Browsing: Dispensaries

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Photo: Carol Hirata/Windsor Beacon
MediGrow owner Lazarus Pino said he’s ignoring Windsor’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. “I’m here for the patients. I provide medical care.”

​MediGrow, one of three medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Windsor, Colorado, has been ordered to close in compliance with a 75-day moratorium the town board passed on Dec. 16. But MediGrow’s owner, Lazarus Pino, said Tuesday he plans to stay open.

“I’m here for the patients,” Pino said, reports Lisa Mehring of the Windsor Beacon. “I provide medical care. What’s so bad about helping people medically? I’ve invested a lot of money in this place. I wish they would let me operate.”
Since the moratorium on Dec. 16, the Windsor Police Department has issued a citation every single day the business has remained open. Every citation comes with an appearance in Windsor Municipal Court.
If a judge finds MediGrow in violation, the dispensary could face a $293 fine with a $7 surcharge for every day the business remains open.
Chief of Police John Michaels said there’d been no problem in issuing the daily citations. “We go in, we issue our citation, and we make a little small talk,” Michaels said.

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Graphic: Reality Catcher

​Medical marijuana patients in Colorado have a constitutional right not only to use cannabis, but to buy it as well, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Arapahoe County District Judge Christopher Cross ruled in favor of CannaMart dispensary, which along with three patients sued the city of Centennial after the city forced it to shut down in October, reports Kristen Wyatt of The Associated Press.
CannaMart maintains that Colorado cities 
are violating the state constitution when they ban all dispensaries. Unlike similar laws in a dozen other states, Colorado’s medical marijuana law is a constitutional amendment.
The injunction granted by Judge Cross prevents Centennial from keeping CannaMart shuttered while the dispensary challenges the city’s ban on pot shops because they’re in violation of federal drug laws. The medical use of marijuana isn’t recognized under federal law.

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Photo: Michigan Medical Marijuana Association
Marijuana’s all over the news in Michigan.

​Washtenaw County’s first medical marijuana dispensary will open tomorrow in downtown Ypsilanti, Michigan, reports Jeremy Allen of Heritage Newspapers.
It’s been a year now since The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was approved by an overwhelming majority — 63 percent — of the state’s voters. 
“My vision for this dispensary is to find a cure for cancer and to help free thousands of people who are currently in jail cells unjustly for the responsible use of cannabis,” said Anthony Freed, executive director of the Michigan Marijuana Chamber of Commerce.

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Colorado Marijuana Coalition

​A marijuana dispensary in Centennial, Colo., could be back open for business by the end of the day.

An Arapahoe County District Court judge is expected to give an oral ruling Wednesday in a dispute between the city and CannaMart, which was shut down after only a few weeks in business, reports The Associated Press.
CannaMart sued the city, maintaining the marijuana dispensary was a legal business, and that Colorado cities are violating the state constitution when they ban all dispensaries.
The lawsuit has been inching forward for two weeks; last week, the judge said he needed more time to consider the case.

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Graphic: Darwinek

​Vermont legalized medical marijuana five years ago. But eligible patients who want to use the plant to ease chronic pain and nausea have been forced to either grow their own or resort to the black market, since the state never established a legal outlet to obtain it.

A state lawmaker plans in 2010 to introduce legislation that would solve this problem. The bill would create compassion centers where people on Vermont’s medical marijuana registry can buy their medicine, reports Peter Hirschfeld of the Vermont Press Bureau.
“What is driving me is a sense of compassion and fairness,” said Chris Bray (D-New Haven). “This is a drug we have vetted as a state as being appropriate for people with defined medical conditions and yet we haven’t provided a safe and legal way for them to purchase it.”
Bray said a constituent, one of 189 people registered as medical marijuana patients in Vermont, has suffered because of Vermont’s lack of dispensaries. “He resents the fact, and I think justifiably, that he was pushed into buying medical marijuana from illicit sources, which is expensive and illegal and often not even available to him,” Bray said.

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Graphic: thefreshscent.com

​Proposed regulations for the operation of compassion centers to dispense medical marijuana have been issued by Rhode Island health regulators, but it could still be up to a year before the first center opens, reports Mike Stanton of The Providence Journal.

“What’s a reasonable timeline? You could be talking about up to a year, or maybe it will take less time,” said Health Department spokesman Robert Vanderslice.

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Photo: www.thenightmareblog.com

​A Colorado newspaper has published an extraordinary, ringing endorsement for the state’s booming marijuana industry.

Wednesday’s edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette contained the editorial “Pot, the nonproblem,” which called medical marijuana “the least-important, most-imitation crisis in years.”
“Colorado voters approved medical marijuana 10 years ago,” the editorial points out. “It’s in the state constitution, which trumps local authority. A constitution restricts the powers of government, and the Colorado constitution specifically prohibits government from impeding  the sale of medical marijuana.”
“That leaves room only for the reasonable time, place and manner restrictions applied to other businesses,” the Gazette editorialized. “It’s really that simple.”


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Photo: Westword
Full Spectrum Laboratories: Finally, a more detailed analysis of marijuana than, “That’s good shit, man!”

​One of the biggest question marks with the medical marijuana industry is the lack of quality control. As Joel Warner points out at Westword, it’s difficult to know just how potent herbal medicines and edibles are until you use them.

Full Spectrum Laboratories to the rescue. The four-month-old Denver company is making a business of analyzing medical marijuana samples.
Dispensaries are delivering small samples (about 500 milligrams) of the pot they’re getting from growers to Full Spectrum, which uses high-performance liquid chromatography to determine their potency. The tests reveal amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, the active ingredients of cannabis.
The service costs $120 per test, or $60 per test for 40 or more samples.
“Dispensaries are getting all this really cool stuff, but it turns out 80 percent of the edibles aren’t being made properly, so it’s not as active as it could be,” said Bob Winnicki, Full Spectrum’s 35-year-old co-owner.

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Photo: Westword
Attorneys Bob Hoban (left) and Rob Corry, joined by patients, speak at a news conference about the CannaMart lawsuit.

​Breaking Update: Judge delays any decision until after Christmas

Medical marijuana advocates say today’s court hearing in Centennial, Colo., could set a big precedent for the future of the state’s booming medical marijuana industry, reports Gene Davis at Denver Daily News.

In October, the City of Centennial revoked the business license of CannaMart after learning the place was a medical marijuana dispensary. Two caregivers and three patients from CannaMart then sued the city, trying to have the decision overturned.
The case could, according to Davis, become a landmark decision on whether Colorado cities can use home rule authority to ban dispensaries from operating within city limits, despite approval of medical marijuana in a voter initiative in 2000.

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Illustration: Joe McGarry
Long Beach Police maybe want to join the DEA, since they seem to be enforcing federal laws.

​Police said Tuesday that search warrants were served at 15 dispensaries in and around Long Beach, Calif., last week in connection with an investigation into the “illegal sale of marijuana.”

Specifics of the search warrants are still being kept under wraps, reports Tracy Manzer at the Press-Telegram, but the Long Beach Police Department confirmed Tuesday that 15 search warrants were served and that 17 people were arrested during last week’s sweep.
Both the LBPD and the office of hardline anti-pot crusader, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, confirmed last week they were working together on an investigation into “illegal sales of marijuana” at medical marijuana dispensaries.
Sgt. Dina Zapalski, LBPD spokeswoman, said the department wasn’t releasing the names of those arrested because charges have not yet been filed.
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