California medical pot advocates call for statewide regulation

By Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee

Alarmed by a police backlash against pot dispensaries in some California cities, lawmakers and advocates for medical marijuana are calling for statewide regulation of medical cannabis stores and new laws to clarify rules under which they operate.

Additionally, some medical marijuana advocates are pushing lawmakers to consider regulations – similar to those in Colorado – that would permit medical marijuana providers to operate as for-profit businesses.

Currently, under California law, dispensaries providing medical marijuana must operate as nonprofit “collectives” of registered medical marijuana patients who reimburse dispensaries for the costs of providing medicinal pot.

But medical cannabis in California has boomed into an industry generating an estimated $1.3 billion in transactions and paying hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries, rent and overhead costs.

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