L.A. releases list of medical marijuana dispensaries vying for chance to operate

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 3rd 2011 by THCFinder

The Los Angeles City Clerk released a list of 228 medical marijuana collectives Wednesday that have applied to participate in a lottery to select 100 dispensaries to operate in the city.

The clerk’s office is still reviewing the information on the eight-page form and the supporting documents to ensure that the applicants meet the requirements in the city’s ordinance to qualify for the drawing. Among them, dispensaries must have paperwork that proves they were in business on Sept. 14, 2007, and have at least one of the original operators.

“This is likely to take us a while,” said Holly L. Wolcott, the clerk’s executive officer, noting the office’s limited staff and the complicated requirements in the ordinance. “I have no prediction as to when we will complete this process, but we are working diligently to review each packet.”

The lottery is the latest strategy devised by the City Council on the advice of the city attorney’s office to decide which dispensaries will be allowed to operate legally and to make it easier for the city’s lawyers and police to shut down hundreds of other dispensaries.

The clerk’s office originally said it received 229 applicants. Wolcott said it is unclear whether one applicant met the Feb. 18 deadline, and the office is investigating the circumstances.

When the city adopted a moratorium on new dispensaries, it required dispensaries that were in business when the ban went into effect on Sept. 14, 2007, to register, and 182 did. The City Council chose that same date to use as a cutoff for the lottery.

City officials believe that only about 135 registered dispensaries are still open. But medical marijuana advocates have said many more dispensaries were in business in the city at the time but failed to register, which could explain the number of applications.



Medical Marijuana Dispensary worker cited for violating Loveland's closure

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 3rd 2011 by THCFinder

An employee of one of three Loveland medical-marijuana dispensaries that have sued to block a city ordinance that shut them down Tuesday has been cited for selling pot that day.


Code enforcement and police officers visited 14 known dispensaries in Loveland on Tuesday to make sure they had closed as required by a city ordinance passed in November.

One, Colorado Canna Care, at 129 S. Cleveland Ave., was open for business.


Loveland police say Crystal McDaniel, an employee of Colorado Canna, was issued a municipal summons for violating the ordinance that prohibits the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana in the city.


Attorney Robert Corry Jr. filed a complaint in Larimer County District Court late Monday, seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow the dispensaries to remain open.

Corry said he hopes to have a hearing on the temporary injunction sometime next week.



Lafayette considers pot-shop zone

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 1st 2011 by THCFinder

LAFAYETTE - A proposed zoning rule up for discussion could force two medical marijuana dispensaries in Lafayette to move.

The Lafayette City Council tonight is slated to discuss a plan to draw a 1,000-foot buffer zone around schools, hospitals and other medical marijuana centers; a 500-foot buffer zone around residential areas and day-care centers; and to exclude dispensaries from major highway corridors. Lafayette currently has a moratorium on medical marijuana businesses, but two started before the moratorium was enacted.

"It's a brand-new land use, so you need to determine where, in which zoning districts, you want these businesses to occur," said Phillip Patterson, Lafayette's community development director. "Council decided they didn't want to prohibit these businesses, they wanted to regulate them, so they directed staff to start drafting rules and regulations."

Proposed zoning rules would create about 78 acres in Lafayette open to medical marijuana dispensaries, based on a staff report that's up for discussion. Commercial zoning areas along South Boulder Road between South Public Road and U.S. Highway 287 most likely would be where they could locate, Patterson said.

Sales tax revenue from the two current dispensaries is not being released by the city, Patterson said. So far, he said he has seen one e-mail in support of the proposed ordinance.

In the Boulder Valley, Louisville and Boulder currently allow dispensaries, while Superior, Erie and Broomfield have banned them. The Longmont City Council is discussing a ban on the businesses.

The issue must be decided by June after Colorado legislators passed a law last year that allows cities to outlaw or regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. Colorado voters approved a medical marijuana amendment in 2000. Approximately 100,000 applications have been received by the state since a medical marijuana registry opened in June 2001.



