Possibly 10s of thousands of visitors to California come here for medical reasons, but are being denied medical cannabis due to the fact that of an extensive misconception of state law, said San Francisco attorney Lauren Vazquez.

Nearly every doctor’s clinic as well as collective or dispensary requireds that clients be California residents, however they are discarding business, she said. There is nothing in state medical cannabis law needing patients be individuals.

The whole market supports the residency guideline, mostly due to the fact that each brand-new business copies what the other one is doing, she stated.

name=”more” /> Vazquez was the keynote speaker at a meet-up for cannabis business owners in downtown San Francisco last week. The canna-business attorney structured her remarks around three huge warnings that indicate when a medical marijuana business does not comprehend state law.

Canna-brands will typically incorrectly label their items with the wrong statute, breach food labeling laws, and play semantic video games with the word “donation” versus a sale. Vazquez then dropped a bomb about residency.

“Another truly big issue in California is the residency concern– you don’t need to be a citizen to be a patient in California or to participate in collectives or join a dispensary, but you might have seen the physician’s workplace or the dispensary and seen the huge indication that states ‘Must Have California ID.’ That’s not true. There’s no residency requirement in California. I can’t inform you a law that doesn’t exist.”

click to increase the size of Not just for California patients. - DAVID DOWNS FOR LEGALIZATION NATION
David Downs for Legalization Country
Not simply for California clients.

The preface to the 1996 Compassionate Use Act discusses the word “Californians,” but the preamble is not lawfully binding. (For instance, the California Supreme Court in 2013 totally overlooked the preamble to the CUA when it ruled that Californians had no intrinsic right to grow, utilize, or gain access to medical marijuana.)

But early operators embraced the CUA’s preamble and began imposing residency rules. The rules were then commonly embraced.

“One of the most aggravating features of the marijuana industry … A lot of individuals are copying what other individuals are doing, however what other individuals are doing is not right since they’re simply copying another individual who’s doing it, and no one ever stopped to obtain actual guidance or information on exactly what it is that you need to really be doing,” Vazquez stated.

“It’s just among those tips that somebody did and it got copied and everybody started doing it and now individuals are turning away a substantial percentage of their customers and patient base for no great reason.”

Vazquez likewise mentioned a public conference 5 years ago in San Jose with a district attorney’s agent who was likewise the head of San Jose’s narcotics job force at the time. Vazquez said she asked him publicly about the residency policy in front of a space of fifty operators.

“The DA resembled, ‘Residency requirement. No, no, no– there’s absolutely nothing like that.’

“There have actually never been any prosecutions based [entirely] on that someone wasn’t a local in California,” she included.

Yet it is incredibly tough for an out-of-state patient– typically in the Bay Area for cancer treatment– to discover a doctor who will recommend marijuana or a dispensary that will provide it. You can constantly call a clinic ahead of time and ask if it will, Vazquez stated.

“The residency requirement is a huge bummer at the doctor’s because there are a lot of individuals that pertain to California for medical treatment who might utilize marijuana while they are here– particularly in the Bay with UCSF and Stanford and all the great facilities we have right here. However then on top of it, the dispensaries are doing the same.

“It does truly injured,” she continued. “Of course there’s tourists who want to eat when they see, however there are actual sick individuals who come here briefly and require that alternative while they are right here.”

Vazquez had the ability to assist a surgical treatment client at Stanford not just discover a dispensary but one that would provide to him. “That’s just a single person. There’s so many more individuals who are legally entitled to access this medicine. … That’s a big, big downer. We got to work on that one.”

The residency requirement kicks only if you desire a voluntary California State Medical Marijuana ID Card– which provides resistance from arrest for ownership of reasonably required amounts of medical pot, and is useful in anti-MMJ counties like Fresno. “That’s voluntary, you do not have to get the state ID card.”

We’ll have more legal analysis and a quote on numerous out-of-state clients may be under-served in future updates.