Articles Posted in Riverside marijuana dispensaries

As we have discussed in various other posts on this blog, California has been taking major steps to regulate the medical marijuana, and now recreational cannabis industry, at a state level.  Since medical marijuana was first legalized back in 1996, there was little regulation at the state level.  All of the major regulation was left to local governments in the various counties, towns, municipal districts, and cities across our state.

marijuana attorney Riverside This meant that, in some cities, there would be no medical marijuana allowed and in others there would be.  It also means that there were varying levels of regulations with respect to cultivation distribution, and sale or delivery. Continue reading

There is more cannabis sold in California that any other state. This is true even when comparing California’s medical marijuana industry with Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry.  While voters in California did legalize recreational use marijuana through the passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016, it will not be legal to sell to recreational users until January 2018.

Riverside Marijuana LawyerThis means that for the time being, medical marijuana dispensaries are the only legal way to buy marijuana in the state.  However, as discussed in a recent news article from The Daily Chronic, medical marijuana shops will largely become recreational marijuana shops, and this is why there are many more dispensaries opening up throughout the state in anticipation of the increasing market for cannabis products. This includes flowers, high-end concentrates like shatter and wax, edibles and tinctures, and even skin creams and bath beads. Continue reading

The contrast between the stock of marijuana in the U.S. and Canada couldn’t be more stark. graph

CNN Money reported that a real estate investment trust that plans to buy buildings to lease to medical marijuana growers went public on Wall Street – and the response was less-than-encouraging. On the NYSE, the Innovative Industrial Properties stock shares were priced at $20, inched upward to $20.52, and then finished the day by 4 percent less than where they started. Granted, this is just one of a few companies related to the marijuana trade that is traded on any major exchange. So in some sense, the fact that it’s being traded at all is something of an accomplishment. Another company out Britain, GW Pharmaceuticals, is listed on Nasdaq, and its stock is actually up more than 55 percent this year. However in the U.S., this has proven more the exception than the rule.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg Markets reports that a company called ICC International Cannabis Corp. debuted its first day on the Canadian stock market and closed 356 percent higher than where it started. The CEO of ICC, a company out of Uruguay, has called the Canadian market “perfect” for marijuana companies. The entire country is slated to legalize the use of recreational marijuana next year. If that event occurs on the timeline expected, there will be an estimated 4 million legal recreational users in Canada by 2021. That means there will be a potential for $4.5 billion in annual sales. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that legality at the federal level makes it a much more attractive option to investors.  Continue reading

Riverside marijuana lawyers applaud the recent ruling by a superior court judge allowing a Murrieta marijuana dispensary to re-open its doors – just not in the same place where it used to be. victory.jpg

As we understand it, the Cooperative Medical Group on Madison Avenue had been forced to close, after another judge decided its proximity was too close to Sky High Party Zone. For those who don’t know, that’s a children’s indoor playground.

Now, a judge has decided that it can in fact operate in the city – just not near a spot known to be frequented by children. This one was within 600 feet of the playground.

Just to underscore: This Murrieta marijuana dispensary had been operating within the parameters of California law. At issue, once again, is the fact that the federal government has outlawed marijuana, and is seeking to flex its muscle on the issue – and city governments are bowing to that pressure.

What this case does is show that with the help of an aggressive Riverside marijuana lawyer, a California marijuana collective can be successful in suing the city to allow its continued operation.

The decision in the Murrieta case is one of many that has been made in a months-long lawsuit that was brought by the owners of the collective against the city. Not all of them have been favorable, but this marks a significant victory.

Damian Nassiri, prominent Riverside marijuana lawyer, says that cities can no longer ban marijuana collectives under the City of Lake Forest v. Evergreen Holistic case.

“Any fines or nuisance abatement lawsuit brought by these cities should no longer be tolerated by the collectives,” Nassiri said. “It’s time to fight back, because this appellate case helps collectives and is currently the law in California. It must be followed by the lower courts and judges should rule against cities that try and shut collectives down with unlawful bans.”

A state supreme court decision is pending that will ultimately decide the issue of cities v. dispensaries. What’s important to remember in all of this was that the voters declared their clear intent with the passage of the law in 1996 that allowed marijuana possession, sale and use for medicinal purposes. This right continues to be trampled on.

The details of the Murietta case look something like a crazy ping-pong battle.

The dispensary opened in the summer of last year, despite a city ordinance that banned its operation. It was shuttered just two weeks later after city officials secured a temporary injunction against it. But then an appeals court removed that injunction in the fall, and the collective re-opened – only to be shut down two weeks after that. Now, the court has ruled the dispensary can re-open, it just has to be in a different place.

