordered to pay but said, "It's a staggering sum, millions and millions." She is also negotiating with the state Board of Equalization regarding sales tax that was not paid in 2005 and 2006.
 
Shaw said the IRS disallowed her deductions — for buying marijuana, hiring employees, securing office space and more — based on section 280E of the federal tax code, which states that no deduction shall be allowed for any business trafficking in controlled substances.
 
Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance, a category of drugs not considered legitimate for medical use — despite voters' 1996 approval of Proposition 215, which legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes in California.
 
Jesse Weller, an IRS spokesman, said, "We can neither confirm
 
nor deny there is an examination or audit of any taxpayer, because of the disclosure and privacy laws." Weller declined all other comment.
 
 
Henry Wykowski, a San Francisco lawyer who represents marijuana dispensaries, said, "I'm personally involved in over a dozen audit cases now, and I've been consulted on a number of others." Wykowski said all of the audits are in California.
 
Steve DeAngelo, director of the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, one of the largest dispensaries in the nation, said the IRS began auditing Harborside's books a year ago.
 
DeAngelo said section 280E "is the major issue in the Haborside audit."
 
"If the IRS were to aggressively interpret 280E, it has the potential to close down every medical cannabis dispensary in the United States," DeAngelo said. "If you can't deduct your rent, your payroll, licensing fees, et cetera ... you're going to be taxed out of existence."

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Los Angeles to tax medical marijuana, close down illegal pot shops

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, March, 9th 2011 by THCFinder

Cash-strapped Los Angeles voted on Tuesday to impose a five percent tax on medical marijuana dispensaries, a measure that will raise $10 million a year.

In Tuesday's election, voters approved the Measure M, under which the city can collect $50 out of each $1,000 that the dispensaries raise by selling medical marijuana.

The city, which has been in a tough, long fight to reduce the number of medical marijuana dispensaries, has faced strong opposition from advocacy groups. However, several other Californian cities have slapped similar taxes on pot shops.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times has reported that the city attorney has accelerated efforts to close down illegal marijuana shops. The city attorney’s office has asked as many as 140 pot shops to close immediately, the paper reported.

"In a letter sent Monday, the office targeted dispensaries that did not file applications to participate in a lottery to choose 100 that will operate in the city," the paper said.

The city had initiated action to close down 439 dispensaries in December last year, but the process was halted as pot shops sued the city over the legality of the ordinance.

(Source)


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Felony drug charges filed against downtown Ann Arbor medical marijuana dispensary owner

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 8th 2011 by THCFinder

Ann Arbor medical marijuana entrepreneur T.J. Rice is being charged with two felony drug counts on suspicion of operating a downtown marijuana dispensary in violation of state law.

"We have two felony warrants for him, and he's not been arrested yet," Det. Chris Fitzpatrick of the Ann Arbor Police Department said today.

Fitzpatrick said the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office has decided to pursue charges against Rice based on an investigation by the city police department.

The charges stem from a March 14, 2010, incident in which city police investigated a complaint about Rice's dispensary and confiscated numerous marijuana plants.

Rice is being charged with one count of delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance, a four-year felony, and one count of possession with intent to deliver, also a four-year felony.

Additionally, Rice remains under investigation by the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team, also known as LAWNET, police confirmed. A representative of LAWNET declined to comment, saying it doesn't comment on pending investigations.

Rice recently was featured in an AnnArbor.com article in which he talked about his dispensary being raided by city police last March. Authorities offered no clear reason at the time why Rice was not charged with a crime, even though his marijuana was seized and never returned.

Fitzpatrick explained why it took nearly a full year to bring charges against Rice.

"I think the department wanted to take a wait-and-see attitude with the current political state," he said, noting the law around medical marijuana dispensaries remains hazy. "The city and the state are still sorting out the law, so that was the reason. It was a wait-and-see."

(Source) (Photo Source)


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Ex NBA Player Cuttino Mobley To Open Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 8th 2011 by THCFinder

Cuttino Mobley has been retired from pro basketball since 2008. 3 years later seems like the perfect time to start a new business venture. Cuttino’s business of choice, medicinal marijuana.

 

In January of this year, Mobley was listed in documents filed with the Rhode Island Department of Health as “the sole financier for the Summit Medical Compassion Center,” a proposed medical marijuana dispensary to be located in Warwick, Rhode Island.”

Cat went to school at Rhode Island so I’m assuming that’s why he selected that state for the location. Well that and it’s one of the view that allow medical weed stores. But it won’t be as easy as it sounds for him to set up shop. First he actually has to obtain a license. From there, Rhode Island state law allows its Department of Health to authorize between one and three dispensaries. 18 license applications have already been filed.But how many of them come attached to an ex NBA star?

At least he’s trying to make his $green grow… yeah, yeah pun intended!

(Source)


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Maine to Open First Medicinal Marijuana Dispensaries on East Coast

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 8th 2011 by THCFinder

If all goes as planned, the Rhode Island Department of Health will announce Tuesday who has been selected to open dispensaries that will legally sell marijuana to patients who have been certified by doctors as needing the drug to help cope with debilitating pain or disease.

But even if the groups proposing dispensaries go on a fast track to build facilities and start growing product, Rhode Island will not be the first state in New England to open such businesses.

By the end of this month, one state-regulated dispensary will open in Frenchville, Maine, on the Canadian border, according to John Thiele, program manager for Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program. It will be the first on the East Coast.

Two more dispensaries are expected to open, one in Biddeford and another in Ellsworth, by the end of April. A fourth, located in a shopping plaza in Auburn, plans to open in May, run by a couple, Tim and Jenna Smale.

Both Rhode Island and Maine have allowed medicinal marijuana for several years — since 1999 in Maine, and beginning in 2006 in Rhode Island. The programs were started in both states to help people who claimed to get little relief from prescription drugs to cope with pain, wasting syndrome and agitation caused by a host of conditions, including cancer, HIV and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the administrators of the respective programs, it’s not elderly cancer or AIDS patients who most often register to legally use marijuana, but those with “other” chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative bone disease.

Like Rhode Island, Maine has central control over medicinal marijuana dispensaries and over their monitoring. But in Maine, there has been considerable opposition to the creation of the dispensaries and concerns over their potential effect on public safety.

In Rhode Island, where one to three dispensaries have been authorized, the opposition has been relatively muted. Cranston Mayor Alan Fung, a former state prosecutor, was one of just a few people who testified against the dispensaries at a recent Department of Health hearing on the applications by the 18 entities that want dispensary licenses.

(Read more)


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