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Are Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Allowed to Operate as Store Fronts?

What is a storefront?

Question: 1) Is it possible for a store front medical marijuana dispensary to be legally operated under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Health & Saf. Code, § 11362.5) and the Medical Marijuana Program Act (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11362.7-11362.83)?

Answer: State law not only allows store front medical marijuana dispensaries, it encourages them.


What is a Store Front?

What does “store front” mean in precise terms? There is no restriction in state law as to where caregivers may operate. Therefore, they may legally rent or acquire property of any type that is suitable to their purpose, subject only to local zoning restrictions.

SB 420 specifically states that caregivers may provide for more than one person, with no defined upper limit on the number. At least one court case has said that 8,000 patients is too much, but that is one court in a local area.

Neither are there any restrictions of the relationships of caregivers and patients. Caregivers may be relatives, friends, or someone the patient just met.

Therefore, with no opposing state regulations in place, it would be legal for a caregiver to rent a location that could be otherwise used for a common store as a place to meet with any number of people for whom the caregiver provides marijuana, subject only to local zoning and licensing restrictions. Similarly, with no restrictions in the law on advertising, the caregiver could advertise or distribute fliers or other materials to tell people about the meeting, subject only to whatever modest restrictions would apply to any other ordinary merchant or citizen.



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