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Thread: Commercial Grower's License

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    Commercial Grower's License

    So I have been wondering lately how all dispensaries get there medicine. If it is legal to sell it and operate a dispensary assuming you have all the proper documents, is it legal to grow it, if you are growing for the dispensaries? Does such a thing exist (commercial grower's license)? Can anyone enlighten me? Based on what I have read and how much the state allows me to grow based on my doctor's recommendation I don't see how the dispensaries can sustain themselves. Anyone that can shed light on this would help out a lot. Thanks......

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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    They buy from people that are allowed to grow for a certain amount of people, or they buy over grows (A care giver has a high yeild crop that is over what they are allowed) and they buy from whoever shows up with the dankity dank dank.

    It's not a great system, but we will get it fixed.

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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    I want to open my own dispensary and or delivery service. I cant find any info on how to do this or even the steps to take to get it done. can any one help ? Im in N. Ca.

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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    CALIFORNIA NORML ADVICE FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROVIDERS
    If you are interested in opening a Medicinal Marijuana Co-Op in the Greater Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino Areas

    Despite the fact that scores of medical cannabis dispensaries, clubs, and delivery services are currently in business in California, the sale of medical cannabis is strictly illegal under federal law. Under state law, sale is generally illegal. However, non-profit "distribution" may be allowed in certain cases for patient cultivation co-ops and small-scale caregiver gardeners.

    Under federal law, sale, cultivation and possession of marijuana remain strictly illegal. The DEA has raided dozens of medical marijuana growers, clubs and caregivers in California since the enactment of Prop. 215. For the most part, the targets have been either high-profile activists who have attracted publicity, or commercial-scale growers whom local law enforcement have decided to turn over for federal prosecution.

    Under state law, the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Prop. 215) exempts patients and their primary caregivers from criminal prosecution for personal possession and cultivation of marijuana, but NOT for distribution or sale to others.

    State law was expanded in 2004 by a new law, SB 420 (Health & Safety Code 11362.7-8), which (1) authorizes caregivers who provide marijuana to patients to be compensated for the costs of their services, though not on a for-profit basis; and (2) allows patients to form cultivation "collectives" or "cooperatives." On careful examination, however, neither of these provisions provides a green light for sales of cannabis. Those dispensaries that are selling marijuana over the counter accordingly do so at the tolerance of local authorities. Note that there have been instances where hostile local law enforcement agencies have busted medical cannabis dispensaries and charged their personnel with illegal distribution or sales.

    For a list of patients' groups and dispensaries, see Cannabis Patients' Cooperatives.
    CAREGIVERS:

    A "primary caregiver" is narrowly defined under Prop. 215 to be "the individual designated [by a legal patient] who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person." The law does not explicitly allow for multiple caregivers. While caregivers may serve more than one patient, a new provision in SB 420 has made it illegal for them to have more than one patient outside their own "city or county." While the constitutionality of this provision is debatable (not only does it seem to override Prop. 215, but the restriction to a single "city or county" is ambiguous) prospective caregivers should beware of trying to serve large geographical areas.

    In general, the courts have held that cannabis clubs cannot serve as legal "primary caregivers" for large numbers of patients. Some persons have claimed caregiver status while growing for multiple numbers of patients on the theory that they are providing for their patients' health or safety. This defense has been successful in court for caregivers growing for small numbers of patients. However, it was explicitly rejected by a state court of appeals in the Peron decision, where the court held that Peron's San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club could not reasonably claim to function as a "primary caregiver" for its 8000 clients.

    In general, medical cannabis providers who cater to walk-in clients should not hope to rely on the caregiver provision. Caregiver growers should limit themselves to a select membership list of local clients whom they personally know and who do not have other caregivers. Within these constraints, SB 420 allows caregivers to be compensated for the costs of their services, but does NOT specifically authorize distribution or cultivation for profit.
    COLLECTIVE GARDENS

    SB 420 encourages access to medical marijuana through "collective, cooperative cultivation projects. " Unfortunately, it provides no guidelines or explanation as to how these should operate. Presumably, the basic model is a group of patients and caregivers who plant a garden together and share the crop among themselves. The cultivation cooperative model does not necessarily envision walk-in clients, nor retail sales of medicine to members. Co-ops may be supported by participation in work, donations or membership fees. Under one model, co-op patients pay a set gardening fee for a certain part of the crop, and receive the harvest at no further charge. Unlike caregivers, collective gardens aren't limited to patients from the same "city or county."

