Washington’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary
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Washington’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Posted by CN Staff on March 25, 2013 at 04:28:33 PT
By Abha Bhattarai
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- Security cameras have been installed, scales calibrated and signs declaring “no returns” hung on the walls at Capital City Care. There’s just one thing missing before the District’s first medical marijuana dispensary can open its doors: The marijuana itself.“It’s very high-grade, very pure, very potent marijuana,” said David Guard, co-founder and general manager. “But first, everything has to be triple-checked. We have a high level of security and an inordinate number of cameras.”
The medical marijuana is currently being grown in a separate building in Northeast Washington. District rules require that the plants be in the ground for at least 60 days before they are harvested, and each cultivation facility is limited to 95 plants at any given time.By mid-April, Capital City Care plans to begin selling four strains of medical marijuana from its 2,000-square-foot perch on North Capitol Street. Five more licensed dispensaries are slated to open shortly thereafter.The District legalized medical marijuana in 2010, but Guard and his team continue to toe a tricky line. Federal law still prohibits the growing and selling of marijuana, and the Obama administration has not been shy about clamping down on errant medical dispensaries. In 2012, more than 100 medical marijuana facilities throughout the country were raided by federal officials, according to Americans for Safe Access, a Washington-based advocacy group.“At some level, yes, there is risk,” Guard, 41, said. “You have to remember marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug. But our thought is — and we’ve given it a lot of thought — that we’re doing this for the patients. It is a risk that we run, but we do have a very tightly run program.” Guard would not disclose how much it cost to start the dispensary, saying only that the total investment was less than $1 million. Even so, he says it won’t be easy for the company to break even.“The overhead costs are extremely high,” he said. “D.C.’s program is going to be small so we’re not going to be rolling around in cash. Honestly, we’re going to struggle to pay payrolls and pay back our investors.”District rules allow patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis or glaucoma to buy 2 ounces of marijuana every 30 days. Prices have yet to be set, but one-fourth of an ounce of marijuana is expected to cost between $100 and $120 — roughly the same as its street value, said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access.The economic effects of legalizing medical marijuana are not clear yet, Sherer said, adding that at the very least, the move will bring in revenue from sales tax (6 percent in the District) and create a handful of local jobs (at least eight at Capital City Care, Guard says). For Guard, the opening of Capital City Care will be the culmination of a years-long journey that began in 1998 when D.C. residents voted on a ballot referendum calling for the legalization of medical marijuana.Guard, then a graduate student at American University, collected signatures and helped work the polls on campus.“I have been waiting and waiting all these years to get started,” Guard said. “When the time came, we pulled together a great team. From growing to selling, we have real experts.”In addition to medical marijuana, the storefront will also sell hash by the gram, as well as accessories such as pipes, grinder and vaporizers. There is a counseling room for individual and group sessions, and Guard said he hopes to eventually set up a kitchen at the company’s 11,000-square-foot cultivation facility, where items like cookies and muffins can be prepared.But first, he’ll need to get approval from the District.“We are creatures of regulation,” Guard said. “And we’re fine with that. I mean, why not? We’re just selling medication.”Source: Washington Post (DC) Author: Abha BhattaraiPublished: March 24, 2013Copyright: 2013 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by mexweed on March 26, 2013 at 17:12:00 PT:
TARP = Tobacco Addiction Recruitment Pricing
Can't comment how this dispensary is forced to charge such prices (just to break even as claimed), but maybe they would say the hoops Friend Govt. forces them to jump through are to blame? Govt. receives a $IGARETTE TAX bonanza of $44.5-billion/year (all levels, nationwide) according to no less than an R. J. Reynolds website; nobody knows how much $igarets-United PACk money to candidates is from TOBACCO corporation executives, shareholders, their mothers-in-law etc. Compare the PRICE DIFFERENTIAL: $400+/oz for cannabis, under $20 for two PACks of $igs (usually 28 g).What choice will a kid (looking to smoke something and be coool) make-- buy cannabis from a medical friend or settle for the "cheaper" herb? Zap-- hooked for life! $$thousands-a-year nicotine habit!
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 26, 2013 at 12:09:16 PT
Storm Crow
Thank you for sharing. The price is unbelievable that they want. How can anyone possibly afford to pay those prices? 
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Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on March 26, 2013 at 09:04:32 PT
$400 an ounce? Here's the real price!
I grow cannabis on a small scale for myself, my hubby and a friend. It costs me about $35 a month (electricity + ferts) to supply us all. We all use cannabis on a daily basis. Tomatoes and cannabis take much the same care and growing conditions. I can buy organic, gourmet, dried tomatoes tomatoes for $15 a pound! It costs far less to dry cannabis than tomatoes! So why can't we buy organic cannabis for about the same price as dried tomatoes? Prohibition has artificially raised the price of cannabis. There is NO logical reason for the price to be $400 an ounce, except pure, unfettered GREED! 
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on March 26, 2013 at 07:23:46 PT
Meanwhile, Back in Canada...
The Doctor/Pharma cabal continues to demonize herbs in favor of Big Pharma pills:•Canada: Editorial: Marijuana Is Not A Prescription Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, (19 Mar 2013)
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on March 25, 2013 at 14:51:16 PT:
Don't worry, Sam Adams; the market will prevail
As in Adam Smith's Invisible Hand is rearing back to provide a stinging bitch-slap.In the beginning someone will pay those prices...until they get tired of it. Now the black market will have added incentive to provide cheap quality weed to counter the legal over-priced stuff. This will force the eventual realization that medical day's is done.Medical has served its' purpose. It showed the world the Wonder Weed is no more dangerous than a toothless, arthritic old dog. It's time to jettison the first stage and ignite the one that takes us ALL into orbit: full legalization. And the (IMHO, inevitable) failure of a legal scheme still based on prohibition's prices will hurry that along.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on March 25, 2013 at 08:43:09 PT
so, 400 to 500 bucks per ounce for our sickest comrades. I'm sure Pharma will approve. Perhaps some members of Pharma's lobbyist army may even partake the $500 herbs.Voters approved grow-your-own 15 years ago! By a WIDE margin.  It's a police state folks. We're all serfs on the Pharma plantation.
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