Medical Marijuana

Feds force pot clubs to deal in cash, then ban use of armored cars

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In the US Drug Enforcement Administration's latest attempt to smoke out medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States, the federal government agency made the decision to ban the use of armored cars by marijuana providers. Compounding that problem, over the last year banking companies, under pressure from the feds, have been refusing to do business with dispensaries, forcing them conduct all-cash transactions.Read more »

Some wins, some losses in Sacto

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The state Assembly and Senate passed the usual flurry of bills on May 31, the last day for initial-house approval, with some unusual drama that temporarily sidelined a medical-marijuana bill by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano.

By the time it was all over, several other Ammiano bills passed, a measure by Assemblymember Phil Ting to ease the way for a Warriors arena on the waterfront won approval, and state Sen. Mark Leno got most of his major legislation through.Read more »

Pot, domestic worker bills win approval

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Two bills that we've been following, one to regulate medical marijuana and the other to give domestic workers some basic rights, won approval from a key state Assembly committee and are headed for the Assembly floor.Read more »

A boost for Ammiano's pot bill

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Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's bill to create state regulations for pot clubs just got a boost: Although I disagree with the Supreme Court decision allowing towns to ban the dispensaries, it's kicked local governments into gear. Now mayors from around the state are asking the Legislature to weigh in and craft "sensible marijuana policies."Read more »

Why are the feds cracking down on pot again?

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President Obama keeps saying that marijuana isn't a big priority for his administration, and his rogue nutcase of a US Attorney in Northern California keeps making it a priority. Now the Drug Enforcement Administration, which also reports to the White House, is joining the action, going after licensed dispensaries in San Francisco and San Jose.Read more »

Willie Brown and Ammiano's pot bill

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Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s new medical marijuana bill seems pretty straightforward. Almost everyone in the medpot biz thinks there ought to be some sort of statewide regulations for a growing industry that operates in a mish-mash of local jurisdictions with no overall rules. If nothing else, consumer-protection policies ought to be in place. Read more »

Pot hearing cancelled -- but why?

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The state Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee was slated to hold a hearing Feb. 11 on Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's efforts to create a regulatory framework for medical marijuana. That's a fairly common practice when a new set of professional regulations is proposed; it's called a "sunrise" hearing, and the idea is to get all the players in the room and see what kinds of concerns they have. Read more »

Feds continue war on California's medical marijuana industry

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San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries may be bouncing back from last year’s crackdown by the federal government, but the industry statewide continues to be besieged by the federal authorities, winning some battles but losing others.Read more »

Fierce, forceful, amazing: remembering Robyn Few

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Robyn Few, innovative sex worker revolutionary and a part of the soul of San Francisco, passed away Sept. 13. 

Robyn was a mother, a grandmother, and a wife. She was a leader. She died in her hometown of Paducah, KY after a long battle with cancer.Read more »

Two of SF's most venerable cannabis dispensaries get shut down

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Sadness, anger, and confusion hung thick in the fragrant, smoky air of two of San Francisco's oldest and most prominent medical marijuana dispensaries – HopeNet in SoMa and Vapor Room in Lower Haight – during their last day in business yesterday, the latest victims of an aggressive federal government crackdown on the industry.

Throughout the day, vendors, patients, neighbors, and well-wishers stopped in to say goodbye and commiserate over a trend that just doesn't make sense to them, or to the local politicians and city officials that have spent years setting up a regulatory structure that had legitimized the cannabis industry, which thrived as the rest of the economy suffered through the recent recession.

“I've always treated this as if it were just a nice coffee house. I'm not an outlaw,” said Martin Olive, whose Vapor Room was a friendly community gathering place and active member of the local business community that gave away free bags of vaporized marijuana to low-income patients on a daily basis. “I almost forgot I was breaking federal law. It was so normal, so legitimate.”

Read more »