What is it about medical marijuana that makes it such a volatile topic? Why are exactly the same states that originally decriminalized the sale of cannabis to doctor approved patients now attempting to impose so many restrictions? For supporters of full-scale legalization and the businesses which sell the merchandise, there seems to be always 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 underneath the guise of becoming dispensaries. In May of 2010 the owners of 439 of these were told to near by June 7 in order to conform to ordinances. Distance from places by which children congregate, such as for instance schools and parks along with registration deadlines that have been exceeded were cited as reasons for the closures.
The next thing involved a citywide lottery for the residual dispensaries clones for sale. Only collectives and dispensaries which had been functioning from Sept. 14, 2007 and have retained one or more 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 dilemma of repealing the medical marijuana legislation in New Mexico, and has tried to bring a measure to the voters this season to complete so. This location 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 manage to obtain medical marijuana legally.
Even though medical marijuana dispensaries have already been decriminalized, it hasn’t brought them any closer 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 increasingly being red flagged.
Banks and other financial institutions have been in a quandary as well. This is 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 out of this little waltz: standards must be set not just associated with who has legal jurisdiction on the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, but whether businesses doing business with the actual purveyors is likely to be protected from unjust reprisals.