Unfortunately, the issue is not likely to stop there – in Murietta or anywhere else in California. Murietta is also involved in a lawsuit with the Greenhouse Cannabis Club under similar circumstances. In that case, officers with the Murrieta Police Department are even accused of going so far as to put a tracking device on a volunteer patient as part of its enforcement of the ban.

Attorneys for the city say this legal wrangling isn’t likely to end before the state’s supreme court takes on the issue.

Until then, collectives need to know that there is legal help available, and that they shouldn’t be bullied into thinking they have no options or recourse.
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Medical marijuana in California and 15 other states and the District of Columbia has been legalized. In more than half of these areas, government officials have been launching new medical laws that could lands these people involved in the industry with criminal charges and stiff fines.
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Back in 1996, California was the first state in the country to make marijuana legal for various medical uses. It has recently come under some serious scrutiny from federal officials. Our laws remain the most liberal, to some, in the country, allowing doctors to hand out medical marijuana recommendations for a variety of conditions. One that same hand, officials have been granted broad discretion and little ways to implement it. Mendocino County thought they had found an effective way, until the feds stepped in.

Our Southern California medical marijuana attorneys understand the fight against unreasonable medical marijuana regulations is far from over. The state law conflicts with federal law. The federal government rules that marijuana is still an illegal substance with absolutely no health benefits. Still, state law allows dispensaries.

After years, residents in Mendocino County thought that they had come to peace with absurd medical marijuana regulations and enforcements. Two years ago, the sheriff made an agreement to stop raiding those who produce medical marijuana as long as they paid to have their collections inspected.

This payment was a $1,500 fee and was used to keep growers in compliance with rules regarding distance from neighbors, odor control, water usage and the limitations stating that growers could only grow 99 plants on five acres of land, according to the Huff Post.

This program, requiring growers to pay the fee, earned the sheriff’s department more than $663,000. Other jurisdictions quickly inquired about creating their own similar program after seeing its success.

The program’s under scrutiny now. After crackdown efforts from the state’s federal prosecutors, the board of supervisors put an end to Mendocino County’s experiment. The program was halted after the U.S. attorney for Northern California threatened take the county to court for helping residents to produce a drug that was illegal under federal law, but still legal under state law.

“We thought we had something that was working and was making our life easier so we could turn our attention to other pressing matters,” Supervisor John McCowen said.

McCowen thought that the city really was on to something. That is, until the feds stepped in.

Melinda Haag, Northern California’s U.S. attorney, said that the County’s licensing system doesn’t meet federal standards. She says her and the other federal officials are just trying to push the federal laws banning this substance.

In recent crackdowns in Southern California, nearly 100 dispensaries have been shut down. Many of these dispensaries received threats from feds saying that they better close up shop or they could face criminal charges and fines.
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A Riverside Superior Court Judge recently signed an order at the request of the city of Murrieta to ban a medical marijuana collective, but the wording was ambiguous and will allow the business to remain open, the club’s medical marijuana attorney says.

Riverside medical marijuana collectives have come under fire, as city, county and federal authorities have tried to shut them down. However, in cases where there is an effort to shut down a business, there must be legal representation.
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An experienced Los Angeles medical marijuana attorney must be consulted during times like these. Residents involved in medical marijuana in California — whether users, dispensary owners or cooperative or collective workers — have rights. These rights must be protected.

In this case, the city of Murrieta, which is south of Riverside, requested an order against a medical marijuana collective that has only been open since January. The judge in this case agreed to issue an order, though the wording was left open to interpretation.

The judge wrote the club was to “immediately cease providing medical marijuana to more than two persons (at the club). The order also instructed the collective not to prevent city leaders from inspecting the premises.

The collective’s Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers believe this wording allows the collective to stay open, simply serving one client at a time. The collective’s attorney told the North County Times that he is instructing the collective simply to schedule one client at a time so it can stay open.

While at first glance it may seem like a victory for the city, the wording allows for the collective to stay open, albeit with restrictions. While that may end up hurting business some, it still allows the collective to stay open and continue serving patients.

The order came after several court hearings. The first was in January, during which the city’s legal team attempted to shut the club down altogether. The most recent court hearing was scheduled so that the city could make a second run at attempting to change the wording of a potential order.

City leaders acknowledged that the “more than two persons” clause in the order was the city’s attempt to comply with state law while still enforcing the city’s current moratorium on marijuana dispensaries.

What this may do is allow more dispensaries and collectives to open in Murrieta. While the city will attempt to shut them down, this order sets precedent that as long as only one patient is seen at a time, they can remain open. It will be interesting to see if other cities throughout Riverside County face challenges based on this court order.

