California Dispensary Laws

In august 2008, the Attorney General of California published specific guidelines giving explicit and detailed instructions for the use of medical cannabis (marijuana or pot) for patients and how to act in accordance with the California Dispensary Laws (medical cannabis laws). These guidelines are representative of the policy of the state’s law enforcement officers with regard to what responsibilities the medical cannabis patients have under the current state laws. It also covers what the law enforcement agencies ought to do to maintain the law.

The California state law accepts that medical marijuana may be dispensed through a storefront only if done so by a “properly organized and operated collective of cooperative” granted that it abides by the California Dispensary Laws.

These guidelines are central to the implementation of California Dispensary laws and are due to years of hard work of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Despite this however, the California laws are stalled by the misperception that the federal law supercede the state laws. Yet, the law enforcement and some cities and counties in the state use the federal law to resist the implementation of the state approved medical cannabis law.

Under the guidelines of the California dispensary laws, the law enforcement agencies are instructed not to arrest the patients possessing less than eight ounces of cannabis and six (mature) and 12 (immature) cannabis plants if they are able to present a valid doctor’s approval or a state authorized medical cannabis ID card (proving that the patients are legally approved to be carrying the medical marijuana under the state laws). Medical cannabis seized any such scenario should be returned. The guidelines also state that legally approved patients or their primary caregivers may be members to more than one collective.

It should be noted that these are guidelines that do not legally bind the state law enforcement even though they may be representative of legal opinion of the state’s highest ranking law enforcement officer.

Under the California Dispensary Laws the medical cannabis collectives can only acquire the medicines from their registered members only for medical use. The restrictions are in place to keep the medicine inside the membership circle and away from the illegal markets. There is no authorization for the dispensaries to procure medicine for members by cannabis brokers or middlemen in wholesale quantities.

Always remember that the business records such as financial documents and such should not be stored where they may be confiscated in a raid and only made available after a subpoena or a search warrant and consulting with an attorney.

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