    A notable example of a patients' collective is the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz WAMM - Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana Homepage. WAMM has over 200 seriously ill members who cultivate a collective garden and attend to each others' health and personal needs. In 2004, WAMM won a federal injunction protecting their right to cultivate under the Raich decision (see below). This did not stop the DEA from busting another collective garden , Eddy's Medicinal Gardens, whose operator was engaged in large-scale cultivation (30,000 plants) for some 2,000 ≠ 3,000 patients. The WAMM injunction was voided in 2005 by the Supreme Court's Raich decision.

    Two examples of patients' providers officially structured as "cooperative" corporations under California law were the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and Los Angeles Cannabis Research Center. Both would have been legal under SB 420, but both were shut down by the federal government.
    FEDERAL LAW

    Under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical use. The federal government has interpreted the law strictly to mean that all marijuana is illegal regardless of state laws like Prop. 215. The federal law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Raich v Gonzalez (2005), where it ruled that the CSA's ban on posssession and cultivation did not exceed the federal government's constitutional authority under the interstate commerce clause even in the case of private, personal use by patients. While further constitutional challenges to the CSA are being pursued in federal court, medical marijuana remains completely illegal under current federal law.

    The Supreme Court rejected a prior, 2001 challenge to the federal law by upholding an injunction ordering the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative and five other cannabis clubs to cease operations. The court overturned a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the OCBC was entitled to a "medical necessity" defense for distributing marijuana to its members. While the court ruled for the government on the procedural grounds that the CSA did not allow for a necessity defense for distributors, it left open the question whether individual patients might invoke a necessity defense.
    FEDERAL FORFEITURE:

    Another federal weapon against medical marijuana is property forfeiture. Federal law allows the government to forfeit real estate from owners or landlords who let it be used for marijuana distribution or cultivation. The DEA successfully used forfeiture against the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in 2001. The LACRC's building was actually owned by the city of West Hollywood, which had bought it as a gift for the club. The government had no trouble taking possession of it by means of forfeiture, effectively closing the LACRC. More recently, the government invoked forfeiture to close the Capitol Compassionate Care center in Roseville and to force a landlord to evict another dispensary in West Hollywood. The DEA has threatened to employ forfeiture more widely. So far, the chosen targets have mostly been facilities that actively sought publicity through the media or advertising. Dispensary operators are advised to operate discreetly to avoid DEA attention.
    LOCAL REGULATION

    Despite the shaky legality of dispensaries, many cities and counties have enacted ordinances aimed at zoning, regulating, or limiting them. Some localities have enacted moratoriums banning new dispensaries altogether, including numerous towns in the Central Valley area and the Peninsula. Others, including Alameda County, Hayward, Berkeley, Santa Rosa, West Hollywood, and Oakland, have put a limit on the number of dispensaries in their area. A few cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, West Hollywood, and Santa Rosa have established licensing schemes for dispensaries. Strict zoning regulations are in effect in many localities. Other regulations that have been adopted include banning on-site consumption and limiting the quantity of marijuana that can be sold or kept on hand. Local regulations are constantly evolving. For the latest information, check with local officials.

    Anyone interested in opening a medical cannabis facility should be wary about consulting with local authorities. Many towns have moved to ban dispensaries after receiving inquiries from prospective operators. However, anyone planning to open a storefront dispensary should seek a business license and comply with local zoning regulations. It is especially important that dispensaries be appropriately sited so as not to disturb neighbors. Neighborhood complaints are the number one cause of police raids. Dispensaries should also be sure that their landlords are comfortable with what they are doing. Landlord complaints are another leading cause of problems.

    Dispensaries have been organized in various ways: as sole proprietorships, partnerships, non-profit cooperatives or corporations. Because SB 420 does not specifically protect for-profit operations, non-profit organizations are probably safer. Prospective operators are advised to consult a business attorney.
    SALES TAX

    The state Board of Equalization has ruled that medical cannabis sales are subject to sales tax, regardless of their legality. (This is consistent with California law, under which medicinal herbs are generally taxable. The only medicines that are not taxable are those provided in licensed pharmacies with a physician's prescription.)
    ATTORNEYS

    Prospective patient providers are strongly advised to consult an attorney. The following attorneys are familiar with the law on cannabis cooperatives, patients' groups, dispensaries, etc.

