Medical-Marijuana “Vapor Lounge” in West Valley Allows Patients to Toke Up, Rent Bongs and Hang Out

Phoenix New Times:  “A group of medical-marijuana dispensary owners at the State Capital yesterday afternoon urged authorities to shut down unregulated cannabis clubs.  Meanwhile, up the road in a small, west Valley strip mall, medical-marijuana patients toked up openly in a ‘lounge’ that has the look, feel, and scent of a Dutch coffeeshop. . . . The entrepreneur behind the Arizona Vapor Lounge, Bill Hayes, says his business is a budding franchise: He expects 14 similar lounges across the state to open in the next two months. . . . Hayes credits Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery for giving him the idea for the lounge’s business model.”

For more on the legalities of cannabis clubs read Richard Keyt’s article called “Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

By |2013-01-26T07:23:57+00:00January 26th, 2013|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Medical-Marijuana “Vapor Lounge” in West Valley Allows Patients to Toke Up, Rent Bongs and Hang Out

4 Employees of Tucson’s Green Halo Caregiver Collective Busted

KVOA.com:  “The Green Halo caregiver collective, or GHCC, was incorporated as Green Halo LLC on April 25, 2011 with the purpose of distributing medicinal marijuana to patients for free.  On Tuesday, four people working at the facility, at 3359 N. Freeway, were arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana for sale. After a two month investigation, police determined the marijuana was not really free.”

For more on the topic the legality of cannabis clubs under Arizona’s medical marijuana laws read “Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

By |2015-04-06T18:55:43+00:00July 12th, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on 4 Employees of Tucson’s Green Halo Caregiver Collective Busted

Medical-Marijuana Clubs Busted in Tempe, Phoenix

Phoenix New Times:  “The Tempe and Phoenix locations of the Arizona Patient Education Center, which provided medical marijuana to state-registered patients, were raided on Thursday by Phoenix police.  ‘These guys applied for a (dispensary) license but didn’t have one, but it doesn’t matter anyway because they’re not allowed to sell marijuana,’ says Sergeant Tommy Thompson, Phoenix police spokesman.  Police shut down the businesses’ two offices at 209 East Baseline Road in Tempe and 4150 West Northern Avenue in Phoenix.”

By |2015-04-06T18:53:12+00:00June 2nd, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Medical-Marijuana Clubs Busted in Tempe, Phoenix

Arizona Cannabis Society Raided by Phoenix Police

Phoenix New Times:  “Arizona Cannabis Society, a medical-marijuana caregiver collective featured prominently in a March New Times blog post, was raided today by Phoenix police.  Founder Bill Hayes is still being detained, cops say. . . . After a month and a half of undercover work, police served search warrants on three locations related to AZCS. At one location, nearly 900 pot plants were found — yet not a single person involved was a qualified caregiver, [Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent] Crump says. . . . Crump says, evidence turned up that the club was not operating as a non-profit, as Arizona law requires of a medical-marijuana dispensary. . . . In February, Hayes filed a lawsuit against Arizona in federal court in the hopes of changing part of the 2010 medical-pot law. The law allows qualified patients and caregivers to grow pot — but not if they live within 25 miles of an open dispensary. Hayes wants to patients to be allowed to grow pot regardless of nearby dispensaries. . . . Crump says police intend to submit criminal charges against one or more people connected to the Arizona Cannabis Society. . . . See the slideshow [Phoenix New Times] published last month about the AZCS by clicking here.”

By |2017-02-12T07:38:05+00:00April 18th, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Arizona Cannabis Society Raided by Phoenix Police

Northeast Phoenix Medical-pot Site Exercises Caution

Arizona Republic:  “Patients with medical-marijuana cards can buy their medicines at one location in Phoenix.   Elements Caregivers Collective is the only permitted location for a dispensary so far in northeast Phoenix, and the only one of several applications for the area to meet the city’s zoning standards and receive a permit. The nearest dispensary applicants with approved permits are near Deer Valley Airport and Metrocenter. . . . According to permit holder Ingrid Joya, the shop is able to distribute medical marijuana as a group of caregivers who are allowed by law to grow marijuana for their patients. . . . Memberships range from $75 to $100, and they entitle patients to 1/8 ounce. Further purchases cost extra.  The collective keeps tight records on its patients, Joya says, and exceeds legal requirements.”

This story is troubling from a legal perspective for several reasons:

1.  Arizona’s medical marijuana law does not allow patients to buy medical marijuana from any source other than a dispensary licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services.  ADHS has not issued a single medical marijuana dispensary license so how can patients legally buy marijuana from Elements Cargivers Collective or its caregivers?  Was the reporter ignorant of the law and did he misstate what actually happens at the collective?

