Browsing: Dispensaries

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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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Artwork: Jim Wheeler
Safe access to marijuana remains a distant dream to many patients — even in states which have legalized medical use

​One by one, the lights are winking out. In city after city, town after town, in states where medical marijuana is now legal, patients who had dared hope they would at last have safe access to the medicine recommended by their doctors are having those hopes dashed.
The problem? Political cowardice and the panicked reaction of the status quo.
Every week brings more news of freaked out city councils and county boards of supervisors who desperately want to appear to be “doing something” — anything — about the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries.
This phenomenon is so far mostly confined to California and to a lesser extent Colorado, but it’s unfortunately also starting to happen in Michigan, Montana and even Maine — where voters specifically approved dispensaries in November.
Rather than showing true leadership by showing genuine concern for patients and communities, too many local government officials are going for the easy, knee-jerk reaction. The level of disregard for the intentions of the voters — who clearly expressed their will by legalizing medical marijuana — is breathtaking.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open, despite the efforts of the Gilroy, Calif., City Council

​​A Superior Court judge handed down a ruling Tuesday keeping Gilroy, California’s new medical marijuana dispensary open for now, prompting a city councilman to call for a refund from the city’s legal firm.

MediLeaf owners embraced and sighed with relief in San Jose when Judge Kevin Murphy denied the City of Gilroy’s legal request for an injunction to shut the dispensary down immediately until after a trial ended, reports Jonathan Partridge of the Gilroy Dispatch.
The dispensary could open remain for a year or longer as the case winds its way through the labyrinthine legal process.
If that sounds expensive for the city, yes, it is. Councilman Craig Gartman said this week the he’d heard litigation could cost the city at least $250,000, and maybe up to half a million dollars.

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Photo: stopthedrugwar.org
San Diegans protest Operation Green Rx, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ dispensary crackdown

​The San Diego City Council is considering adopting dispensary regulations that were developed recently by the city’s Medical Marijuana Task Force, with substantial public input.

The task force held public meetings, studied ordinances from other cities and counties around the state, and considered comments from San Diego residents over a period of five weeks before making the recommendations.
“The San Diego City Council is doing a difficult and brave thing,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy state director in Southern California for the Drug Policy Alliance Network. “It’s putting safe access for medical marijuana patients and the needs of San Diegans above the political opposition of the County Board of Supervisors and the District Attorney.”

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Despite a moratorium on the opening of any new dispensaries, beautiful Richmond, California still has safe access for medical marijuana patients — for now.

​East Bay city Richmond, Calif., will hold off on an outright ban of medical marijuana dispensaries, Katherine Tam reports in The Oakland Tribune.

City leaders in Richmond, an residential inner suburb of San Francisco, say they are still looking for a way to regulate dispensaries without exhausting police resources, “which should be focused on homicides and more serious violent crimes.”
Richmond officials plan to study other cities’ tactics as they weigh their options.
“See if there is a way to try to accomplish the goal of getting a convenient way for people to have access to medical marijuana in a way that doesn’t lead to constant drains of police resources,” said Councilman Jim Rogers.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open in Gilroy, Calif.

​Gilroy, Calif., Councilman Perry Woodward has called for a “full refund” of legal fees from the city’s contracted law firm after learning that Gilroy’s assistant city attorney advised the neighboring City of Los Altos to take a “diametrically opposed” stance on banning marijuana dispensaries, reports Jonathan Partridge at the Gilroy Dispatch.

Woodward urged the council to demand restitution for all legal fees paid to hired attorney Linda Callon of San Jose-based law firm Berliner-Cohen in connection with regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. According to the Dispatch, the councilman has sent emails to fellow council members, city administrators and Callon herself.

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Photo: Laurie Avocado

​The Los Angeles City Council’s proposed restrictions on where medical marijuana dispensaries can locate in the city would eliminate most sites, according to maps drawn by city planners, John Hoeffel of the L.A. Times reports.

City Councilman Ed Reyes said Tuesday that the current proposal — a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries and residences or other “sensitive” areas, including schools and parks — “will go out the window right away” when the council returns to the issue today.