San Francisco Weekly reports that the city has suspended its medial marijuana dispensary permitting program:
Pending permits had been on hold since December, after a ruling in a state appeals court case halted similar permitting programs across California. That case was appealed to the state Supreme Court, and during the appeal, the city could resume processing permits, a spokesman for the City Attorney told SF Weekly last week.
But the city reversed its decision today. All medical cannabis dispensary permit applications are on hold indefinitely, according to Jim Soos, an assistant director of Policy and Planning with the city Department of Public Health, until the city can “receive assurance that it is in compliance with state and federal law.”
There’s speculation that the feds threatened San Francisco with a lawsuit.
Last night, a show called “Weed Wars” premiered on the Discovery Channel, and it’s entirely based on the Bay Area medical marijuana trade. The premiere has interesting timing: earlier this week, a U.S. District judge in Oakland rejected a request from dispensaries to keep federal prosecutors from filing charges against them. It’s the latest in a series of events that have been challenging California marijuana advocates, kicked off by Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney for California’s Northern District, when she announced in early October that the Justice Department is targeting certain cannabis dispensaries for closure.
MELINDA HAAG: Last week we sent letters to landowners and lien holders of these stores, putting them on notice that marijuana is being sold and used on their property in close proximity to children and that the operations must cease.
KALW’s Ben Trefny asked reporter Steven Short to catch us up on the state of medical marijuana in California.
The DEA can still raid medical marijuana operations.
In California, especially in the Bay Area, where most neighborhoods have a medical marijuana dispensary along with the local corner store and dry cleaner’s, it’s easy to forget: this stuff’s illegal!
Yes, Oakland put things into high gear last night when the city council passed a measure allowing large-scale cultivation within city bounds. Much as Mendocino County has made medical marijuana cultivation a state-regulated activity. Earlier this year, the county expanded the allowable number of plants per producer. As of June, producers can register with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and purchase up to 99 zip ties (one per plant) that indicate the medical marijuana they grow, up to that amount, is certified and meets local laws. What the law doesn’t and can’t guarantee is protection from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.