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Monday, August 23, 2010

Medical Marijuana in Washington, D.C at $350 an ounce

Washington, DC is ready to sell herb/pot/Marijuana at $350 an ounce at sanctioned dispensaries. Read The NY Daily News.

The law provides medical marijuana at a discount for the city's poor residents. But who exactly is qualified to receive the cheaper pot,  remains up in the air. It also looks like blacks may be cut out of the "legal" business of selling herb/pot/Marijuana in Washington, DC.

It will cost well over $200,000, without even factoring in the cost of the required video cameras and alarm system, insurance, a good licensing lawyer—and, most importantly, the pot itself. If we accept DeAngelo’s 62-percent figure on the cost of product, then we’re talking around half a million dollars (if my math is correct) More HERE.

Washington, DC: Qualified patients will not be legally able to obtain or possess medical marijuana in the District until at least next summer, according to draft regulations recently issued by Mayor Adrian Fenty's office.

Under the law, which took effect in late July, the Department of Health and the D.C. Alcohol Beverage Control Board will establish and oversee regulations for the licensed cultivation and distribution of marijuana to registered patients. However, according to a draft version of the regulations circulated by the Mayor's office, the regulatory framework for the District's dispensaries and cultivation centers won't be completed until January 2011. It is not anticipated that the facilities will be up and running for several months afterward.

As amended, the District's medical marijuana law only permits patients to possess marijuana legally if they are registered with the Health Department and have obtained cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup criticized the delay. "Many of the patients that this law is specifically designed to protect -- such as D.C. residents with HIV, cancer, and multiple sclerosis -- need medical cannabis now, not a year from now. These people should not be subject to arrest and incarceration for using a medicine that helps them. Who knows how long D.C. politicians and regulators may drag their feet on this issue? Why should patients have to suffer in the interim?"

'Care packages' of medical marijuana are dispensed to poor patients at an Oakland, Calif. clinic. Washington D.C. hopes to make medical pot cheaper for its low-income residents.
Care packages' of medical marijuana are dispensed to poor patients at an Oakland, Calif. clinic. Washington D.C. hopes to make medical pot cheaper for its low-income residents.

Get this, according to the Medical Marijuana Blog, in yet another sign of the growing acceptance and support of medical marijuana, the Council of the District of Columbia gave unanimous, final approval to legislation that would place our nation’s capital alongside 14 other states in allowing doctors to recommend medical marijuana for seriously ill patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other debilitating illnesses. The measure would also create a government-regulated distribution system to provide marijuana to qualifying patients though 5-8 dispensaries located throughout the District. The bill now goes to the mayor’s office for approval and, once signed, will be transmitted to Congress for a mandatory 30-legislative-day review period. If approved as expected, the effective date for the legislation would be mid-July.

Not only did the Council give its approval to the bill, but the amount of marijuana patients can purchase could also be raised. Previously, the maximum potential amount was 2.5 ounces. Under an amendment offered by Councilmember Phil Mendelson, the mayor will now be able to raise that limit to 4 ounces. Unfortunately, several other amendments offered by Councilmember Jim Graham that would have improved upon the bill by allowing Virginia and Maryland physicians to make recommendations and providing for civil discrimination protections for patients were defeated with Councilmember Mendelson and Councilmember David Catania leading the opposition.

Nonetheless, the vote represents a victory 11 years in the making. District voters approved Initiative 59 with nearly 70% support in 1998, but Congress quickly put the measure on hold by including a rider preventing the initiative from taking effect in the appropriations bill that provides funding to the District. MPP succeeded in removing the “Barr amendment” (after then-Rep. Bob Barr) late last year, and immediately went to work lobbying the Council to implement the initiative. More HERE

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