Friday, February 22, 2013

Marijuana Dispensaries on the Vegas Strip? It's Becoming More Likely

Las Vegas' State Senator, Tick Segerblom is proposing Nevada OK cannabis dispensaries for patients with a recommendation and a card, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

Unlike California's dispensary model, which is mired in questions of profit vs. non-profit status, Segerblom spelled out how he saw Nevada embracing access for patients. The Gaming Control Board, which now strictly oversees the state's casinos, will be given jurisdiction over the dispensaries.

Segerblom added, "We’re going to have places you can go with a card where you can legally purchase marijuana. It’ll be a for-profit. It won’t be a co-op. It won’t be run by the government… It’ll be taxed and the revenue will be used to do something good. Those are the details we haven’t gotten to yet.

Nevada's current medical marijuana law has many legal ambiguities and the state's supreme court is expected to take up the issue. Establishing a dispensary system is a step toward clarifying the law.

"Let’s go back and do what we should have done 10 years ago. It’s something that it’s time has come. Colorado has it. Arizona has it. California has it. Oregon has it. Washington State has it. We’re surrounded by it," Segerblom said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

California Takes a Look at Zero Tolerance Drugged Driving Law, Reveals Potentially Confusing Implementation

California State Senator Lou Correa is proposing a "zero tolerance" law for drugged driving. Correa describes the bill as an expansion of existing drunk driving laws, reports KPBS.

The proposed bill would outlaw any levels of Schedules I through IV when anyone gets behind the wheel. This would include illegal drugs to over the counter drugs like non-drowsy cold and allergy medicine. (You can see where this is going, don't you?)

The proposed bill also makes no distinctions regarding medical marijuana. The debate surrounding Washington state's legalization put the spotlight on how long THC remains detectable in the body — which current research pegs at a month.

Think you'd be safe with a bona fide prescription for traditional pills and not a recommendation for cannabis? Think again. The law would make criminals out of anyone with any medication or drugs in their system, regardless of recommendation or prescription.

Opponents of the bill are calling for an impairment test instead of a "zero tolerance" law.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Think there's too many pot shops in Los Angeles? Consider the Alternative — One Dispensary for an Entire State

Though many might bemoan the number of dispensaries in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, an article by The Daily Beast highlights what life is like on the other side of the spectrum.

New Jersey has one medical marijuana dispensary to serve over 1,000 patients for the entire state. But that's not to say Greenleaf Compassion Center takes care of all the patients in the state — there's many others that are suffering that the dispensary can't accept because it doesn't have the inventory.

Marta Portuguez, who suffers from 11 ailments, including fibromyalgia and gastroparesis, told the website, "I keep waiting for them to call. I have my card. I’m ready to go. I passed...This is my body. I should be able to obtain any medicine that I deem OK for me. This is not the government’s right to decide!"

Many have claimed that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has intentionally skewed the medical marijuana regulations to intentionally ensure that it's nearly impossible for any new dispensaries to open. Christie has also appointed an ex-law enforcement officer known to be hostile to the idea of dispensaries to oversee the program.

Dr. Jeffrey Pollack, one of 199 doctors in New Jersey who can recommend cannabis to patients, added, "They’ve done everything to make the system fail in the long run."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Washington Likely to Seek a Firm for Pot Consultant Job — Feel Free to Scratch Your Head Now

Over 100 people applied for the pot consultant positions offered by state of Washington. These experts will establish regulations regarding growing, processing and selling marijuana in a legal marketplace, with knowledge of the current underground prices for pot.

But despite being overwhelmed by former medical marijuana and black market cannabis dealers gone straight who would know about the realities of pot, there's a very good chance that none of them may meet the state's requirements for a consultant.

If you have an MBA and have a consulting firm, like Deloitte and Touche, Ernst and Young and KPMG, you probably will qualify for this job...because if there's one thing huge business consultant firms can do, it's offering advice about legalized pot. And firing people.

Valerie Bauman, a staff writer with the Puget Sound Business Journal who's been following Washington's search for consultants, wrote (emphasis ours), "During my coverage of I-502, I’ve received a number of emails from readers who wanted to apply for the job of marijuana consultant. Unfortunately, no such job for an individual exists. The state is looking for a team or a firm – or a combination of companies – to submit a proposal for the consultant work."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Federal Judge Rules Against Oakland and World's Largest Medical Pot Dispensary; Not All Legal Avenues Exhausted

A federal judge rejected Oakland's attempt to defend the Harborside Health Center, considered to be the world's largest medical marijuana dispensary, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cedric Chao, an attorney representing Oakland, challenged the federal government's crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries, legal in California through a voter initiative. U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James found no legal grounds for the city's action.

If the dispensary closes, Chao argued, its 108,000 patients will be forced to illegal avenues to secure their legal medical marijuana, which would lead to a public health and safety crisis.

However, not all of Oakland's options are exhausted. Oakland also challenged the federal government using the Administrative Procedure Act. Federal regulations follow the letter of the Administrative Procedure Act's law.

James ruled that Oakland did not fulfill the legal procedures to file a suit under the act.