Pot Clubs Heading for Mainstream 

  Pot Clubs Heading for Mainstream 

Posted by CN Staff on January 17, 2007 at 08:45:27 PT
By Karen Holzmeister, Staff Writer 
Source: Daily Review 

California -- What's next, joining chambers of commerce? Unincorporated Alameda County's three medical marijuana clinics are on their way to becoming part of the business mainstream. Last year at about this time, the county awarded prized operating permits to the Cherryland clinics. Now, efforts are under way to:
* Determine whether the clubs will collect 8.75 percent in state and local sales taxes on the pot products they dispense. * Set up a computer system to regulate the amount of hemp sold, to ensure that sure customers don't stroll from club to club, loading up as they go. * Possibly review one club's interest in setting up an on-site kitchen to produce cannabis cookies and other products. The clubs are We Are Hemp on Lewelling Boulevard, Compassionate Caregivers of Alameda County on Mission Boulevard and Garden of Eden on Foothill Boulevard. Compassionate Caregivers suggested collecting sales tax from its customers, said Bob Swanson, an aide to Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, whose district includes Cherryland. The request is under review. Paying tax on marijuana products helps to legitimize sales, Swanson pointed out. In California, all tangible products are taxable, except food and prescription medication. While marijuana sales, cultivation and possession are illegal under federal law, states such as California offer limited protection under laws passed in 1996 and 2004. In large part, marijuana sales and use is regulated locally. In the county's unincorporated areas, customers can buy up to 8 ounces at one location by presenting medical marijuana and photo identification cards. Winslow Norton, a co-owner of Compassionate Caregivers, declined to comment. Adele Morgan, co-owner of We Are Hemp, could not be reached Monday or Tuesday. Dennis Roberts, an Oakland attorney representing the Garden of Eden, said assessing and paying sales taxes "is a good idea." The Board of Equalization, which is responsible for administering California's sales- and use-tax programs, "treats medical marijuana as taxable merchandise," spokeswoman Anita Gore said Tuesday. Medical marijuana sales outlets can register with the Board of Equalization as retailers, and the tax owed to the state would be based on total sales, she explained. Compassionate Caregivers also is interested in cooking and selling products made with marijuana or marijuana derivatives, Swanson and sheriff's Capt. Dale Amaral confirmed. The proposal would require permits from the county's planning and health departments. Amaral said his department monitors the sales outlets to ensure they "stick by the rules" established by the county. One problem is ensuring that each outlet has no more than 20 pounds of marijuana on site. Another is keeping track of operator-provided security at each location, to guarantee safety inside and out. Sheriff's deputies also follow up on complaints of people smoking marijuana outside outlets and selling their newly purchased marijuana to others on the street. The county began imposing tighter regulations after cannabis clubs — forced out of other areas — began crowding into unincorporated areas in 2003 and 2004. After seven clubs clustered near each other in Ashland and Cherryland, county supervisors banned additional clinics and eventually decided to limit the number to three. Note: Three Cherryland dispensaries may start collecting sales taxes on products.Source: Daily Review, The (CA)Author: Karen Holzmeister, Staff WriterPublished: January 17, 2007Copyright: 2007 Media News Group, Inc.Contact: revlet angnewspapers.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 17, 2007 at 09:56:43 PT
It is sweet. I don't know if they realize that the more chaotic the world becomes the more people will find Cannabis as a calming agent. Alcohol won't help because it fires people up. Tranquilizers have side effects too. 
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Comment #1 posted by Toker00 on January 17, 2007 at 09:25:39 PT

This is a sweet article.
It appears people ARE talking about cannabis in a more positive light. That's a feel good thing.A lot of Americans are taking action on the Iraq war, and Congress IS listening. Let's get our brothers and sisters out of THIS hell hole, too:TrueMajority
We Want Tough Action, not Toothless ResolutionsDear ,Want the Senate to block the escalation of Iraq and not just pass another resolution about it?Thousands of Americans across the country have spoken out against President Bush's plan to escalate the Iraq war, and we've got a real chance to block it. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill that would require the Congress to vote before the President escalates troop levels in Iraq, and it would reassert Congressional authority over the Iraq War.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a choice. He can push the Kennedy bill forward, or he can back off and settle for a toothless resolution that would do nothing to stop the escalation in Iraq. The resolution was introduced just one week after nationwide protests -- but it's not enough1. Urge Senator Reid to take real action to stop the escalation, not pass another non-binding resolution. that we have a Congress that can make some progress in Iraq, don't let them cave in. Push them to pass meaningful legislation that will actually change the direction in Iraq.Matt Holland
TrueMajority Online Director1-Anti-Buildup Measure to Have Bipartisan Stamp. The New York Times, January 17, 2007.
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