2.  How can Elements Caregivers Collective be the “only permitted location for a dispensary”  when there are no licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona?

3.  Sounds like patients are paying money to purchase marijuana, which is not authorized by Arizona’s medical marijuana laws.  Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2811.B, states:

“A registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver is not subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau . . . For offering or providing marijuana to a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver for the registered qualifying patient’s medical use or to a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary if nothing of value is transferred in return and the person giving the marijuana does not knowingly cause the recipient to possess more than the allowable amount of marijuana.”

4.  How can a collective have patients?  Arizona’s medical marijuana law does not authorize anybody to have medical marijuana patients except licensed dispensaries and a licensed caregiver who can have as many as five patients.  Elements Caregivers Collective is not a licensed dispensary nor is it a licensed caregiver.

4.  What does it mean to “keep tight records on patients?”   Does Elements Caregivers Collective keep written records of the following transactions:

a.  Source of all medical marijuana, date of acquisition, amount of marijuana and consideration paid for the marijuana?

b.  Indicate on all marijuana its source so the marijuana can be tracked?  Caregiver A’s marijuana must go only to Caregiver A’s patients.  Caregiver B’s marijuana must go only to Caregiver B’s patients.  The collective must be able to prove the trail of marijuana from its source to the patient.

c.  Name of patient who receives marijuana, name of caregiver who provided the marijuana, date of the delivery, amount, and a signed representation and warranty from the patient that the receipt of the marijuana will not cause the patient to exceed his or her allowable 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.

I recommend that the transactions described in a. and c. above be evidenced by a written document signed by each party whose signatures are acknowledged before an Arizona notary public.  I  would also attach a copy of each signer’s photo id and a copy of the patient’s and caregiver’s ADHS registration card to the signed document.

When it comes to record keeping, the caregiver must be able to prove to the police and ADHS that the caregiver gave his or her marijuana to one of his or her patients and that the gift did not cause the patient to exceed the two week allowance of 2.5 ounces.  If you are a caregiver can you prove your marijuana went to your patients?  If not, you are not complying with Arizona’s medical marijuana laws.

5.  Does Elements Caregivers Collective or its agents ever possess marijuana?  The only parties who are allowed to possess marijuana under Arizona medical marijuana laws are licensed:  (i) patients, (ii) caregivers, (iii) dispensary agents, and (iv) dispensaries.  Elements Caregivers Collective is none of those.

I am not suggesting that Elements Caregivers Collective is violating Arizona’s medical marijuana laws.  I don’t know what it does exactly.  My information about Elements Caregivers Collective comes from the article in the Arizona Republic linked to above, which was apparently written by a reporter who does not understand Arizona’s medical marijuana laws and may have made statements that are misleading and/or inaccurate.

P.S.  Words of advice to all licensed Arizona medical marijuana patients, caregivers and dispensaries (would be and actual in the future):  Do not give interviews to the media.  Keep a low profile.  Try to be invisible.  Stay off the radar scope of ADHS, the police and the DEA.

For more on this topic read my article called “Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

By |2012-03-07T07:45:45+00:00March 6th, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|2 Comments

Medical-Marijuana Warehouse Brings Pot Growers Together to Serve Patients’ Needs

Phoenix New Times:  “The freedom to grow marijuana granted by the state’s 2010 medical-pot law is blossoming along with the plants in an El Mirage warehouse.  Bill Hayes, founder of the Arizona Cannabis Society, invited New Times inside last week for a peek at their operation. (See our slideshow of the tour here.)  A couple of years ago, this marijuana nursery would have been kept top-secret by growers who risked going to prison for it. But because of the successful passage of the 2010 Medical Marijuana Act, those growers are now gainfully employed in a legal business. . . .  For ‘donations,’ Arizona’s 20,000-or-so registered medical-pot patients can obtain clones, seeds, or whole plants.”

By |2017-02-12T07:38:04+00:00March 5th, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Medical-Marijuana Warehouse Brings Pot Growers Together to Serve Patients’ Needs

Hundreds of Medical Marijuana Plants Move to Cultivation Center

KSAZ 10 TV:  “On Wednesday, over 50 registered caregivers moved the pot plants into grow tents at the Compassion First Caregiver Circle in preparation for its grand opening.”

The center is run by Gerald Gaines and his corporations called “Compassion First Caregiver Circle, Inc.” and the “Caregiver Circle North Phoenix COOP, Inc.”

