San Jose city officials, citing a desire to cut down on the potential for a major legal battle, have decided to rescind a September ordinance to cut down on medical marijuana dispensaries. But, police say they will still be going after dispensaries that have garnered complaints or not paid taxes, ABC News is reporting.
Medical marijuana in California has been hit from every angle lately.
As officials wait on court cases to determine whether cities and counties can regulate this industry as they have been, much is up in the air.
Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers have been following the news and trying to keep the public as informed as possible on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog. Because this is still a new business in California, the changes are coming fast.
San Jose officials passed a city ordinance in September limiting the number of collectives able to open in the city to 10 and required that medical marijuana dispensaries grow all their marijuana on-site. Opponents collected enough signatures to force the issue to a vote, but by city leaders rescinding the ordinance, police are now in power to enforce as they see fit, leaving industry officials feeling helpless.
Police are telling ABC News they will first begin enforcing laws against dispensaries that have received complaints from neighbors or that haven’t paid taxes. In San Jose, medical marijuana businesses are required to pay a 7 percent business tax put in place last year.
City leaders say there are 117 collectives that are operating within city limits. Only 54 have been paying the business tax. About 30 are paying their taxes sporadically, while another 32 have paid no taxes or haven’t filed.
While city leaders are trying to come up with some type of regulation, the general stance of medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives is that regulation is fine. It would be better to deal with taxes and a structured industry rather than have to wait to see what new law or loophole city and county leaders try to come up with to try to enforce laws.
City leaders told the news station they have struggled to come up with an ordinance that works since there are conflicting state and federal laws as well as ongoing court cases that have made regulating the industry difficult. Medical marijuana industry leaders have proposed a ballot initiative for November that would create a government board to set rules for the medical marijuana business.
This is just another effort that leaders are doing to work some type of compromise, 16 years after the industry was first put into place. Rather than continually dealing with frustrating law changes, shifts in policy and police harassment, users and sellers would be able to run their industry without constant interference. As time passes and courts work out these issues, the current struggle will look like a thing of the past. But it takes legal representation and challenges to mold the industry into become a model for the rest of the country.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, throughout Orange County and elsewhere throughout Southern California. Call 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
LAPD Shuts Down Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Files Charges: February 7, 2012
SJ rescinds medical marijuana ordinances, by Karina Rusk, ABC 7