ARCATA, Calif. — Faced with growing chaos in the state’s medical marijuana industry, this city in Northern California passed an ordinance in 2008 that meticulously detailed, over 11 pages, how the drug could be grown and sold here.
Humboldt Medical Supply, a dispensary here in Humboldt County regarded as a law-abiding model that has given free cannabis to elderly patients, became the first to obtain a permit in 2010. The Sai Center, whose owner has a history of flouting city regulations and was described by the mayor as running his business “purely for profit,” was rejected last year.
Humboldt Medical quickly closed shop after federal prosecutors began shuttering hundreds of dispensaries in October in one of the biggest crackdowns on medical marijuana since its legalization in California in 1996. The Sai Center’s owner moved locations and has defied the authorities by continuing to operate, most recently out of his mother’s house. City officials, afraid of becoming targets themselves of the prosecutors, have suspended the applications of two other dispensaries that were expected to be approved.
“We feel the federal government’s actions have had a very negative effect,” said Mayor Michael Winkler. “We’re very upset with their actions.” Read the rest here.
This article, "Cities Balk as Federal Law on Marijuana Is Enforced," first appeared in The New York Times.