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What Rights do Marijuana Dispensaries Have?

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on July 15, 2014 · 0 comments

in California Law, Los Angeles, Medical Marijuana

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What Rights do Marijuana Dispensaries Have? In 2004, California lawmakers signed Senate Bill 420 into law, making it legal for patients and primary caregivers of medical marijuana patients to buy marijuana for personal use. This bill authorized non-profit patient cooperatives to grow, distribute and sell marijuana for their members.

However, since then the DEA has raided and shut down a number of dispensaries operating both legally and illegally. So what rights under the law do the owners of these marijuana dispensaries have?

The California attorney general has released guidelines on how dispensaries should operate. Owners need to obtain a seller’s permit, and register their business with the Secretary of State. State law only allows for legal sale through a collective or cooperative, so your business should be organized as a coop, and not a partnership or LLC.

You may also need to get a business license or zoning permit from the town you are operating in. Some towns in California have banned, limited or otherwise restricted the places dispensaries can operate, as well as how many can be in any one area. An additional bill signed in 2010 maintains that dispensaries must also be 600 feet from schools or parks.

Dispensaries are also responsible for verifying their patients and ensuring that your dispensary is only serving its own members. Dispensaries are limited to using only marijuana that is grown and supplied by its own members. Since the growers and sellers are operating as “caregivers” under the law, the patient group should be kept small and limited to people you know personally. The caregiver defense has worked for individuals serving a small number of patients, but has been rejected in other cases with patient bases in the thousands on the grounds that no one can consistently provide care for that many people.

The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.

Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.

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