|The Med Men|
The battle over the legality of operating a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles continues to escalate this week, leaving shop owners, patients and law enforcement officials without a clear picture of how to operate on the right side of the law.
In recent weeks, federal officials have perpetuated the confusion surrounding the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, issuing warning letters demanding that select dispensaries shutdown. This comes on the heels of the withdrawal of a citywide ban on dispensaries, which was passed and didn't even get a chance to go into effect before being rescinded.
"The bottom line is that the state of California provides for the existence of collectives and dispensaries," said Adam Bierman of MedMen, an L.A.-based consulting group that specializes in industry-specific branding, marketing and legal and financial consulting. "And as all the politics play themselves out in the media, well-intentioned operators are inevitably distracted."
Under California law, licensed medical marijuana patients are allowed safe access to medicine through legally compliant dispensaries. However, Federal laws differ, creating unnecessary confusion, fear and uncertainty among patients and business owners.
"The biggest problem the industry has isn't the legality, it's the fact that there is still little professionalism or legitimacy in the manner in which most dispensaries are run," Bierman said. "We are now seeing more operators who truly want to run clean, professional dispensaries with trained staff, real accounting systems and organized, compassionate marketing, with the same goal: provide relief to those suffering from severe, painful and debilitating medical conditions."
The Medmen last week hosted what they claimed is the country's first ever budtending course. Conducted in Phoenix, Arizona, the course educated workers on the history of cannabis and the effects that different types of cannabis have on different ailments, as well as on industry specific customer service. Subsequent courses are being held on November 3 and 4 in Irvine and Santa Monica, California.
To learn more about the legalities of the medical marijuana industry in California, visit themedmen.com.