A four-month pilot program to control and confirm medical cannabis from Humboldt County began August 1, and will be extended another month through the end of the year. The program, dubbed “track and trace,” involves growers, manufacturers and dispensers in compliance with Humboldt’s Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance.
In February of 2013, the employees of Wellness Connection, a medical marijuana provider based in Auburn, Maine, were worried about their product. They’d observed mold and fungus on their plants too often; bugs were infesting their work areas. Some of the chemicals they were being asked to use, such as the insecticide pyrethrin, had known health effects.
Is it too soon to hope that the snickering will end?
One theme of our coverage of the marijuana industry has been to make it clear that dispensaries are an industry and should exist. They employ L.A. residents, they have suppliers and customers, they pay rents and taxes. Like it or not, this industry is here to stay; it is not a sideshow, and it deserves some respect. With the preliminary results from Tuesday’s election, it seems that voters embraced the notion.
At the time of this writing on Wednesday morning, it appears that Los Angeles passed Measure D by a margin of more than 25 percentage points. More people voted for Measure D than voted for either mayoral candidate. Measure D was put on the ballot by the City Council, and was backed by a set of dispensaries, as well as the United Food and Commercial Workers Union,
On Tuesday, July 24, the L.A. City Council voted unanimously to ban all medical marijuana dispensaries within the city. As the Los Angeles Times explains, this is the “latest attempt to regulate what many say is an out-of-control proliferation” of the pot shops.
I am one of those who say that. Dispensaries are out of control. I am also one of those who think that the council got today’s vote totally wrong.
When the city set up its initial, partial regulatory system years ago, many dispensaries followed the city’s and the state’s rules about when and where they could operate. They worked with doctors and fully vetted their patients. They lab-tested their medicine. They submitted taxes to the city. They took over vacant storefronts. They became good employers and good neighbors.
Other dispensaries, however, skirted the rules. These dispensaries opened in a mad dash.
Earlier this week, we reported on changes that are needed in the medical cannabis industry. Well, this Friday (June 22), the L.A. City Council takes up two competing proposals for how to deal with an industry that’s gotten out of control.
On the one hand, L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz and Council President Herb Wesson have made a motion to direct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that will allow patients limited safe access to responsible operators. The City Attorney would develop an ordinance that establishes strict guidelines for dispensary operations and subject them to city oversight.
This should curb the sorts of abuses we’ve read about, reduce the number of dispensaries, maintain high-road jobs and allow continued access of patients to their medicine.
On the other hand, Councilmen Jose Huizar and Mitchell Englander have proposed a so-called “gentle ban.” But far from being gentle,