SF Gate – The days of the “wild west” for medical marijuana dispensaries may be coming to a close in the City of Los Angeles. The L.A. City Attorney’s office has begun sending misdemeanor complaints to the owners, operators, and landlords of clubs ineligible to stay open under the city’s voter-approved medical marijuana regulations, called Measure D. In mid-September, the new L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer filed criminal misdemeanor complaints against seven clubs for violating Measure D, said city attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox. On Oct. 11, Feuer announced a total of 38 complaints, as well as 42 voluntary club closures. About 800 other locations have been notified to decist selling medical weed. The misdemeanor complaints can lead to six months of jail time for dispensary operators, owners, and landlords, and fines of $2,500 per day.
Local 770 dispensary workers at two medical cannabis dispensaries are celebrating the ratification of their first union contract this week. Workers at Greenhouse Herbal Center and LA Wonderland-Hot Zone in Los Angeles have negotiated contracts that will raise standards at their dispensaries while ensuring that the dispensaries adhere to labor laws and industry standards.
Workers view this contract as a victory not only for themselves, but also for their patients and for the future of their industry.
Beyond their workplace organizing efforts, these workers joined with Local 770 to help pass a city-wide voter initiative, Proposition D, that regulates medical cannabis dispensaries. Signing their first collective bargaining agreement is the next step in bringing dignity and order to a still volatile industry and ensuring the enforcement of basic labor laws and industry standards.
Workers also secured regular raises, paid time off and a grievance procedure. The contract language improves regulatory standards and defines respect in the workplace.
“My favorite part of the contract is having regular raises,” said Ksenia, a worker at LA Wonderland-Hot Zone. “It makes me feel more serious and secure about this job.”
The UFCW represents thousands of medical cannabis workers in six states and the District of Columbia. UFCW members in the cannabis industry work predominantly in dispensaries, coffee shops, bakeries, patient identification centers, hydroponics stores, and growing and training facilities.
“America’s Longest Running Cannabis Competition.”
Puget Sound Business Journal – After clearing an early pathway for marijuana legalization, medical cannabis activists are afraid their businesses could be swept under as Initiative 502 forces them to comply with new regulations designed with the recreational market in mind.
Westword – The number of people signing up for their state medical marijuana cards just barely outpaced the thousands of people dropping off the list from July to August. While the total number of new applications for the medical marijuana registry increased by 3,640 from June through August, to 230,847, the total number of active red cards only increased by 330 people. As we’ve discussed before in this space, the discrepancy is due largely to people leaving the registry and not renewing their state-issued medical marijuana card.
Detroit Free Press – The Michigan Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a landmark case today that will decide whether Michigan communities can bar medical marijuana within their borders and possibly whether Michiganders can keep using marijuana at all for health purposes.
ABC – Travelers with prescription pot are receiving an unofficially relaxed response from TSA agents, according to recent reports. Now that 20 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and two have given recreational use the green light, the Transportation Security Administration’s adherence to federal law makes for a somewhat grey and sticky situation at airports.
Boston Globe – Doctors at Massachusetts community health centers have been advised not to authorize any of their more than 638,000 patients to obtain marijuana for medical purposes because the centers fear they would lose their federal funding.
Huffington Post – A majority of Texas voters support marijuana legalization, according to a recent survey. Public Policy Polling found that 58 percent of Texans “support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol.” Even more — 61 percent — were in favor of decriminalizing marijuana possession and instead punishing violations with a civil citation.
CBS Denver – The distinction Dr. Joseph Montante now holds is something he does not welcome. He’s now convicted of prescribing medical marijuana without conducting a proper exam.