San Jose to start taxing 'illegal' pot clubs

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, February, 28th 2011 by THCFinder

San Jose still considers all of the city's 100 or so medical marijuana shops to be unlawful nuisances, but officials will welcome the pot providers to City Hall on Monday to talk about a new program of great interest to the broke city: a marijuana tax.

Starting Tuesday, San Jose will slap a 7 percent tax on marijuana dispensaries under a measure voters overwhelmingly approved in November.

The city -- which has emerged as a key battleground in the state's "green wars" over medical marijuana regulation -- isn't the only cash-strapped municipality with growing interest in getting a cut of the action.

Oakland and Berkeley raised their marijuana taxes in November. And state authorities last week made clear marijuana isn't exempt as medicine from sales taxes and demanded $6.4 million from a Berkeley dispensary.

San Jose officials argue that the tax man must be paid regardless of a business's legal status. And though most local dispensaries already are paying city business and California sales taxes, city officials feel they're not getting their fair share.

"We believe we're being grossly underpaid," Deputy City Manager Deanna Santana said.

For the city's medicinal marijuana providers, the whole situation seems surreal.

"It's in the code that you have to tax these businesses, but you don't have to -- even when you take their money -- say they're legitimate businesses," said David Hodges, who founded the San Jose Cannabis

Buyers Collective, which relocated after city code enforcers threatened to fine its landlord.

San Jose has seen the number of dispensaries soar from zero to about 100 in the less than two years since Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio suggested the city consider allowing and taxing a limited number of them. Voters, who have seen city services pared to close chronic deficits, approved the Oliverio-sponsored marijuana tax, Measure U, by 78 percent in November.

With San Jose facing a $110 million deficit in a 10th straight year of red ink, city officials are eager to start collecting the new tax even though zoning regulations allowing medical marijuana dispensaries are months from coming to a council vote. The city has invited pot providers to a seminar Monday at City Hall to learn about the new tax.

Many of the city's medical marijuana shops, however, are bristling.

(Read more)


Medical marijuana dispensaries in Loveland must close by today: $85,000 in revenue earned

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, February, 28th 2011 by THCFinder

‚ÄčIn November, Loveland voted against allowing medical marijuana dispensaries -- and today's the last day they can legally operate in town. Of the fourteen centers in business late last year, Loveland revenue manager Jim Wedding says seven have already shut down, with the rest presumably following today. How much will this move cost the city?

From the time when the first MMJ dispensaries opened in Loveland, about a year and a half ago, through December, Wedding says around $85,000 in sales tax revenues has been generated. "As a percentage of our overall sales tax, it's less than 1 percent," he notes. "Which is not a lot of money for us in the big scheme of things."

After the vote, Wedding reveals that members of his office "met with each of the individual owners and did audits just to make sure they've been remitting properly, and we found the normal discrepancies. It didn't look like there was intent on anyone's part, just bookkeeping issues like you see in any other audit."

Then, last week, "we sent out a letter reminding them that today is the deadline. If they intend to stay in business and not sell medical marijuana, they need to contact our office and update the license for their operation. If they're closing, they need to let us know that, too, so we can cancel their tax account. And if they continue to sell medical marijuana past the deadline, it's still taxable, but they'll also be subject to penalties and fines" of up to $1,000 per day/occurrence and a maximum of one year in jail.

Regarding the revenue loss, Wedding asks, "Could we use the $85,000? Yes. Is it going to be the solution to the situations we currently have? No."



City of L.A. Receives 229 Applications for Pot Dispensary Lottery

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Sat, February, 26th 2011 by THCFinder

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- The city of Los Angeles has received 229 applications for its medical marijuana dispensary lottery.

The deadline to submit the eight-page applications was Feb. 18. The city will select 100 dispensaries to receive licenses. It's not clear yet when that lottery will be held.

The lottery marks an attempt by the city to find a way to separate legal dispensaries from illegal ones and reduce the number of dispensaries in the city limits.

The city previously tried to control pot dispensaries via an ordinance that was declared unconstitutional by a judge.

Some dispensary operators are not happy about the lottery, however. They have threatened to sue to challenge the selection process.

Before the lottery is held, the city clerk's office will review the applications to determine if the dispensaries are eligible to participate in the drawing.




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