San Diego Medical Cannabis Community Comes Up Short, Highlighting Larger Problem in MMJ Industry

With everything on the line and their immediate future at stake, medical marijuana advocates and MMJ professionals in San Diego went out with a whimper.

The city’s beleaguered medical cannabis community failed to muster up enough support for a proposal that could have put the industry back in business by regulating and taxing dispensaries. It wasn’t even close: The groups behind the proposed ballot measure gathered less than one-third of the number of signatures needed to get the initiative on the ballot this fall.

The measure was an effort to revive San Diego’s medical marijuana industry, which has pretty much been dismantled by city officials and the federal government over the past year. So one would think that everyone involved in MMJ in any capacity would come out in force to help the signature drive.

That apparently didn’t happen.

It’s not that there wasn’t enough support in the community. In fact, local voters last year supported the repeal of strict laws enacted on medical marijuana dispensaries. Rather, organizers said they had difficulty raising money and therefore could not bring on enough people to collect signatures, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

This underscores a bigger problem in the MMJ industry: lack of political involvement by cannabis professionals. The results in San Diego could have been different if the industry was more organized and united. It seems that the handful of existing dispensaries got involved in the effort. But what about ancillary MMJ companies, the people who ran shops that were forced to close and the employees who worked at those businesses? If they couldn’t contribute financially, they could have volunteered to gather signatures and spread the word. Some no doubt did, but not enough to make a difference.

A similar scene has played out in other MMJ states, where patients and cannabis advocates play a larger role in legislative issues than professionals. This must change going forward if the industry wants to win legislative and political battles.

4 comments on “San Diego Medical Cannabis Community Comes Up Short, Highlighting Larger Problem in MMJ Industry
  1. James Slatic on

    It is true we need patients to be more active. Today’s signature gathering is more a measure of funding than commitment. Since Asst US Attorney Laura Duffy and City Atty Bonnie Dumanis have achieved closure of over 95% of the once vibrant 228 dispensary roster, there is almost no one left to organize and fund this fight

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  2. chrisw on

    Interesting, James. But I’m wondering: Where were those 228 dispensary owners, their employees and the businesses that sold services to them? Couldn’t they have contributed to the effort by volunteering to collect signatures and spread the word? I understand that many of those dispensaries are out of business, but surely most of the people involved are still in town and could contribute to the effort. What do you think?

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  3. William W. West on

    The sad state began when A.S.A.’s Don Duncan came to town and pushed “Restrictive Permitting” & “Stricter Guidelines” that was what allowed the city to slowly close the shops in San Diego. What they’re concentration was to get the county council allow one or two to open. Knowing what they would have was to expensive to develop, knowing this fact they went to El Cajon and effectively opened up “Mother Earth’s Healing Alternative” which by the way was the only site accepted. all of this information is available in http://www.theweedlynews.com
    Yes the so called “collectives & co-op’s” never did what they were to do. They were in it for the money, not being non-profit but for profit. That is why so few, one or two showed support, but for the most part they never gave back just took. Not one offered to give water to help these protesters during those hot days of protesting for them. Again compassion…not in San Diego.

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