Miami Explodes With Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

With the broad legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, dispensaries are proliferating across the state. Here’s a quick guide to where you can find Miami’s medical marijuana retail dispensaries.

First, there’s Trulieve, Miami’s first retail medical marijuana dispensary, which opened near Miami International Airport in April of last year. The company, based in North Florida, had been delivering cannabis since July 2016, but finally opened up a brick-and-mortar storefront to much local media attention the following April. “We have been delivering to the Miami area since July, but we’re very excited to have a brick-and-mortar storefront so patients can avoid delivery fees,” Kim Rivers, a spokesperson for Trulieve, told The Miami New Times at the opening of the store.

Over on Miami Beach, Surterra was the first to open on that side of Biscayne Bay. It opened on 4/20 this year, just over a year after Miami Beach commissioners approved the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries within three zones of the city. Surterra is one of the largest chains of dispensaries in the state, with a farm in Homestead, Florida as well. At the time of opening, they had seven locations open, with two more under construction, and a total of 22 planned by the end of the year CEO Jake Bergmann told The Miami New Times.

The New Times described the store as open and inviting. “The location features an open space designed to be inviting to patients coming in to browse medicinal products, as well as a garden and a kitchen,” they wrote. “For many medical marijuana patients in Miami and Miami Beach, the opening of a dispensary a stone’s throw from Lincoln Road will likely mark a major shift.”

Then there’s Curaleaf, which has opened three dispensaries across South Florida, catering to patients at 9002 Dadeland Blvd. and

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Apache Junction medical marijuana business has new owner, to open in March

A medical marijuana business approved to be at West Apache Trail and South Palo Verde Drive has a new owner seeking a six-month extension to open in March 2019.

A public hearing and consideration of a conditional use permit amendment for the approved non-profit medical marijuana dispensary at 1985 W. Apache Trail Suite No. 4 is to be heard before the Apache Junction Planning and Zoning Commission on July 10. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

Owner Palo Verde Plaza LLC and applicant Svaccha LLC, represented by Adam Baugh of Withey Morris PLC, are requesting to inform the city of new ownership and management entities for the dispensary, seeking a six-month time extension to improve the building and open the dispensary, and wanting to increase the floor area of the proposed dispensary by another 190 square feet.

“The building footprint is not expanding. The increase in floor space is strictly internal, within the walls of the existing building. Suite No. 4 will go from about 1,500 square feet to about 1,7(00) square feet under this proposal,” Rudy Esquivias, senior planner, wrote in a memo to the commission.

A medical-marijuana dispensary is planned on the southwest corner of West Apache Trail and South Palo Verde Drive. (Graphic special to the Independent, from the city of Apache Junction)

The planning and zoning commission on Sept. 12, 2017, approved a conditional use permit request for the operation of a non-profit medical marijuana dispensary for applicant Svaccha LLC, to be located at 1985 W. Apache Trail Suite No. 4, he said.

Svaccha LLC was the recipient of a dispensary license for the Apache Junction Community Health Analysis Area, which includes the city limits east to Gold Canyon and south to north of Pecos Road.

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Downtown Kitchener dispensary fills a black market void

She’s angry people with legitimate medical problems, from cancer to chronic pain, have lost their support network while others continue to cash in on the still-contraband recreational market.

“My members are not happy. They’re desperate. They destroyed an entire community and opened it up to people who are just trying to make money,” said Thornton, who closed Organix Compassion voluntarily last March.

Most dispensaries, unlike compassion clubs, don’t discriminate who they sell to, she said. And they don’t offer the same kind of expertise for medical marijuana users who need help treating their conditions, she said.

“The people I dealt with were in it to help people. They weren’t in it to make lots of money,” Thornton said.

“My people were doing it for a whole different reason than what these (licensed producers) or people out on the street are doing it for.”

At one point last year, there were as many as five illegal cannabis dispensaries operating in the region. Most closed after getting warnings from police, but one — Green Tree Medical Dispensary on King Street in Kitchener — was ultimately raided after it refused to close.

As the dispensaries have closed down, cash-only delivery services have sprung up in their places — advertising their varieties online and promising one-hour delivery.

“I’d be willing to bet that’s where 90 per cent of my members have gone,” Thornton said.

She argues the federal government’s system for medicinal marijuana — requiring a doctor’s prescription and sold through licensed producers who ship to your door — doesn’t work for many medicinal users.

That system is plagued by chronic shortages and lack of choices, she said. Most of her club’s members would prefer to be able to smell and touch their marijuana before buying it, she said.

Thornton thinks, in the rush

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Newport Beach Sues 'Church Of The Holy Grail' Alleging It's Operating As 'Unlawful' Pot Dispensary

NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — The city of Newport Beach has filed suit against a local business, alleging that it was operating as an unlawful marijuana dispensary.

In court papers filed late June, the city indicated that it was seeking injunctions and civil penalties among other remedies against the Church of the Holy Grail (“Holy Grail”) located at 2072 Southeast Bristol Street.

According to the suit, the Holy Grail has been operating as a facility to “unlawfully sell, serve, store, keep, or give away marijuana in violation of federal, state, and local law.”

The city cited municipal code sections that prohibit marijuana dispensaries in the City, as well as zoning ordinances that require licensing.

The city further alleged that the defendants had been operating a business without a license or zoning approval in contravention of the municipal code as well as the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, which requires that marijuana-related activities comply with local laws.

Cristian L. Peirano, an attorney for the Holy Grail, said in a letter from February that the company’s “use of marijuana is a lawful exercise of religion,” according to the suit.

CBS Los Angeles reached out to Peirano Sunday for further comment, but has not yet heard back.

But as legal commentator and attorney Lou Shapiro points out, “the issue in the case is religion cannot be used to circumvent municipality laws.”

“The government is not restricting people from exercising their religion,” said Shapiro, who is not representing either side in the case. “Rather, they are saying you can practice religion, but it has to be within the confines of the law.”

A hearing in this matter has been scheduled for later this month, court records show.

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Thousand Oaks City Council scheduled to pick medical marijuana dispensary operator Tuesday

After a thorough, months-long evaluation process, the Thousand Oaks City Council is scheduled on Tuesday to choose the operator of the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary.(Photo: STAR FILE PHOTO)

After a thorough, months-long evaluation process, the Thousand Oaks City Council is scheduled on Tuesdayto choose the operator of the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

There are three finalists, who propose dispensaries in industrial zones as mandated by the city. 

In the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting posted on the city’s website, Thursday city officials announced their rankings with Legendary Organics getting the top score. Legendary Organics was ranked at 88.93 percent, followed by DBO Investments at 82.46 and Leaf Dispensary at 81.46.

The council will now select the operator based on the rankings, proposed locations, applicant presentations, input from the community meeting, and public testimony. 

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The rankings are based on such criteria as proposed location, business plan, neighborhood compatibility, safety and security plan, and qualifications of principals. Each finalist was ranked separately by the city’s cannabis consultant, HdL Cos., and a city committee composed of Community Development Director Mark Towne, Police Chief Tim Hagel, Deputy City Manager Gary Rogers and Finance Director John Adams.


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The separate rankings were combined for a final ranking for each of the three applicants, Towne said.

The rankings were referenced at a community meeting the city hosted June 14 at the Grant Brimhall Library to get public input on the finalists and their proposed locations.

Only DBO Investments’ Rancho Conejo Boulevard location was opposed by some speakers on grounds that it is adjacent to Art Trek, a nonprofit art studio

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