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    Post Re: how to open



    I wonder... Do people just walk into the courthouse, circut clerks office or whatever and ask for a small bus. permit ? Im thinking of page one step one. I know bout the crapshoot and chances lol
    Last edited by 420; 03-20-2009 at 07:05 PM.

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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    if you go to oaksterdam in oakland the have a class that cost $250 that will teach you everything you need to know to open one including paperwork
    Strains in Garden: Grape Punch, Apollo 11, Blue Cheese, Purple Erkle, Massachusetts Super Skunk, The Purps, and Black Domina


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    Re: how to open

    Quote Originally Posted by zion richards View Post


    I wonder... Do people just walk into the courthouse, circut clerks office or whatever and ask for a small bus. permit ? Im thinking of page one step one. I know bout the crapshoot and chances lol
    What area of Northern California are you talking about? There are certain counties up here that would be a waste of time to try and open and run a club in. Shasta, Butte and Glen are just a few counties that stand no chance.
    Last edited by 420; 03-20-2009 at 07:05 PM.

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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    Im in Yolo But the question is general. Just kicks , supposed one lived in a county that was not a big problem

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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change on medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law.

    That would be a departure from the policy of the Bush administration, which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state's law.

    "The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law," Holder said in a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Justice Department.

    Medical marijuana advocates in California welcomed the news, but said they still worried about the pending cases of those already in court on drug charges.

    California law permits the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, though it still is against federal law.

    Holder did not spell out exactly who no longer would face the prospect of raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration. But he was quick to add that law enforcement officers will target anyone who tries to "use medical marijuana laws as a shield" for other illegal activity.

    "Given the limited resources that we have, our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that's inconsistent with federal and state law," the attorney general said.

    Advocates and government officials had been waiting since President Barack Obama was sworn into office for a clear signal on what the new president's drug policy would be toward medical marijuana. As a candidate, he repeatedly promised a change in policy in situations in which state laws allow the use of medical marijuana.

    Yet shortly after Obama took office, DEA agents raided four dispensaries in Los Angeles, prompting confusion about the government's plans.

    Thirteen states have laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana. California is unique among them for the presence of dispensaries, which are businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. Legal under California law, such dispensaries are still illegal under federal law.

    Kris Hermes, a spokesman for national medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said he welcomed Holder's perspective.

    "It signals a new direction and a more reasonable and sensible direction on medical marijuana policy," he said.

    Still, Hermes said his Oakland-based organization was concerned about the fate of more than two dozen California medical marijuana cases currently pending in federal court.

    "There remains a big question as to what the federal government's position is on those cases," Hermes said. He pointed specifically to the case of Charles Lynch, who was federally convicted for running a medical marijuana dispensary collective in San Luis Obispo County last year.

    Hermes said Lynch could face decades in prison when he is sentenced Monday even though his clinic had been compliant with state law.

    According to the government's sentencing recommendation for Lynch, which says the five-year mandatory minimum prison term is an appropriate one, Lynch had violated California state law because his "operation was rife with activities having more to do with business and casual drug distribution than anything medical."

    U.S. attorney's office spokesman Thom Mrozek declined to comment on what would happen to the outstanding marijuana cases in the Los Angeles area.

    The 13 states that permit medical use of marijuana are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

    Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy

    We are safe here in California if we follow the rules...
    Last edited by 420; 03-20-2009 at 07:06 PM.

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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    Damn, I'm having such a hard time getting answers to these questions. I am attending Oaksterdam in 2 weeks and will report back to answer what I can on the subject. But I need to get some real world advice from those in the know out there, where are you???

    I basically NEED to know the following;

    - How does a grower get his medication to market, preferably at a dispensary? Do you just walk up to dispensaries and show them what you got and see if they want to do business until you find one that will buy?

