Michigan Considers Medical Marijuana Dispensaries03.06.13

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act comes on the heels of a Michigan Supreme Court decision that ruled that the transfer of medical marijuana between patients that takes place in dispensaries is not included in the original Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2008.

Mike Callton (R-Nashville) said dispensaries are necessary in order for patients to have safe access to medicine.

“Frankly, the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling necessitated this legislation,” Callton said in a press release. “Now there are only two limited ways someone can access medical marijuana: grow their own, or contract with a caregiver. Therefore, we need to allow for provisioning centers or patients will continue to suffer. The more educated people become about this issue, the more they understand the pressing need before us.”

Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patient’s Rights Association, an advocacy group for medical marijuana patients, said the bill’s aim is to clear up the gray areas that are present in the original MMMA.

“What we saw were dispensaries popping up unregulated without rules, and that created conflict within communities,” Schneider said. “Without provisioning centers, medical marijuana is being distributed in our neighborhoods, in our parks, in parking lots … wherever people can meet, it’s being distributed.”

Allen Park was one community that conflicted with the illegal setup of dispensaries within city limits. In September, Allen Park police raided and shut down two dispensaries that were operating in the city. The new bill before the state House of Representatives would allow for cities such as Allen Park to zone or regulate the operation of provisioning centers.

“If it’s a legal business and it’s licensed to operate, then from my standpoint I don’t have a problem with that,” said Allen Park interim Police Chief James Wilkewicz. “(Dispensaries) would want to be registered (with the city) like all the other businesses are, so we know what’s going on at that location for public safety purposes — whether it be police or fire or whatever else.”

Ultimately, under the new bill cities are allowed to permit or deny dispensaries in the community, so it will be up to residents to decide.

“I would liken it a lot to cities that may operate adult entertainment clubs,” Wilkewicz said. “.… Not all citizens are on board with things like that, but what’s the actual impact for public safety? Sometimes, if it’s not a well-run facility there’s a lot of public safety impact, and other times if it is a well-run facility there’s no public safety impact.”

Source: http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2013/03/06/news/doc5136175ab1568106621464.txt

Posted in Dispensaries, Legalization, Politicswith No Comments →

World’s Largest Medical Pot Dispensary, Wins Battle To Avoid Shutdown01.09.13

Medical marijuana is gaining understanding and acceptance across the U.S.

Medical marijuana is gaining understanding and acceptance across the U.S.

A federal magistrate on Monday ruled that the Harborside Health Center located in Oakland and San Jose, Calif., can continue to operate, despite a bid by federal prosecutors to shut it down. Harborside is widely considered the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary.

The ruling comes as the latest move in a larger battle over the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries in California, where shops operating in full compliance with state law have come under pressure from the federal government.

Harborside’s landlords have called on the court to order an immediate halt of cannabis sales at their properties in Oakland and San Jose on the grounds that the activity is illegal under federal law. Meanwhile, the city of Oakland, which last year received more than $1 million in tax revenue from Harborside, has filed suit against the federal prosecutors to challenge the forfeiture action.

Chief Federal Magistrate Maria-Elena James ruled that it is the role of the government — not Harborside’s landlords — to determine whether the business should be shut down for its alleged violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

Landlords “are attempting to use a procedural rule in a civil forfeiture proceeding to bring what amounts to an enforcement action … against Harborside,” the 17-page ruling said. “This is a measure which the Government — the entity charged with enforcing the statute — has elected not to pursue.”

Judge James also declined to grant a motion from the City of Oakland to immediately prohibit the federal government’s legal efforts to close Harborside. A hearing is scheduled later this month to hear further arguments in the City of Oakland’s lawsuit.

Medical cannabis is currently legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia, but U.S. prosecutors have argued federal law — which forbids the substance — should take precedence.

Harborside’s lawyer, Henry Wykowski, underscored the importance of Monday’s decision.

“We are gratified that Judge James listened to and analyzed the parties’ arguments so thoroughly and has now rendered an opinion that will ensure Harborside has the right to present its case to a jury,” Wykowski said in a press release on Harborside’s website. “Despite the government’s efforts to shortcut the case, Harborside will now be able to fully defend itself at trial. That is all we had asked, and the court has now agreed. The stage is now set for a jury trial on the underlying issues of the litigation, which will probably take place in about one year.”

Posted in Dispensaries, Edibles, Education, Legalization, News and Updates, Politicswith No Comments →

Colorado marijuana-legalization measure raises question of pot tourism10.18.11

Colorado’s legalization of limited possession of marijuana — if voters approve it this November — would bring the attention of the nation to the state, both sides of the issue agreed Wednesday.

Where they disagreed, though, is whether that attention would be a good thing.

In a debate co-hosted by The Denver Post and 9News, Amendment 64 opponent Happy Haynes said the measure would attract illegal-drug dealers, hurt Colorado’s brand among businesses and bring in unwanted marijuana tourists. Proponent Betty Aldworth saw it differently, saying there is no evidence the measure would harm the state’s business climate and that any marijuana-motivated visitors would be welcome.

“Those are tourism dollars, are they not?” Aldworth asked.

Haynes said the state should be more discriminating.

“The idea that any dollars that we get are OK, I’m not in favor of swelling our state coffers … with money because people are getting high,” she said.

Amendment 64 would make legal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older and also allow adults to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. But it would also allow for specially licensed marijuana stores, which could sell to anyone 21 and older who presents “government-issued identification to determine the consumer’s age.”

Posted in Colorado, Education, Legalization, News and Updateswith No Comments →

  • You Avatar