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
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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