Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Santa Cruz places new restrictions on medical pot shops

SANTA CRUZ — With the blessing of Santa Cruz's two authorized
medicinal marijuana dispensaries, the City Council voted unanimously
Tuesday to require the shops to report sales figures and other financial
information in an effort to ensure they are truly operating as

Leaders of Greenway Compassionate Relief and Santa Cruz Patients
Collective praised city officials for working with them to create an
ordinance that regulates medical marijuana sales without being too
cumbersome for providers to follow.

"Clear guidelines are all we were looking for," said Ken Sampson, a
representative of Santa Cruz Patients Collective.

Sampson did say the new requirements to report sales by ZIP code and
provide records about the kind of marijuana products they grow and sell
will be expensive in terms of staff time. But he said the city need not
worry about the dispensary making excessive profits.

"We've been a nonprofit from the beginning," he said.

Councilmembers Don Lane and Cynthia Mathews worked with the dispensaries
to craft the financial and statistical reporting ordinance that a
national medical marijuana group says is the most detailed in
California. The idea is not to keep the dispensaries from making a
profit, the council members said, but to ensure that they are
reinvesting profit in the organization or their customers, as defined by
nonprofit guidelines.

The new rules also require the dispensaries to provide the city copies
of tax documents, which will provide further information about revenue
and the salaries of directors.

The expanded regulation follows a March vote that limited pot shops to
the current two.

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