In anticipation of Holder’s statement on “medical marijuana” — A brief rundown of the latest cannabis frontiers


While Vermont prepares for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, anticipation continues to build surrounding Attorney General Holder’s recent promise to clarify the federal government’s stance on “medical marijuana.”  So, in honor of our government finally recognizing the medical use of cannabis, here’s a brief look at the various frontiers surrounding the re-integration of cannabis into mainstream society:

Franchising’s New Frontier:  Marijuana Megastores

Franchising has now officially gone to pot. A marijuana hydroponics franchisor, weGrow, opened its first franchise Wednesday. It anticipates its new 21,000square foot retail franchise will sell products to an estimated 100,000 medical marijuana growers who reside in the Phoenix area.

“We’re not talking tomatoes,” whimsically says Arizona’s first weGrow franchisee Sunny Singh.

The superstore is weGrow’s third. It has two California stores: one store in Oakland opened its doors in January of 2010 and the Sacramento location launched in February of this year. While not selling pot itself, the franchise aims to be a one-stop shop for cannabis cultivators. It not only sells growing supplies likeUV lights, carbon dioxide generators and other supplies to get the most buzz from a bud, but it also offers services aimed at educating medical marijuana cultivators. The megastore will showcase live growth demonstrations with real plants, an on-site doctor for medical cannabis evaluations, expert technicians to teach safe and responsible growth practices, and even an on-site laboratory to test cannabis before patient consumption.

WeGrow’s website declares its franchising intentions: “WeGrow locations will be taking root across the nation, with new stores sprouting in Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey and Oregon in the next few months.” Its website states that the company is looking for franchise investors who are at least 21 years old and have $166,000…

Arizona Man Killed While Robbing Medical Marijuana Patient

..Since the seller in this case was requiring the men to produce a medical marijuana card before he gave them his extra medical marijuana, it appears he was in good faith trying to uphold that part of the statute. Joe Yuhas, a spokesperson for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association says that the initiative was designed so that licensed dispensaries would be the place patients could obtain medicine. He believes in this case, the seller did not meet any requirements to sell his medical marijuana under the law. Although he was a patient, he was not a caretaker. the Maricopa County Attorney’s office will get the last say on whether the seller will be charged with a crime. All we know so far is that that office has already taken a firm stance against medical marijuana in the state.

Health director denies marijuana dispensary request

State Health Director Will Humble turned away a request by doctors Wednesday to operate a marijuana dispensary, paving the way for a lawsuit.

Humble acknowledged that his refusal to even accept an application comes despite a voter-approved law requiring his agency to license about 125 dispensaries around the state. And it is directly contrary to the department’s own rules that say the first requests would be considered Wednesday…

..Humble said he had been prepared to proceed with licensing dispensaries.

Last month, Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, sent him a letter detailing that while going after medical marijuana patients was not a priority for his office, the possession, sale and transportation of the drugs remains illegal under federal law. And Burke said he could not offer immunity to anyone even if that person is acting in strict accordance with Arizona’s medical marijuana law.

Even then, Humble was going to go ahead. But all that changed last week when Gov. Jan Brewer directed Attorney General Tom Horne to ask a federal court to decide if Arizona could implement its medical marijuana law despite federal statutes. Brewer also said the health department would issue no dispensary permits until there is a ruling.

Humble said he wasn’t going to quibble with that.

“Near as I can tell, this is a responsible decision for now,’ he said.

Despite the concerns over conflicts with federal law, the health department continues to take applications for qualified patient cards. Humble said one reason is that refusal to do so would be meaningless: A provision in the law spells out that if an application has not been acted on within 45 days, it is automatically considered approved.

“We’d lose all oversight regarding the qualified patient process,’ he said.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Oregon or Not?

“The breathtaking surge in manufacture and distribution of marijuana in Oregon is putting marijuana in the hands of more and more healthy kids — and dispensaries are fueling this crisis. We are confident that responsible landlords and property owners will remove the operators of illegal dispensaries and ‘cannabis clubs’.”  — U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton

Commenting on the research, NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville said, “While correlation does not equal causation – we can’t say medical marijuana laws made the workplaces safer – we certainly do not see any correlation between Oregon workplace safety statistics and Associated Oregon Industries’ scaremongering about the threat of patients in the workplace.  AOI’s agenda was clear when the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in Emerald Steel that ‘Under Oregon’s employment discrimination laws, employers are not required to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana’ and AOI called the right to discriminate a ‘critical victory’ in a ‘medical marijuana battle’ that ‘could not be better for Oregon employers.’ Unfortunately that ‘victory’ means thousands of patients who are willing and able to work are now discriminated against simply because their medicine is unpopular and are forced to go on the dole for state taxpayer assistance.”

Medical Marijuana Activists to Storm Long Beach City Council Tonight

The Long Beach City Council is going to get an earful at its meeting tonight, courtesy of angry medical marijuana activists who are still angry at the city’s December 2009 raid on dispensaries there. Among the speakers will be attorney Matthew Pappas, who will discuss a recent raid on a client of his that was allegedly conducted without a search warrant. Also to appear will be Charles Monson, a medical marijuana activist and quadriplegic who is demanding Long Beach come clean about how much money the city is wasting on its schizophrenic war on weed, one in which some collectives are raided and their operators jailed while others, who are doing the exact same thing, are receiving city permits and being left unmolested by officials…

..Monson, who was the focus of this 2007 Weekly cover story, is going to demand paperwork from the city to demonstrate how much money and resources was wasted when 120 officers were dispatched to take down dispensaries operated by Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine, who unlike everyone else arrested in the raid, were charged a year later with selling marijuana, even though the “sales” in question involved providing cannabis to undercover officers who presented valid doctor’s recommendations allowing them to smoke marijuana.

Both Byron and Grumbine face a trial scheduled to begin this month and could spend seven years behind bars if convicted.

 Montana Lawmaker: Treat Medical Marijuana Like Grey Wolf 

A representative  in Montana has a novel approach to the regulation of medical marijuana suggesting that the Feds leave control up to the states, just as they have now done with the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf…

..In an interview on Monday, Rep. Sands said that medical marijuana  acceptance and regulation is at a unique period in time, and now is when it should be addressed by the Federal Government. Rep. Sands  says that at present, there is little a state legislature can do to try and regulate medical marijuana  since the feds are keeping the hands of state lawmakers bound by keeping  it illegal on a federal level, but allowing the states to continue running medical marijuana programs…

Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama, Marijuana Debate 2012!

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One Response to In anticipation of Holder’s statement on “medical marijuana” — A brief rundown of the latest cannabis frontiers

  1. Pingback: In anticipation of Holder’s statement on “medical marijuana” — A brief rundown of the latest cannabis frontiers | Abel Williams

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