    - How many plants/weight can someone get busted with (should they be so unlucky or stupid), and be able to get out on bail and not get sentenced to prison time? I think a monetary fine and a criminal record is worth the risk to be able to live your dream and make a decent middle class living, but I need to know the boundaries cause I dont want to lose my freedom. We all know that plant numbers and weight limits vary by each city and county, so please don't reply with the link to normal.org I'm looking for an answer like "if you get caught with less than X number of plants and have a decent lawyer, it's highly unlikely you'll serve time and will probably get around a $Y fine and Z years of probation"

    Thanks in advance to all that contribute!

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    New Member wardo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Commercial Grower's License

    First you want to join a local medical marijuana co-op or growers club. To do this you must have a medical referral or the equivalent from a doctor.

    CALIFORNIA NORML ADVICE FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROVIDERS

    How to be Listed on our Cooperative/Collective or Delivery Services Pages.

    Hundreds of medical cannabis dispensaries, coops, collectives, and delivery services are currently doing business in California. Although many are operating in legal accordance with state and local law, the sale of medical cannabis remains strictly illegal under federal law, and the DEA has conducted scores of raids against medical cannabis businesses.

    Under state law, the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Prop. 215) patients and their "primary caregivers" are protected from criminal prosecution for personal possession and cultivation of marijuana, but NOT for distribution or sale to others. State law was expanded in 2004 by a new law, Senate Bill 420 (Health & Safety Code 11362.7-8). Among other things, SB 420 authorized patient "cooperatives" or "collectives" to distribute or sell medical marijuana on a non-profit basis to their members. It also allowed allowed duly designated primary caregivers who consistently attend to patients' needs to charge for their labor and services in providing marijuana.

    ATTORNEY GENERAL'S GUIDELINES

    On Aug. 25, 2008, the California Attorney General's office issued new guidelines for medical marijuana enforcement explaining its interpretation of SB420 and Prop 215. Read the guidelines. Although not strictly binding as law, they provide a good indication of how the AG wants to proceed with state enforcement. The guidelines are for the most part consistent with the California NORML legal committee's interpretation of state law, with certain exceptions noted below (see Cal NORML analysis of AG's guidelines ).

    The guidelines note that storefront "dispensaries" are not explicitly recognized in state law, but that a "properly organized collective or cooperative" may legally dispense medical marijuana through a storefront provided it complies with certain conditions. The guidelines do not envision dispensaries operating as patient "caregivers," nor as for-profit businesses (there are many ways in which businesses can be organized as "non-profits"; for details consult a business attorney).

    Dispensaries are expected to file for a seller's permit and pay sales taxes to the Board of Equalization. This is consistent with state law, which requires sales taxes for all medicinal herbs and drugs except those sold by a licensed pharmacist upon a doctor's "prescription " (legally, doctors cannot "prescribe" marijuana, but only "recommend" or "approve" it).

    Some cities and counties also require a business license and/or zoning permits for dispensaries.

    Coops and collectives must serve only verified legal patients, and distribute only to their own members.

    Beyond this, the guidelines specify that cooperatives and collectives should use only marijuana legally grown or obtained by their own members, with no purchases from outside their membership. This requirement is questionable, since there is nothing in state or federal law banning the purchase of marijuana, medical or otherwise, from any source (the law bans possession, not purchase, and possession is protected under Prop. 215). However, this problem can be avoided by including all growers and suppliers as members.

    The guidelines also state that dispensaries should document their activities, and specifically "track and record" the source of their marijuana. This too is outside the requirements of Prop 215 and SB 420. While good record-keeping is always advisable as a business practice, keeping records on growers and vendors poses obvious problems given the threat of federal prosecution. Until federal law is reformed to protect medical marijuana suppliers, coops and collectives need to be careful about protecting their confidentiality.
    LOCAL REGULATION

    Despite the federal illegality of dispensaries, many cities and counties have enacted ordinances aimed at licensing or regulating them. Many others have banned them altogether. Some cities, such as Los Angeles, have enacted moratoriums banning new dispensaries while allowing existing ones to operate. Others, such as Oakland, have put a cap on the number of licensed dispensaries. Strict zoning regulations are in effect in many localities, preventing siting near schools or too close to other dispensaries. Other regulations that have been adopted include banning on-site consumption and limiting the quantity of marijuana that can be sold or kept on hand. In some cases, regulations have been deliberately devised to be so strict as to preclude dispensaries from operating.