While there has been a lot of backlash lately in the medical marijuana world, not everyone is against patients and businesses. Many people, such as Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers, recognize the medical value these businesses bring and they are working to uphold these people’s rights.
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More bad news out of Riverside.

As we previously reported on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog, a case out of Riverside will go to the California Supreme Court to determine if cities and counties can legally ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

Now, as if that wasn’t enough of an assault on the medical marijuana industry, The Press-Enterprise is reporting that city leaders have reached out to federal authorities to help enforce medical marijuana restrictions there.
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Medical marijuana in Riverside is a hotbed of controversy, much like in other places throughout the state. Despite voters making it known that they wanted medical marijuana to be an option as pain medication in 1996, cities and counties have decided to try to go against the will of the people.

Our Riverside medical marijuana lawyers have been able to represent many Riverside medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives and patients who have been caught up in this political nightmare. All of these groups have rights under state law that must be upheld.

In Riverside, as if the mounting pressure from the federal government wasn’t already enough, city leaders have decided to specifically asked federal prosecutors to enforce the government’s marijuana ban in their city.

In Riverside, medical marijuana dispensaries have been forbidden by local zoning laws.
Since 2010, the city has sought to shut down businesses by filing civil lawsuits against them. The city brags they have shut down about 30 small businesses this way.

Even though medical marijuana is legal under California law, city leaders have decided they don’t want to help patients who may require this medication to help stop the pain from debilitating illnesses. The major conflict comes with federal law, which states that all marijuana is illegal.

Local dispensaries have been shut down in recent weeks and prosecutors have sent out warning letters in an attempt to intimidate businesses. Federal authorities have said they will file civil or criminal actions against operators as well as landlords who provide office space.

City leaders have decided they want this to happen in Riverside. Despite a court case that is still pending that determines whether any of this action is legal or not, they are trying to rid the city of these businesses before the court case is decided. Using misstated facts, the city attorney and police chief told federal prosecutors that the businesses are for profit and attract crime. I guess they must want every convenience store or late-night business shut down as well.

City leaders are begging for federal help because federal authorities carry certain authority, such as seizing assets, that local law enforcement cannot do. The crackdown on legally operating medical marijuana dispensaries is causing patients to seek illegal sources for their medication.

In essence, while law enforcement agents believe they are stopping crime by involving the government and shutting down these businesses, they are actually encouraging crime. Medical marijuana patients have chosen this form of medication because it’s often less expensive and has fewer side effects. But authorities continue trying to stop this industry from thriving for no justifiable reason.
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As our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers have said from the beginning, the recent explosion of interest by federal prosecutors in California’s medical marijuana industry has to be a political issue.

Most medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles are operating legitimately and following the law. And despite the perception that local political leaders and law enforcement officials try to spread on the public, these business aren’t trying to avoid regulation.
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In fact, because of recent efforts by cities and counties throughout California to shut down the medical marijuana dispensary industry, rogue dispensaries are opening up, not paying local permit fees and can undercut prices as a result. It’s bad for business and it gives all legitimate businesses a bad name.

And along with that kind of bad publicity, federal prosecutors have used their power of intimidation in recent months to threaten medical marijuana users and businesses into shutting down. The pressure has gotten to landlords, who have kicked out legitimate businesses based on threats of civil or criminal prosecution by the feds.

Local leaders, not wanting any problems with the federal government, have bowed down to the pressure as well, agreeing to suspend permitting practices and ban new dispensaries in their cities or counties until court cases that are still up in the air are settled.

Counter Punch, a political web site, recently wrote about the battle between President Barack Obama and the medical marijuana industry. The author writes that the recent pressure directed from federal prosecutors is part of a “shock and awe’ campaign from the president, who is gearing up for a re-election campaign.

The article is critical of California’s medical marijuana industry, writing that the problem is that there isn’t enough regulation, which has brought out loopholes and court case challenges that has caused mayhem in the industry.

The author writes that criticism that California’s laws are too broad, such that he obtained a medical marijuana card outside a medical marijuana festival without showing any medical history to a physician, though he admits he has had cancer and has been treated with chemotherapy. His partner, with no serious illness history, also has a card.

The author, a lawyer and supporter of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, states that nearly one million people are arrested and prosecuted for marijuana use or possession each year. He argues that the drug should be made legal so that the country doesn’t have to have this debate in the first place.

But he warns supporters of the medical marijuana industry not to be upset about what’s going on because the system has been played by many people — “patients” getting medical marijuana cards without real proof and rogue dispensaries opening up shop without permission. This was bound to make the government suspicious and bring on unwanted scrutiny.

