Marijuana dispensary business is growing in California

The Sacramento BeeJuly 9, 2009 

With a hard-line stance against marijuana crumbling at almost every level of government, advocates of the drug are pushing beyond legality for societal acceptance.

There are about 30 medical marijuana dispensaries in Sacramento that distribute cannabis to patients with conditions ranging from cancer to anorexia who have a letter from their doctor. According to those in the business, half have opened in the last six months, a result of the Obama administration vowing not to prosecute dispensaries if they're abiding by state laws.

The rapid growth has prompted dispensary operators and local activists to call city officials, asking for more oversight, even if it results in extra taxes or regulations. For some, it's an effort to curb skyrocketing competition. Many hope oversight will unmask a business they say should be as normal as a Rite-Aid.

"It would legitimize us in a big way," said Cody Bass, co-director of Capitol Wellness Collective in midtown. "And it would keep out a lot of different elements we don't want involved – we don't want any Joe Schmoe selling marijuana to a 16-year-old kid just to make rent that month."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in May that it's time for California to study whether to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use.

To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.

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