Skip to comments.Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana set to close Dispensaries (Suckers Believed Obama Promises)
Posted on 12/10/2011 3:34:45 PM PST by PJ-Comix
The Obama administration’s statewide crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries has landed a one-two punch in Marin County.
The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the state’s oldest dispensary, has posted a sign at its 6 School St. storefront office in Fairfax announcing that the dispensary will shut down at 9 p.m. Dec. 17. And Medi-Cone, a medical marijiuana collective that was cultivating, harvesting and packaging medical marijuana for several Bay Area dispensaries in West Marin, ceased operations this week due to increased scrutiny by authorities.
Lynnette Shaw, the Alliance’s founder and operator, declined to comment on the advice of her attorney, Richard Halstead reports in the Marin Independent Journal. Shaw did say, however, that if some new organization is created to continue serving the Alliance’s members, she won’t be involved.
“I am out,” Shaw said. “I’m looking for a job right now.”
The sign announcing the closure states, “We will be keeping our phone number … for the future of the new collective organization, without Lynnette.” (Bud’s note: See full text of note at end of story.)
“It’s going to essentially end the Marin Alliance,” said Fairfax Councilman Larry Bragman, “so it’s going to have a pretty devastating impact on the medical marijuana patients’ community. Contrary to common belief there are many patients with many serious medical conditions that rely on the Marin Alliance.”
Closure of the Marin Alliance also will place additional strain on Fairfax’s rickety finances. Town officials have said the dispensary, which is a $1 million-a-year business, is among the town’s top-10 contributors of sales tax revenue.
The Alliance is succumbing to the federal government’s strategy of pressuring its landlord. The Fairfax dispensary was among dozens statewide that federal prosecutors said they targeted due to their proximity to parks, schools and other facilities used by children.
In September, Melinda Haag, the San Francisco-based U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, cautioned Farshid Ezazi of Orinda, the owner of the School Street building, that unless the sale of marijuana was halted at the School Street site within 45 days he could face “criminal prosecution, imprisonment, fines, and forfeiture of assets, including the real property on which the dispensary is operating.”
On Nov. 18, the federal government began the process of confiscating the School Street building, even though Ezazi had already initiated court action to evict the Marin Alliance. On Dec. 2, a Marin Superior Court judge declined a request by the Marin Alliance’s attorney, Peter Goldstone of Santa Rosa, to quash the eviction proceeding.
Robert Weems, Ezazi’s attorney, said the Alliance will need to continue to fight the eviction in court if it intends to continue doing business at the School Street location until Dec. 17. Ezazi has until Dec. 18 to contest the use of drug forfeiture laws to take his property by demonstrating that the Alliance has been evicted.
Medi-Cone, which once supplied marijuana to the Marin Alliance, announced its plans to close this week in a full-page ad in West Coast Leaf, a quarterly newspaper that refers to itself as “the cannabis newspaper of record.”
In making the announcement, George Bianchini, who formerly operated Broadway Video in Fairfax, revealed publicly for the first time that he was founder and chief executive of the collective. Medi-Cone employed more than a dozen people, all members of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5. Bianchini said he substituted the closure announcement for a business ad at the last minute.
“This has all come down in the last six days,” he said. “We received information via a letter to one of our customers that Medi-Cone is operating illegally in San Francisco. They interpret the law to say that one collective cannot do business with another collective.”
Bianchini said Medi-Cone was later told that the only way it could continue supplying medical marijuana to its four San Francisco accounts was to pay a yearly fee of $4,000 a year per account.
“I can’t put our union employees, who are all of record, at risk of being arrested,” Bianchini said. “Because some of the threats from the federal government are severe. They’re not messing around.”
Bianchini said he invested $300,000 in Medi-Cone after U.S. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden sent a memo to state attorney generals in October 2009 advising that the sale and use of medical marijuana in states where it’s legal should be a low priority for federal prosecutors.
“Now I feel totally betrayed,” Bianchini said.
Shaw has said previously that she hoped to continue serving the Marin Alliance’s members via a delivery service, if the School Street storefont closed. But Fairfax Town Manager Michael Rock said that is not allowed under the Marin Alliance’s use permit.
“The use permit that we gave her, with all the special conditions attached, requires a physical location, a storefront, or some place from which you are dispensing,” Rock said.
In June, Fairfax adopted an ordinance that would permit a maximum of three dispensaries to operate in town. But potential operators have so far been unable to find a landlord who will lease to them at a location that meets the town’s zoning requirements.
