Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CA Appeals Court: storefront dispensaries may operate legally as collectives or cooperatives

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dale Gieringer <>
Date: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 10:06 AM
Subject: CALCBC: CA Appeals Court: storefront dispensaries may operate legally as collectives or cooperatives

In an important decision regarding a
Riverside medical cannabis dispensary, People v
Hochanadel, the CA 4th District Appeals Court
ruled that storefront dispensaries may operate
legally as non-profit collectives or
cooperatives. At the same time, however, the
court ruled that the dispensary in question did
NOT legally qualify as a "primary caregiver"
under Prop. 215.
The decision confirms Cal NORML's legal
advice that dispensaries should organize as
collectives/cooperatives, NOT caregivers.
- D. Gieringer

> People v Hochanadel (filed 8/18/09) Fourth Dist.

>We also conclude that storefront
>dispensaries that qualify as "cooperatives" or
>"collectives" under the CUA and MMPA,
>and otherwise comply with those laws, may
>operate legally, and defendants may have a
>defense at trial to the charges in this case
>based upon the CUA and MMPA. We further
>conclude, however, that the court erred in
>finding that CannaHelp qualified as a primary
>caregiver under the CUA and MMPA
> Fantastic decision clears up much of the issues in this area of law.
> Bill
> People v Hochanadel (filed 8/18/09) Fourth Dist.
> SB 420 did not amend the CUA, but was enacted to facilite
> the transfer by members of cooperatives and collectives,
> however, no storefront or operator may qualify as a caregiver.
> Storefronts if operated for no profit & per AG Guidelines are immune
> to prosecution.
> Note the AG didn't participate in this appeal, he must have agreed
> in part with the trial court.
> Enjoy, Bill McPike

Thanks, Bill.

It's an interesting decision with a good deal of explicit support for
legality of collectively or cooperatively operated MCD's.

It seems a bit of a mixed bag for the two manager/owners as their
standing to challenge the search warrant was dependent on being part

If the DA from their jurisdiction (seems likely in Riverside)
attempts re-trial the court's finding that the def's were part owners
cuts both ways. Neither collectives or cooperatives have owners per
se, a characteristic of businesses operated as proprietorships or




Dale Gieringer -
California NORML, 2215-R Market St. #278, San
Francisco CA 94114 -(415) 563- 5858 -


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