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Are Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Allowed to Operate as Store Fronts?

"Reasonable Compensation" - Reasonable to Whom?


Reasonable to Whom?

When we ask whether the compensation is “reasonable” we must also ask: “Reasonable to whom?”

The general public doesn’t know and doesn’t care what prices or profits may be. Likewise, there is little point in having the “reasonable” standard set by public officials or lawmakers who are out of touch with the conditions in the medical marijuana market. We can’t ask the police or prosecutors. Many of them are openly opposed to medical marijuana and don’t want any medical marijuana at all. They have always worked under the assumption that any transfer of marijuana is an illegal “sale” even when no compensation is involved. Their only interest in the question is when it allows them to prosecute someone.

Besides, the police have no standard for determining when compensation is “unreasonable” and therefore triggers the possibility of prosecution. Making too much money isn’t a crime in any other area of commerce. They can’t look up the legal limit on earnings like they can with speed limits on the highway. There is no law that says that $65 compensation is legal, but $75 isn't. On the contrary, making lots of money is generally applauded, not prosecuted.

The only sensible standard for “reasonable compensation” is the same standard used in civil law. In contract law, “reasonable compensation” is determined soley by the people who are parties to the transaction -- the buyer and the seller.

In civil law, if two parties engage in a contract the courts will not question whether the consideration in a contract is “reasonable” (absent duress, fraud, or other extreme circumstances). If someone wants to pay a million dollars for a tiny faded postage stamp with an incorrectly printed upside down airplane that is no longer useful as postage, then it is assumed that they knew the value to them and the compensation was “reasonable” to both parties. It hardly matters to anyone else what the two parties might have agreed upon as “reasonable compensation” for the item. It is likewise with every other product and service on the market, from tomatoes and garbage collectors to yachts and neurosurgeons.


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