What’s it about medical marijuana which makes it such a volatile topic? Why are the exact same states that originally decriminalized the sale of cannabis to doctor approved patients now wanting to impose so many restrictions? For supporters of full-scale legalization and the businesses which sell the merchandise, there seems to be a constant dance between what is allowed and what isn’t.
LA Lottery Over
After California decriminalized the sale of medical marijuana nearly 800 storefronts opened beneath the guise of becoming dispensaries. In May of 2010 the owners of 439 of these were told to close by June 7 to be able to conform to ordinances. Distance from places by which children congregate, such as for instance schools and parks in addition to registration deadlines which were exceeded were cited as reasons for the closures.
The next thing involved a citywide lottery for the remaining dispensaries. Only collectives and dispensaries which had been functioning from Sept. 14, 2007 and have retained a minumum of one original owner qualified for the lottery. LA has since informed the owners of 140 other stores they should close their doors as well, leaving the city 100 dispensaries.
How did things change so dramatically, whilst California debates collecting sales tax from medical marijuana dispensaries and growing cooperatives?
New Mexico: No Measure Yet
Governor Susana Martinez – R, made a problem of repealing the medical marijuana legislation in New Mexico, and has tried to create a measure to the voters in 2010 to do so clones for sale California. This position follows party lines. However, Rep. James Smith – R, the bill’s sponsor pulled the bill, replacing it with House Memorial 53 for a Department of Health impact study of medical marijuana acts. For the present time residents of New Mexico will still be able to obtain medical marijuana legally.
Although medical marijuana dispensaries have been decriminalized, it hasn’t brought them any nearer to an answer regarding their business transactions. Unless the dispensary is willing to work on a “cash only” basis, it could have difficulty obtaining needed commercial accounts, merchant accounts and insurance coverage. Creatively worded applications citing the sale of “supplements” and “medical care accessories” are now being red flagged.
Banks and other financial institutions are in a quandary as well. This can be a potentially huge market, but with fears about federal prosecution over drug related crimes, obtaining needed accounts may be particularly challenging.
One clear thing is emerging using this little waltz: standards need to be set not just associated with who has legal jurisdiction on the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, but whether or not businesses employing the specific purveyors will undoubtedly be protected from unjust reprisals.