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Medical Marijuana Organizations in California

by Alanna D Coopersmith on Feb. 24, 2015

Criminal Felony Business  Business Organization Criminal  White Collar Crime 

Summary: Medical marijuana cooperatives and collectives in California.

In California, it is legal not only for individuals to possess marijuana for medical use upon the written or verbal recommendation of a doctor. Under the Medical Marijuana Program Act, it is also lawful for medical marijuana patients and caregivers to associate collectively or cooperatively in order to cultivate and distribute medical marijuana.
Two recent cases have interpreted the scope of the immunity under California law for medical marijuana cooperatives and collectives. They make it clear that a lawful cooperative or collective need not be formally organized. For example, even though the group may not have formed as a nonprofit organization or other entity, that fact alone is not mean that the group is not a medical marijuana cooperative or collective. Moreover, there is nothing amiss about some members of the collective doing the work of cultivating and dispensing the marijuana, and others members buying it. What is important is that all members of the collective or cooperative be medical marijuana patients or caregivers, that the amount of marijuana cultivated be no more than reasonably medically necessary, and that the marijuana be sold on a not-for-profit basis.

Alanna D. Coopersmith practices criminal law in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her latest blog is about medical marijuana cooperatives and collectives.

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