Today I am one of several people speaking at the Arizona State Bar convention on a topic called “Representing Clients Regarding the Development, Finance and Operation of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.” The real estate section of the Bar is presenting this panel discussion by me and attorneys Ryan Hurley, William Kozub, Carolyn Goldman, Robert Itkin and Lindsay Schube.
Bloomberg Business: “People are flocking to buy weed, but they’re not paying as much for it. . . . [P]rices are declining faster than some had expected, while the number of people visiting the stores has increased. . . . Since last June, the average price of an 1/8th ounce of recreational cannabis has dropped from $50-$70 to $30-$45 currently; an ounce now sells for between $250 and $300 on average compared to $300-$400 last year. More competition and expansion of grow facilities contributed to this price decline, but it is also a natural result for any maturing industry as dispensaries try to find the market’s equilibrium price.
Eloy News: “Have a little reefer … it won’t kill you. Or will it? To believe what Pinal County attorney Lando Voyles and Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery preach about marijuana is akin to believing a little movie called “Reefer Madness” that was released in 1936. . . . I used to be a staunch critic of legalizing pot. But I looked closer at the facts and the scientific data. I evolved, and now feel a little silly for holding those prior beliefs. America has evolved as well.”
Associated Press: “Marijuana is only legal for medical purposes in California, but that isn’t stopping purveyors of pot-infused cupcakes, nuts and other edible forms of the drug from putting on an outdoor food festival to showcase their wares. The ‘Get Baked Sale’ happening Saturday at a food truck hub in San Francisco comes as marijuana advocates are working to legalize recreational use of the drug through a statewide voter initiative in November 2016.
KTLA 5: “During a police raid on an unpermitted pot shop in Santa Ana late last month, hidden cameras caught officers eating marijuana-laced “edibles,” playing darts and displaying other questionable behavior, according to an attorney who plans to sue the city in connection with the raid. The incident occurred at Sky High Holistic, a medical marijuana dispensary operating without a business permit, officials with the Santa Ana Police Department confirmed. . . . Video of the raid was taken by the regular surveillance cameras the shop had in place, as well as a hidden one set up in anticipation of a police visit.”
The Aspen Times: “These are interesting and challenging times for Jordan Lewis, CEO of Silverpeak Apothecary, which sells both recreational and medical marijuana in Aspen. Lewis will appear before Pitkin County commissioners . . . in a work session focused on the marijuana smells that some neighbors say are wafting from High Valley Farms, the midvalley pot farm that Lewis owns and operates. . . . Neighbors are upset about the smell, and commissioners are listening. . . . The license is up for renewal in September, and commissioners have said they won’t approve it should the stench persist.”
myfoxny.com: “Colorado is full of all-inclusive ranch resorts where guests hike, fish, play horseshoes and roast marshmallows. This one has a new offering – smoking pot. The 170-acre CannaCamp opening July 1 in Durango in southwest Colorado calls itself the nation’s first cannabis-friendly ranch resort. Guests won’t be given marijuana, because that violates state law. Instead, the resort allows guests to bring their own pot and use it while at the resort.”
USA Today: “Emotions appeared to be sky high at the newly formed First Church of Cannabis after the Internal Revenue Service granted it nonprofit status. The designation means donors can deduct gifts to the church on their federal tax returns if they itemize and the church is eligible for a property-tax exemption in Indiana. The organization has raised $10,905 in a gofundme.com solicitation but has not found a home yet. “What a GLORIOUS DAY it is folks,” the founder and grand poohbah, Bill Levin, wrote May 26 in a Facebook post announcing the church’s IRS approval as 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.
Vice News: “When Andre Maestas decided he wanted to sit down in the street — the sort of random, possibly dangerous thing college students do sometimes — he didn’t think it would lead to his current legal conflagration. He says he was taking a cigarette break from a movie night with a friend on Arizona State University’s main campus in Tempe when his troubles first started. ‘I was in the process of standing back up to go back into the dorm to finish watching the movie we were watching,’ he said about the night in March 2014, ‘and as I was getting back up, that’s when the cop’s lights went on and he came out and started yelling at me’. . . . Mark Johnson, an Arizona State University spokesperson, said the university’s policies are rooted in the same rules. ‘Marijuana on campus is prohibited by state law and by federal laws, including several that specifically apply to institutions of higher learning,’ Johnson said.
ABC15.com: “The Arizona Supreme Court recently agreed to review an appeals court decision that decided drivers who have medical marijuana cards can be prosecuted for driving under the influence if they’re found to have marijuana in their system. In two cases, defendants who had medical marijuana cards argued they should be able to use their medical marijuana cards as defense like other prescription drugs are used. But, the District One appeals court disagreed. The court ruled the medical marijuana law doesn’t provide immunity for patients because it’s not prescribed by a doctor, it’s recommended.”