Sacramento officials are looking to toughen the stance on medical marijuana dispensaries — calling some of them “storefront drug dealers in the wake of the Obama Administration’s crackdown on medical marijuana in California, which has been legal since 1996.
Our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers encourage dispensaries, collectives, patients, caregivers and growers to seek experienced legal consultation. As we reported on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog, the federal crackdown targeted a North Hollywood dispensary authorities charge with wholesaling marijuana nationwide. Medical marijuana dispensary forfeiture actions were filed in Wildomar, Montclair and Lake Forest.
Damian Nassiri of the CANNABIS LAW GROUP represents two of the dispensaries inside an Orange County shopping center where authorities targeted eight medical marijuana dispensaries. “These collectives had a hard time finding landlords who were willing to rent to them,” Nassiri said
Federal authorities are also targeting marijuana dispensaries in Orange County, Riverside County and Inland Empire.
CBS News reports the feds are looking to raid retail establishments — particularly larger operations.
It is “a Costco, Walmart-type model that we see across California,” said Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, who also called it “the new California gold rush.”
The increased enforcement, which includes action by the Internal Revenue Service and pressure on the banking operations of dispensaries, comes after two years in which the Obama Administration had indicated it would not make enforcement a priority in states where medical marijuana is legal. California became the first state to legalize marijuana with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Today, 16 states have legalized medical marijuana.
Attack on larger operations could hurt patient ability to obtain medical marijuana, which is their right under state law.
“We’re not going anywhere. We’re mothers, we’re patients, we’re family members of patients,” said Melissa Milam, of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “We want to pay taxes, we want to be able to make deposits at our bank, we want to be a business.”
The California Board of Equalization has estimated medical marijuana could generate more than $100 million in tax revenue on sales of more than $1 billion in sales. However, recent court actions continue to call into question the rights of cities to regulate the industry.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.