Temecula medical marijuana co-op open despite city ban

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, February, 21st 2011 by THCFinder

A self-described "therapeutic cannabis resource center" continues to operate in Temecula, despite a citywide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The legal affairs director at Cooperative Patients' Services insists it isn't a dispensary, nor does it distribute the drug. Douglas Lanphere said it is an agricultural co-op that allows members to exchange the drug with each other.

"We're merely a service group," he said. "We provide a service between cultivating members and consuming members."


Riverside County sheriff's Capt. Andre O'Harra, who serves as Temecula's police chief, said police are aware of the establishment.

"The situation's under review from the city right now as far as what the city plans on doing about it," he said. "It's going to be based on what we find as a result of the review."

City planning chief Patrick Richardson said the establishment's business licenses allows it to sell equipment for hydroponic plants, but specifically forbids the distribution of marijuana.

Lanphere said police have not stopped by since his co-op got its use-and-occupancy permit in January.

"If the city felt we were in some way out of compliance, they would be better served letting us work with them" instead of mounting a costly legal challenge, he said.



California law allows people to use marijuana to treat a variety of ailments, provided they have a doctor's recommendation. Most Inland cities, however, prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries, and federal law bans the use of marijuana for any reason.

The result is a tricky standoff between cities and medical marijuana advocates. The city of Riverside is currently pursuing court injunctions against a number of medical marijuana establishments.

The would-be operators of a medical marijuana storefront in Wildomar have sued that city, claiming state law doesn't allow for blanket bans on dispensaries. The Wildomar Patients Compassionate Group is closed for now after a judge in December granted the city a preliminary injunction.


With a window logo combining a marijuana leaf, a medical cross and a handshake, Cooperative Patients' Services operates out of a leased storefront in a tucked-away corner of an Old Town Front Street commercial building visible from Interstate 15.

Lanphere said the co-op's membership of roughly 900 people has grown by more than 500 since it opened. The vast majority of patients are from Temecula, he said.

A security guard controls access from the outside. Staff members wear white lab coats. The inside is spotless



Medical Marijuana Dispensaries may be outlawed in San Bernardino Co

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, February, 18th 2011 by THCFinder

It may be the end of the road for medical marijuana dispensaries in San Bernardino County.


The county's planning commission voted Thursday to recommend an ordinance outlawing dispensaries. It would also ban patients from growing marijuana outdoors.

A two-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in San Bernardino County is set to expire in June.

Opponents say banning dispensaries would encourage medical marijuana users to turn to drug dealers for their medicine.




We should be on the same boat with liquor stores

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, February, 18th 2011 by THCFinder

State lawmakers are working to hone last year’s medical marijuana legislation with House Bill 1043, a law that looks to regulate how pot is grown and sold.

Adam Raleigh, owner of the Telluride Bud Company, thinks the bill is just another attempt on the state level to criminalize the medical marijuana industry.

“I just truly believe they’re going about it with scare tactics,” Raleigh said. The bill proposes to regulate many facets of the medical marijuana industry ranging from how many clones a dispensary can sell to how it records patient transactions.

A spirited committee hearing last week drew complaints from patients, doctors and law enforcement, however it sailed through the House hearing and is expected to head to another committee soon before it goes to the full General Assembly.

Medical marijuana patients have complained that the bill’s revisions don’t change two provisions most unpopular with marijuana advocates — a requirement that pot transactions be recorded, with the tapes available to law enforcement and a requirement that dispensaries grow at least 70 percent of the pot they sell.

Last May’s legislation required all dispensaries to grow at least 70 percent of their pot on-site or at an optional premises cultivation operation by Sept. 1. The state’s Department of Revenue is expected to finalize more rules regarding the industry next month, which could also require dispensaries to install expensive surveillance systems that record patients at the point of sale.

Raleigh said such measures could send patients back to the black market if their activity is kept on record. “If they want to be so intrusive, well then basically they’ve allowed the black market to flourish.”

He said he has patients from all walks of life and many of them do not feel comfortable with their license being available to law enforcement.

“I should have to just check people’s IDs like a liquor store,” Raleigh said. “We should be on the same boat with liquor stores and pharmacies.”

As for the proposed rules in the draft bill, Raleigh is in favor of some of the measures but disagrees with others.

Some of the bill’s proposed changes include:

• Extending the moratorium on state licenses to sell pot commercially until mid-2012 (it is currently due to expire this summer)

• Requiring medical marijuana patients who grow their own plants to register where their plants are located.

• Limiting makers of cannabis-infused products, such as pot brownies, to 500 plants

• Dispensaries would be able to sell pot at a reduced cost or donate medical marijuana to indigent patients.

• A previous two-year Colorado residency requirement for patients would be lifted and only applicable to dispensary owners.

• Dispensaries would be limited in the number of cloned marijuana plants they could sell.

• In regard to patients’ privacy, dispensaries would have to act more like medical clinics, like not throwing away patient records in public garbage cans.

• Doctors whose medical licenses are restricted or otherwise limited by the Colorado Medical Board could still write marijuana recommendations with the board’s permission.



Benicia City Council bans medical marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, February, 16th 2011 by THCFinder

Benicia City Council banned medical marijuana dispensaries Tuesday night. But the panel agreed to revisit the issue by putting the matter on its policy calendar.