    It is important that cooperatives and collectives consult local regulations before trying to set up operation. ASA maintains a list of Local California Dispensary Regulations.

    Anyone interested in opening a medical cannabis facility should be wary about alarming local authorities. Many towns have moved to ban dispensaries after receiving inquiries from prospective operators. However, anyone planning to open a storefront dispensary should seek a business license and comply with local zoning regulations. It is especially important that dispensaries be appropriately sited so as not to disturb neighbors. Neighborhood complaints are the number one cause of police raids.


    COLLECTIVES AND COOPERATIVES

    The law explicitly allows distribution of medical marijuana through non-profit "collectives" or "cooperatives." This is the way storefront dispensaries should be organized. While some dispensaries are currently organized otherwise, as sole proprietorships, partnerships, or for-profit businesses, such arrangements are not advisable, since they are not permitted under SB 420 or the Attorney General's guidelines.

    "Cooperatives" are explicitly defined in California law. Cooperatives must file articles of incorporation with the state and be organized in accordance with provisions spelled out in the state Corporations or Food and Agriculture code. Prospective cooperatives should be set up in consultation with a business attorney.

    "Collectives" are not defined in statutory law. According to the Attorney General's guidelines :

    "A collective should be an organization that merely facilitates the collaborative efforts of patient and caregiver members – including the allocation of costs and revenues. As such, a collective is not a statutory entity, but as a practical matter it might have to organize as some form of business to carry out its activities. The collective should not purchase marijuana from, or sell to, non-members; instead, it should only provide a means for facilitating or coordinating transactions between members. infer that they refer to any organization of multiple patients, Unfortunately, it provides no guidelines or explanation as to how these should operate. Presumably, the basic model is a group of patients and caregivers who plant a garden together and share the crop among themselves. The cultivation collective model does not necessarily envision walk-in clients, nor retail sales of medicine to members. Collectives may be supported by participation in work, donations or membership fees. Under one model, patients pay a set gardening fee for a certain part of the crop, and receive the harvest at no further charge."

    A notable example of a patients' collective is the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz. WAMM has 200 seriously ill members who cultivate a collective garden and attend to each others' health and personal needs.

    Two examples of patients' providers officially structured as cooperative corporations under California law were the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and Los Angeles Cannabis Research Center. Both might have been legal under SB 420, but they were shut down by the federal government.

    The legality of collectives and cooperatives under state law was upheld by the Third District Court of Appeals in the 2005 Urziceanu decision. The Court ruled that while Prop. 215 did not authorize distribution by anyone except primary caregivers, SB 420 allowed for distribution among patients and caregivers through collectives and cooperatives.
    CAREGIVERS:

    A "primary caregiver" is narrowly defined under Prop. 215 to be "the individual designated [by a legal patient] who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person." The law does not explicitly allow patients to have multiple caregivers. In contrast, a caregiver may serve more than one patient.

    The State Supreme Court has ruled that defendants are not entitled to a caregiver defense if all they do is grow or supply medical marijuana to patients. In the case People v. Mentch (2008), the court ruled: "a defendant whose caregiving consisted principally of supplying marijuana and instructing on its use, and who otherwise only sporadically took some patients to medical appointments, cannot qualify as a primary caregiver." The court went on to specify: "a defendant asserting primary caregiver status must prove at a minimum that he or she (1) consistently provided caregiving, (2) independent of any assistance in taking medical marijuana, (3) at or before the time he or she assumed responsibility for assisting with medical marijuana."

    A provision in SB 420 forbides caregivers from having more than one patient outside their own "city or county." The constitutionality of this provision is questionable because it appears to restrict Prop. 215; also, the limitation to a single "city or county" is ambiguous. So far, no appellate court has ruled on the legality of this restriction; while it is included in the Attorney General's guidelines, it has been disregarded in some lower court rulings. Until this legal issue is settled, prospective caregivers are advised to be cautious about trying to serve many clients outside of their "city or county."

