Marijuana and Cannabis Dispensary News
Medical marijuana measures D, E and F on L.A.'s May 21 ballot are incredibly high-stakes, and we do mean high. More than 1,000 dispensaries exist in L.A., taking in tens of millions of dollars annually and attracting 100,000-plus clients. Success at the polls will determine which of them get to stay open -- and which must close their doors.
L.A. Weekly/Susan Slade L.A.'s famous KFC collective.
There are three rival measures. To win, a measure must get more yes than no votes. But if more than one reaches that level of support, the one with the highest total of yes votes wins. If no votes outweigh the positives for all three measures, nothing changes -- we continue in the current limbo.
Berkeley Patients Group, the largest medical marijuana dispensary in Berkeley, California, was sued by the federal government on Friday in an attempt to shut down the cornerstone collective and seize the property, according to a press release delivered today by Americans for Safe Access.
The feds accuse Berkeley Patients Group of breaking federal law by selling herb. And in a move that has been used with undeniable effect up and down the state of California, they've targeted BPG's landlord and threatened her with asset and property seizure if she does not immediately evict her tenants.
On Monday afternoon at a City Council meeting, San Diego resident Ken Cole spoke out as a business owner and a citizen in favor of Mayor Filner's proposed new medical marijuana dispensary ordinance. Both he and the Mayor's office watched in dismay as the City Council voted to essentially ignore them.
San Diego mayor Bob Filner.
Tuesday morning, Cole's downtown San Diego cannabis collective, One on One, was raided by federal DEA agents and local authorities with the Sheriff's office who literally broke down the front door and carried out cash, crops, and computers past a crowd of angry protesters.
In 1996, California voters legalized medical marijuana for qualified patients and caregivers. Nearly two decades have passed, and the city of San Diego has yet to enact an ordinance which would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, and provide the guidelines by which they could legally open.
In nearly four hours of testimonies given by dozens of San Diego citizens on Monday, the eight sitting City Council members heard arguments given both in favor of, and against, Mayor Bob Filner's new proposed ordinance to allow for the legal and regulated re-opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in America's Finest City.
The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center opened Friday, just in time for the 4/20 weekends that celebrates - among other aspects of cannabis culture - medical marijuana. According to store employees, there was a constant flow of patients.
Innovation is inevitable in any industry, and the field of medical marijuana is no different. With laws already in the books in 18 states and more on the way, investors who might not know their Blue Chips from their Blue Dream are flocking to these regions to stake their claim in what they see as the next big commodity.
White-collar Wall Street-types can certainly see the budding upside to sinking money into dispensaries, growing operations, and other cannabis related retail outlets. But those potential gains are often outweighed by the prospects of inventory control, employee management, product naiveté. And of course, the grey area that exists in all current state-level medical marijuana laws that fly in the face of Federal statute. Cue MedBox.
Taking over an old Curves Gym location on North Capitol Street just thirteen blocks north of the Capitol Reflecting Poool, Capital City Care is set to be the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in Washington D.C. roughly three years after medical marijuana laws were passed in the district. Capital City owners say they'll open sometime mid-April with four strains, hash and a few accessories for patients. You read that: four strains.
Update - Wednesday, March 20, 2013: The Maryland Senate voted to decriminalize marijuana possession of up to ten grams of marijuana yesterday. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Robert Zirkin, a democrat from Baltimore, told the Washington Post that he was pleased with his colleagues and says the House would be smart to pass the legislation.
"Incarceration does not make sense [for small amounts]," he told the PostWashington Post newsroom.)
Unlike most every other legal business out there, medical marijuana shops owners aren't allowed to take any deductions on their federal income taxes - leaving many facing federal tax rates of 50 percent or higher.