San Diego Medical Pot Dispensaries, Reeling Marijuana Industry Hit Again as Judge Backs City on MMJ

In another blow to San Diego’s cannabis industry – and to the California medical marijuana community in general – a Superior Court judge has ruled that the city can refuse to issue pot dispensaries a business tax certificate despite state MMJ laws.

The judge essentially sided with local and federal officials, who have pretty much dismantled the city’s medical cannabis industry by forcing dozens of pot shops to close in recent months. The ruling means that city officials cannot be forced to award pot companies a business state tax license – needed to operate in San Diego – because federal law trumps state medical marijuana legislation. Under federal law, marijuana is still deemed an illegal substance, even though California allows the use and distribution of pot for medical reasions.

The case involves a lawsuit filed by a marijuana delivery service based outside city limits called Wisdom Organics, which was refused a business tax certificate to provide medical marijuana inside San Diego.

In his written opinion, the judge brought up recent moves by the federal government to crack down on medical marijuana in California and other MMJ states, saying the developments signal that federal law outweighs state laws.

“Consequently, issuing a business tax certificate under these circumstances would tend to aid in an unlawful purpose,” the judge wrote in his decision on the matter, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Last year, federal government raids led to the closure of dozens of cannabis dispensaries in San Diego. A judge also recently ruled that landlords can legally boot medical marijuana centers and grow operations from their properties. Combined, the moves have eliminated most of the dispensaries operating in San Diego, and only a handful of medical marijuana centers still exist.

As part of a last-ditch effort to save the San Diego cannabis industry, pot advocates have crafted a proposal that would tax marijuana sales and medical weed businesses as well as create special zones for MMJ companies.

 

4 comments on “San Diego Medical Pot Dispensaries, Reeling Marijuana Industry Hit Again as Judge Backs City on MMJ
  1. heidi on

    I have to ask the writer of this article…why do you keep referring to dispensaries/collectives as medical “pot” shops? This is the stigma we are trying to get away from! Can’t you call them “medical marijuana shops, collectives, dispensaries” anything but POT!!!

    Reply
    • chrisw on

      We have been incorporating a variety of terms commonly used by people searching for our type of content. “Pot shops” is a popular search term, particularly among people who are just starting out in the business and those considering opening a dispensary (both of which are part of our target audience). It is also a commonly used term in the mainstream media, and we also use it for variation – so every story doesn’t have the same four phrases over and over. However, after further consideration, we will cut down on the use of the word “pot,” as we are primarily writing for people such as yourself: MMJ professionals.

      Reply
  2. heidi on

    Chirs~ your response is much appreciated. I am an MMC & infused product company owner in Colorado. You are correct main stream media referres to us as “pot shops” a lot, however for those of us fighting to battle to be recognized as legitimate under the medical marijuana laws for MEDICINE… we have to steer clear of the street word “pot/weed” in order to be taken seriously.

    You are doing a wonderful job and we appreciate what you do. Many of your articles are forwarded on and used as valuable talking points with other MMC owners and customers. The more “medical” we can make this, the less argument politicians & people have that we are using a medical front to just sell “pot”.

    HM

    Reply
    • chrisw on

      Thanks for shedding light on the issue, Heidi. I completely understand your concerns about legitimacy, and phrases like “pot shops” don’t help. We really appreciate your feedback. And we’re pleased you find some value in what we do. As always, if you have any ideas going forward for stories please share them with me.

      Reply

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