    In general, the courts have held that cannabis clubs cannot serve as legal "primary caregivers" for large numbers of patients. Some persons have claimed caregiver status while growing for multiple numbers of patients on the theory that they are providing for their patients' health or safety. This defense has been successful in court for caregivers growing for small numbers of patients. However, it was rejected by a state court of appeals in the Peron decision, where the court held that Peron's San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club could not reasonably claim to function as a "primary caregiver" for its 8000 clients.

    In general, dispensaries who cater to walk-in clients should not hope to rely on the caregiver provision. Caregiver growers should limit themselves to a select membership list of patients whom they personally know and who do not have other caregivers. Within these constraints, SB 420 allows caregivers to be compensated for the costs of their services, but it does NOT authorize sale of the marijuana itself for profit.

    DELIVERY SERVICES

    Although state law has no explicit provision for delivery services, they can be justified on the grounds that many patients lack transportation and cannot grow for themselves.

    One way of setting up a delivery service consistent with state law is to act as a "primary caregiver." In this case, the caregiver grows the marijuana and delivers it to the patient. It is an unsettled question whether primary caregivers can buy medicine from outside sources. Although there is no provision in the law explicitly outlawing such purchase, the Attorney General's guidelines disallow it. Theoretically, the caregiver should not charge for the marijuana itself, but rather for his or her time and costs in providing it.

    Note that the caregiver should "consistently" provide for the patient's needs, and that multiple "primary caregivers" are not authorized in the law.

    The second way to organize a delivery service is as a non-profit cooperative or collective: in this case, the management should be in the hands of the membership, not a single individual.

    COLLECTIVE CULTIVATION & POSSESSION GUIDELINES

    Prop 215 allows individual patients and their caregivers to possess & cultivate as much as required for the patient's own medical use. Because this criterion is vague and open to differing interpretations, it is difficult for patients and police to judge beforehand whether a particular garden is legal. All too frequently, police take a stingy interpretation of the law and bust patients or caregivers for gardens they deem excessive, thus leaving the matter to be settled in court at the defendant's expense.

    In order to reduce uncertainty and avoid unnecessary arrests, SB 420 established "limits" or guidelines as to how much marijuana patients and their caregivers could grow and possess. The state default SB 420 guidelines are 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants per patient, and 8 ounces of dried marijuana bud or equivalent. Individual counties and cities are allowed to set higher but not lower limits ( list of local SB 420 guidelines). Individual patients may exceed the guidelines if they have a doctor's note saying they need more; in practice, however, police routinely ignore this exception.

    The validity of the SB 420 limits was thrown into question by two state appellate court decisions , People v Kelly and People v Phomphakdy (2008), which ruled that they were unconstitutional limitations on Prop. 215. Both decisions are under review by the State Supreme Court. We believe the ultimate resolution of these decisions is likely to be that the SB 420 guidelines are not legally determinative of guilt in court, but that they can still be used by law enforcement as guidelines for when to arrest people. Regardless, in the meantime, growers are well advised to adhere to the guidelines to the extent possible.

    The question remains as to how much medical marijuana cooperatives and collectives are allowed to grow or possess. According to the AG's guidelines, they can scale the SB 420 limits in proportion to the number of their members. For example, under the standard state guideline, a coop with ten members could have ten times the limits, i.e. 60 mature or 120 immature plants and up to 80 ounces of marijuana. However, some counties and cities have established a maximum cap on the size of collective gardens: for example, San Francisco does not allow more than 99 plants in any case.

    In general, collectives are advised to exercise caution about growing very large gardens. Even if local guidelines permit it, don't assume that you can safely grow 600 plants just because you have 100 patients. Beware that cultivation of 100 plants or more is punishable by a federal mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. Collectives are accordingly well advised to stay at 99 plants or less to reduce the risk of federal prosecution.
    FEDERAL LAW

    Posssession, sale, distribution and transportation of marijuana, medical or otherwise, remain completely illegal under federal law. Under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical use. In 2001 , the Supreme Court upheld a federal injunction ordering the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative and five other cannabis clubs to cease operations. The court overturned a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the OCBC was entitled to a "medical necessity" defense for distributing marijuana to its members. The court ruled for the government on the grounds that the CSA did not allow for a necessity defense for distributors, but left open the question whether individual patients might invoke a necessity defense.