The author does make some points and those are the same points medical marijuana supporters are trying to make today. Many want regulation. The more legitimate the industry is, the less critics and disruption there likely is to be. Prescription pain medication has become more of an issue than medical marijuana, yet that industry is not facing the same scrutiny.
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The hits just keep coming for hard-working medical marijuana dispensaries in California, especially those in Riverside County where authorities have announced they are going to try to shut them down, The Desert Sun is reporting.

Ever since California voters agreed to legalize marijuana some 15 years ago, it has been a constant struggle. In recent months, federal authorities have cracked down, forcing a political agenda on the many companies that have operated — legally — under California law. But that pressure has created problems on a local level. Many timid local officials have succumbed to federal pressure and begun going after these businesses, too.
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Our California medical marijuana lawyers are well-versed in the controversy going on not only in Riverside County, but also in other communities throughout California. We are willing and able to represent these businesses who are hard-working and who are just trying to run their companies.

The Desert Sun reports that the Riverside County Board of Supervisors has given its attorneys permission to sue pot shops in the unincorporated county as well as property owners who allow them to operate. The only alternative, county officials say, is for the shops to close down.

The county passed ordinances banning medical marijuana dispensaries in 2006, the newspaper reports, though officials last year considered an ordinance last year that would allow for a regulated form of dispensaries. They later decided to uphold the ban and keep it in place.

County officials, though, estimate that about 50 medical marijuana dispensaries popped up last year in the county’s unincorporated areas in response to the demand of its residents who legally have cards to purchase marijuana for medical use. These residents typically have various forms of cancer or other ailments that require marijuana for medicinal purposes.

County attorneys told the newspaper in 2010 that the reason some dispensaries were operating was because of “vaguely written laws” by state lawmakers that have allowed them to operate.

A majority of voters made it pretty clear that they supported legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes — that wasn’t vague at all. And even though state law allows for these small businesses to operate, they conflict with federal drug laws, which is why there is an ongoing conflict.

Federal authorities, in an effort to garner political favor apparently, have made it a point in the last year to say they would prosecute businesses and the people who rent to them. That is a powerful threat and has led to hundreds of dispensaries shutting down or not registering with the counties or cities where they are operating for fear of being shut down.

Our medical marijuana lawyers are prepared to take up the fight on behalf of these small business owners and the patients they serve. They serve an important function in our communities and must be well-represented in their fight against the government.
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A recent article out of Washington reports that California’s marijuana growers have shifted plots from national forests to farmland, according to the Fresno County sheriff, who testified to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

Admittedly, medical marijuana in California is a difficult industry because while many small businesses sell marijuana solely for medicinal purposes, others use it for illegal uses. Illegally operating growers sometimes make shipments to legal dispensaries and then ship out of state to illegal users and distributors.
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This is why our Riverside medical marijuana lawyers have been so busy helping people throughout California who have faced problems simply for following California’s laws, which were originally put into place more than 15 years ago.

Whether it is law enforcement interference, or problems from federal authorities who don’t respect California’s laws, or the reaction of local officials scared of both groups, these small business owners have been under the gun in 2011. Our marijuana lawyers hope that things simmer down in 2012.

According to the news article, Fresno County has seen a drop in marijuana plots on public land. In 2009, law enforcement identified 81 sites where marijuana was grown on public lands in Fresno County. In 2010, that number dropped to 19 and down to 8 in 2011.

Senators said that the Central Valley is perfect farmland for marijuana because of abundant sunlight, fertilizer and irrigation. While senators were encouraged that marijuana isn’t being grown on public land, the shift has been to private farmland, the article states.

Last year, Fresno’s sheriff told senators that 36 multi-acre marijuana cultivation sites were found on conventional farmland throughout Fresno County. One site found this year by officials was 57 acres.

Officials are also alleging that illegal immigrants are being used on these sites and have been particularly important in the marijuana industry in California. In July, officials arrested 159 people in sweeps through five Northern California counties. About 95 percent of those who were arrested were illegal immigrants. Between 2005 and 2010, 1,437 of the 2,334 marijuana sites seized on federal forest land had illegal immigrants on them.

In that July sweep, more than 632,000 marijuana plants were seized, along with 38 weapons, including assault rifles. During a similar operation in 2010, 432,271 marijuana plants and 33 weapons were seized around Fresno.

Officials believe that the marijuana industry has given Mexican drug trafficking gangs a cover for their operations. And this hurts legitimate businesses. With law enforcement snooping and federal authorities bringing pressure, people who are trying to run dispensaries the right way can unneeded pressures.

If people are illegally operating marijuana farms and illegally distributing it to non-authorized users, it paints all businesses in a bad light. This increases prices, leads to shut downs in businesses and, ultimately, hurts patients.
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