The vote on the ordinance to ban the dispensaries had been put on the Council’s consent agenda, but was pulled at the request of Mike Tomada, a 30-year resident who urged the Council to seek the guidance of those who have written medical marijuana laws and crafted pilot programs.

Tomada told the Council he didn’t want the drug legalized for recreational use, but restricted solely for medical use.

Another resident, Larry Fullington, spoke against the dispensaries. He acknowledged that the matter has provoked strong feelings on both sides, but said, “The police say this is not a good thing for this city. Benicia is not the place where this should be.”

The Council aired the dispensary ban ordinance publicly Feb. 1. At that meeting, Ricki Ingersoll, a Benicia resident who uses marijuana for medical purposes, urged the Council to consider lifting the ban and allow regulation of dispensaries within city limits.

Several Council members said later they were touched by her testimony, during which she described how the drug helps her cope with pain and nerve damage caused by the polio virus without the side effects of conventional prescription painkillers.

Medical marijuana has allowed her to leave her wheelchair most of the time, she said.

Like some other patients, Ingersoll, 66, uses a form of marijuana that is low in THC, the chemical that gives users a high.

Medical marijuana advocates, some of whom addressed the Council Feb. 1, said that without regulated dispensaries, the strains of marijuana low in THC would have been wiped out in favor of the strong THC varieties promoted by illegal drug users.

The ordinance to ban the dispensaries was introduced because a moratorium enacted in 2009 was set to expire March 20.

City Attorney Heather McLaughlin has said that before the ban expired, she had hoped certain court cases around California would clarify whether local laws are pre-empted by such state laws as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the Medical Marijuana Program Act of 2003. Neither law specifies whether a city can use its zoning and land-use regulations to prohibit or regulate dispensaries, she said.



Orange County Senior Citizens Form Medical Marijuana Collective

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Sun, February, 13th 2011 by THCFinder

LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. — It’s the last place you might expect to find hundreds of people smoking pot: But seniors living at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community — also known as “Leisure World” — have formed a non-profit, patient-run medical marijuana collective.

Golf is a way of life at Laguna Woods Village, also known as “Leisure World.” But now many seniors there are trying out a different type of “green.” “I’m a very law-abiding citizen, believe it or not,” said Margo Bouer, a resident. Bouer, 74, is a retired psychiatric nurse with advanced multiple sclerosis.

“This last year I realized I was choking on food more often,” said Bouer. “I was prepared to make a serious decision about ending my own life.” Bouer had severe nausea and was unable to sleep. She considered suicide, until a friend suggested medical marijuana. “I inhaled … blew it out, and I thought, ‘OK, am I high?’ I had no idea,” said Bouer. Bouer now grows her own marijuana. A friend helps her roll her marijuana cigarettes. “And then I read a book and processed it myself and dried it and crunched it up and smelled it, and it smelled very good,” said Bouer.

For Bouer, it only takes about two puffs a night to ease the nausea and keep her feeling well enough to continue synchronized swimming with “The Aquadettes.” “I am grateful for the opportunity to tell the world there are good people out there who need marijuana,” said Bouer. Bouer is not part of the new medical marijuana collective at Leisure 



Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Colorado Springs Have to Be at Least 400 Ft. from Neighborhoods

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Sun, February, 13th 2011 by THCFinder

Medical marijuana dispensaries, services of cultivation and making foodstuffs would be limited to industrial and commercial zones in the Colorado Springs area and prohibited for provision within 400 ft. of residential areas, schools, drug and alcohol abuse rehab centers, and residential child day care homes under the rules issued by city planners and architects.


If the suggested land-use and zoning regulations will get approved, the proposal would be brought up prior to City Council in October, Steve Tuck, the superintendant planner of the rules' drafting, stated. Tuck said that it isn't surprising to have certain arguments, since they've had general agreement on the proposed zoning categorization. He also said that there is a lot of discordance on the 400-foot limit. The rules were drawn by Steve Tuck and representatives of the Home Builders Association, the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO), the Colorado Springs Medical Marijuana Council and members of the alcohol and rehab associations.


The main suggestion was the spacing regulations akin to those adopted by the City Council for the pre-application period. This relates to an interim direction enacted in May to permit potential businesses related to medical marijuana Colorado Springs to register and elude a July 1 final date and qualify for a Colorado business certificate according to a new state law that now regulates the industry.


More than 450 pre-applications were registered, but just 176 medical marijuana dispensary Colorado facilities and cultivation sites are open in Colorado Springs at the moment. Some active shops won't be allowed by the new regulations, since they are located within the 400 ft. limit. The same issue relates to certain residential areas and all of them would need to be closed.

Tuck also stated that the rules formulated by his group are meant to comfort everyone – neighborhoods and all the business related to medical marijuana in Colorado. Of course, it won't protect everybody's interests. Tuck mentioned that their proposal would put several medical marijuana dispensary Colorado facilities that processed pre-applications out of business.


The 400-foot buffer area is much shorter than the 1,000 ft. zoning suggested by CONO for residential day care premises, schools, and drug and alcohol rehab centers. CONO's president, Dave Munger said that they assume 1,000 ft. is a good distance and setback. Munger is also running for mayor position in next April's ballot. He also mentioned that there will be a 500 ft. separation from the closest dwelling




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