    The Supreme Court turned back a more fundamental challenge to federal law in 2005, when it ruled that the CSA prohibits the private possession and cultivation of marijuana even by individual patients (Gonzalez v Raich). In particular, it reversed a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which had found that the Congress' constitutional authority to regulate "interstate commerce" did not extend to patients who grew and possessed their own marijuana at home. Although the Supreme Court in no way invalidated California's state law on medical marijuana, it affirmed the federal government's right to treat all marijuana as contraband. In a subsequent case (Raich v Gonzalez, 2007), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that patients have no constitutional right to use medical marijuana even when their lives depend on it.

    As a result , medical marijuana remains completely illegal under current federal law. The DEA has raided scores of medical marijuana growers, clubs and caregivers in California since the enactment of Prop. 215. For the most part, the targets have been either high-profile activists who have attracted publicity, or commercial-scale dispensaries and growers whom local law enforcement has decided to turn over for federal prosecution. Defendants in federal cases are not allowed to invoke state law or medical marijuana as a defense. As a result, every medical marijuana defendant who has gone to trial in federal court has been convicted. Sentences have ranged from one day to 20 years. Summary of federal cases.
    FEDERAL FORFEITURE:

    Another federal weapon against medical marijuana is property forfeiture. Federal law allows the government to forfeit real estate from owners or landlords who let it be used for marijuana distribution or cultivation. Since 2007, the DEA has sent letters to hundreds of California dispensary landlords warning them that their property is subject to forfeiture. So far, no forfeiture suits have been filed pursuant to these letters. Nonetheless, in Santa Barbara, the Department of Justice successfully forced landlords to evict their tenants by warning them that they would otherwise face certain forfeiture in 45 days (Aug 2008). The DEA successfully invoked forfeiture after raiding the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in 2001. The LACRC's building was actually owned by the city of West Hollywood, which had bought it as a gift for the club. The government had no trouble forfeiting it from the city, effectively closing the LACRC.

    CA NORML Medical Marijuana Information

    Doing these two things will answer more of your questions than I can in a post.
    Last edited by 420; 03-20-2009 at 07:06 PM.

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    420 Member whereisjeff's Avatar
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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    Thanks Wardo! That link is very helpful. It sounds like if you want to grow all you need to do is join a collective and keep your plant count under 100 to keep the feds off your ass and stay out of jail. If you get caught growing higher than the city/county limits CA, but under the federal 100 plant limit, you probably couldnt get jail time??? Am I interpreting this right? What does everyone think?

    Now I need to know what a collective pays its growing members per pound? I know price varies by strain and demand, but does anyone have some ballpark numbers? Also, how does one find out what strains are in high demand?

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    New Member wardo's Avatar
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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    Your best bet is to join multiple clubs, most are still paying 2800-3200 in San Francisco even though the black market has fallen to around 2500. After you join a club or co-op you will better get to understand the sales process.

    Usually the name of the strain does not matter because so many growers make up gimmicky names to try to establish popularity. Most of the time you are not getting the named strain unless you buy it from a seed bank. Clubs/co-ops buy according to quality not strain name.

  14. #14
    420 Member whereisjeff's Avatar
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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    Excellent! Thanks again wardo. I stumbled across dispensary site a few weeks ago (before my hard drive crashed and I lost everything!) that said they now have some sort of machine or lab that can analyze your buds to get THC% count as well as a bunch of other cannaboids. Do you know anything about that? Can anyone get their meds analyzed? Are dispensaries using anything like that to determine market value?

  15. #15
    Administrator Soniq420's Avatar
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    Re: Commercial Grower's License

    The dispensary you are referring to is using GC and mass spec to differentiate themselves from their competitors. There's a news story about it, I'll go hunt it down for you and post a link here.

    Essentially, they are offering the improved safety of testing for molds such as aspergillus and selling certified bud. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry can identify and quantify the level of each cannabinoid allowing them to post the ratio of CBD, THC, CBN, etc. for their patients. People will finally start to have a way of knowing what they're actually consuming.

    I used to pay $1000 per Mass Spec test (not-420 related) so assuming they made 70% GM, their cost was three hundred just to run the test. This would make me think they are buying more than a pound at a time and are certifying on a per lot basis, but I'm speculating.

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