Berkeley city officials including police and code enforcement officials paid a visit to the town's infamous, seedy weed speakeasy, 40 Acres Collective, last Tuesday, Berkeleyside reports. Officials were after code violations in the heavily modified warren of connected apartments at 1820 San Pablo Avenue, where the medical marijuana collective has operated for four years, selling pot to members without a permit from the city.
The City of San Leandro went forward last night with the approval of at least one medical cannabis dispensary, according to Ashly McGlone, a Bay Area News Group reporter at the city council meeting Monday night.
#sanleandro council tells staff to proceed w/ draft ord allowing dispensaries. Exact number TBD. Zoning changes will go to BZA & planning
— Ashly McGlone (@AshlyReports) September 17, 2013
Lawful medical and adult-use cannabis businesses cannot take "ordinary and necessary" business tax deductions because of an arcane section of the Internal Revenue Service tax code called 280e.That section threatens efforts to regulate and control the drug, operators and activists say, and should be done away with. Now, far right anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist has jumped on the bandwagon.
A last-ditch effort is underway this week to clarify California medical cannabis laws and get the feds off the state's back. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg gutted and amended Senate Bill 604 on Friday and turned it into legislation that would regulate California's medical cannabis industry.
The bill has to pass the Senate by midnight Thursday, a lighting-quick pace for a piece of legislation that has repeatedly stalled over the last few years. The difference now is the federal government is explicitly urging states like California to enact tight medical pot rules in order to stay out of prosecutors' crosshairs.
"DINO" is political jargon, meaning "Democrat in name only," and it's the perfect term for US Senator Dianne Feinstein, who continues to parrot the die-hard drug warrior line with regard to marijuana law reform.
The Chronicle's Joe Garofoli writes Thursday that during the historic Senate Judiciary hearings on the conflict between federal and state pot law coming up this Tuesday, Feinstein will not be there representing the majority of Californians, even though 54 percent of state residents want to end the failed prohibition on pot.
Feinstein opposed Prop 19 in 2010 and even Proposition 215 in 1996, which legalized medicinal marijuana.
Last week, Talking Points Memo talked up the notion the federal government gives "tacit approval" to Washington and Colorado's programs to tax and regulate cannabis.
UCLA professor and Washington legalization wonk Mark Kleiman calls the evidence "extremely tacit" approval at best in a Thursday post to his blog on SameFacts.com.
"... no one at DoJ has given the government of Colorado any promises of non-interference with the activities of Colorado’s licensees. There have been discussions involving state and federal officials, but no negotiations of the 'If you do X and Y we’ll let your people alone' variety.
"That seems to me like a big missed opportunity," Kleiman writes. "... had the federal government presented the two state governments with a list of demands there would have been very strong incentives pushing state officials to meet those demands. Once Washington and Colorado have regulations in place and start issuing licenses, retro-fitting the terms of a bargain into that process gets much, much harder."
Award-winning, massively popular weekly public radio show This American Life recently told the story of Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman's plan to increase public safety and better use scarce law enforcement dollars by issuing permits to legal medical pot growers. The feds, of course, then shut him down.
An Oakland medical cannabis dispensary raided by the DEA, IRS, and US Marshals last year is down but not out, one of our readers reminds us.
Oaskterdam-affiliated Coffee Shop Blue Sky is operating at 1776 Broadway with a permit from the City of Oakland. The permit was renewed June 10, 2013. As one of our kind readers explains in an email: "Granted, it's a shell of its former self, but it's still a legally permitted dispensary."
The City of Oakland now has six operating medical cannabis dispensaries with the August 1 opening of Magnolia Wellness at 161 Adeline Street.
Magnolia and Blum struggled to find a commercial space to lease, as cannabis remains a federally illegal drug.
The vast majority of San Francisco is off-limits to medical cannabis dispensaries, but that may change, San Francisco Examiner reports today. Supervisor John Avalos wants to revisit the city's 2005 dispensary rules, after the planning department permitted three clubs to open in the Excelsior District - including two on the same block. Dispensaries cluster because more than 90 percent of the city is off-limits to clubs, advocates note.