Bragman said he is surprised authorities targeted the Marin Alliance because it “really was the model for a locally-regulated dispensary.”
Full text of note posted at Marin Alliance, as taken from Marin IJ photo:
We are sorry but we must shut down our dispensary. The feds have seriously threatened terrible things if we are less than 1,000 feet from any school, playground or park.
We are in complete compliance with all state and local rules, so it is very unfair.
Our last day is Saturday, December 17, 2011. We will be serving until 9 p.m. that day. Please talk to the staff about our plans.
We will be keeping our phone number (415) 256-9328 for the future of the new collective organization, without Lynnette.”
Thank you for your support for so many years. We love you all very much.
– Lynette Shaw and the M.A.M.M. staff
“Now I feel totally betrayed,” Bianchini said.
You should have known going in that the folks in the Obama Regime are a PACK OF LIARS. Oh, and a couple of days ago, Eric Holder promised prosecution of legal medicinal marijuana was a "low priority." You believe him, don't you?
Unfortunately you don't have the BIG BUCKS that Obama's Big Pharma paymasters have for his re-election campaign. And in exchange they want their paid for President to get rid of your type of business.
“medicinal” my rear end. 99% of their customers are perfectly fine. The “prescribing” doctor works for the dispensary and gives prescriptions to 99% of whoever walks in.
Talk about medical malpractice in any other setting.
Some cases are legitimately medicinal and many aren’t. On “Weed Wars” there was the case of a Jason whose son Jayden suffered from frequent seizures. The medicinal (non-buzz) marijuana extract did drastically reduce the frequency of those seizures. However, if anybody wants to get a prescription, it is very easy to do so.
Whoa dude, chill.
Ur like, so cynical like...uhhh...what was I saying?
Uhh... oh yeah. U think we stoners are the guys lobbying for medicinal pot ?
Heh, ya right... pot serves no purpose it has 10x the tar so why would i want to put taht in my lungs due? Uhhh...no wait. it`s good for you because it`s natural and stuff...uhh..wait.... what`s my argument again?
There are about 1,000 chemicals in it, extracting 1 of them for actual medicine isn’t an issue.
Reminds me of the World Series game where the San Fran stadium had pot clouds. Its a perverted state all the way around.
If they had unionized all the shops and grow facilities, Obama would be subsidizing them instead of shutting them down.
What’s funny to me is that Cannabis has to be one of the easiest plants in the world to grow, and these folks live in the best climate for growing it in the world. All you need is a used 5 gallon bucket (free from your local deli) potting soil, and a clone or some seeds (preferably from a really good strain).
At least that’s what this “guy” I knew in college told me...
Why do they need a dispensary? Oh, they’re too freaking lazy to even grow their own pot. Losers...
If I needed marijuana for medical purposes I would definitely need a dispensary since I don't like smoking anything and would need the marijuana as an extract. Also I would need the correct dosage. So, yeah, I can see where a dispensary would be necessary.
It’s a states right issue. The feds should have nothing to do with it.
Nowhere does the Constitution empower the Federal government to have anything to do with regulating drugs, any more than it empowered the Federal government, before the 18th Amendment, to have anything to do with regulating alcoholic beverages. The only power the Federal government now has over alcoholic beverages is to levy excise taxes on them.
Yes, Prohibition corrupts everything from doctors to judges. Not a surprise.
When are his yo yo voters going to understand he wants you as slaves.
they are already corrupted
drugs are just stupid
if they are legal I would hope its okay to fire those who are high at work and execute those who drive high
No question it helps that and glaucoma....
Who are you or I to stop a dying or near dying or maybe blinded person from smoking pot?
What harm does it do u?
There are other drugs far more worthy your ire
Yes....the MM culture in Kali and elsewhere is exploited by growers...no question
Sell to dispensary for 500/lb or some hick like me from flyoverland for 4000/lb
That is the issue more than.the clinical discrepancies....good kush type ganja sells for 350 to 400 per ounce for recreation
That gap is what growers exploit.....dispensaries do well enough as is
In Trinity, even the LEOs have greenhouses....crazy
One thing I would be interested in using medicinal marijuana for would be for sea sickness. Since I don’t smoke I would need a dispensary to take it in extract form. I’m wondering how marijuana compares with Dramamine to treat sea sickness. The latter drug makes me tired.
You will spend the journey in line for the buffet. ;^)
He's right. Drug addiction is a "serious medical condition." Too bad none of the rest of them have one.