By |2015-04-06T18:53:11+00:00February 2nd, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Hundreds of Medical Marijuana Plants Move to Cultivation Center

Phoenix Marijuana-cultivation Center Soon to Open is 1st in Nation

Arizona Republic:  “Inside a freshly-painted office building in north Phoenix, Lynette Shockley unpacked pieces of a black canvas tent to assemble so she can grow medical pot for patients and herself.  Around her, dozens of other registered caregivers erected their own grow tents and hauled in boxes of high-pressure sodium lights and duct systems to prepare for the opening of the 5,000-square-foot medical-marijuana cultivation center, soon to be a headquarters of sorts for 45 caregivers and 500 green leafy plants.  The center, near Seventh Avenue and Loop 101 is the first of its kind in the nation, its operators said, and provides a central location for caregivers to grow cannibus for patients with maladies ranging from cancer to chronic pain. Compassion First Caregivers Circle Inc. set up the center.”

By |2012-02-02T07:14:35+00:00January 26th, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Phoenix Marijuana-cultivation Center Soon to Open is 1st in Nation

Flagstaff Pot Store Open for Business

AZDailySun:  “It looks like any doctor’s office.  There are no Bob Marley posters or blacklights on the walls, and the latest issues of Hightimes aren’t strewn across the coffee table.  But if you have a medical marijuana prescription, this might be the only place in Flagstaff for you to obtain the substance legally.  The Grassroots Wellness Center, which opened its doors last month, is owned by longtime Flagstaff artist David Grandon, who says his goal is to help sick people feel better. The center offers a variety of health services and classes devoted to marijuana cultivation, cooking and legal issues.”

By |2012-01-16T08:18:10+00:00January 16th, 2012|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Flagstaff Pot Store Open for Business

Yoki A Ma’ Medical Marijuana Club Busted by Tempe and Nevada Authorities; Six Arrested — Club Owner Craig Sherf Talks to New Times

Phoenix New Times:  “Tempe police teamed up with Nevada authorities this week to bust the Yoki A Ma’ medical marijuana club, arresting six people. . . . In the three other club-busts that we’re aware of, though, either no charges were ever filed or the charges were dropped. Those cases, if you’ll recall involved: the Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group of Tempe (no charges); Al Sobol’s 2811 Club, LLC, (no charges); and the Arizona Go Green Co-op, (charges dropped).  Authorities could still charge the operators from the first two clubs or re-charge the folks from Go Green, (though Horne’s office told us a couple of weeks ago it didn’t intend to pursue that case, which was initiated by the Drug Enforcement Agency.) . . . The six arrested were: * Craig Allen Scherf . . . Nicole Dawn Scherf  . . . Richard Ray Hagerman . . . Renee Bruggeman . . . Rodger Murray . . . Mark Siegezwki . . . . Nicole Marie Clemens.”

See “Las Vegas woman arrested in medical marijuana dispensary crackdown.”

By |2015-04-06T18:52:33+00:00December 1st, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Yoki A Ma’ Medical Marijuana Club Busted by Tempe and Nevada Authorities; Six Arrested — Club Owner Craig Sherf Talks to New Times

State Drops Charges Against DEA-Busted Operators of a Tempe Medical Marijuana Clinic

Phoenix New Times:  “All charges have been dropped from September’s high-profile bust by the Drug Enforcement Agency of a Tempe medical marijuana clinic.  The DEA arrested James Chaney and Rachel Beeder of Arizona Go Green Co-Op on September 29 following a morning raid on the clinic and Chaney’s Phoenix home. . . . The DEA turned over prosecution of the case to the office of Tom Horne, state Attorney General. But Horne, despite his previous legal action against the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, dropped the charges last month against Beeder and Chaney. . . . Nor were charges ever filed in two high-profile busts in June by Gilbert PD: Garry Ferguson and the Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group in Tempe, and the raid of a Gilbert patient’s home over two ounces of weed.

By |2011-12-02T07:37:25+00:00November 22nd, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on State Drops Charges Against DEA-Busted Operators of a Tempe Medical Marijuana Clinic

Medical-marijuana Business Set to Open in Northeast Phoenix

Arizona Republic:  “Northeast Phoenix’s first medical-marijuana operation is scheduled to open next week.   Elements Caregiver Collective touts itself as Phoenix’s ‘first caregiver collective and a one-stop shop for medical marijuana and wellness services.’  The shop, which holds a Phoenix permit for a dispensary, plans to offer a range of services, as well as medical marijuana.  Ingrid Joiya, is the operator. A press release about the facility went out last week, but she could not be reached for comment this week. The shop is in a small strip center at 12620 N. Cave Creek Road. . . . The business will sell memberships to patients, who will donate the marijuana they grow in exchange for ‘reasonable reimbursement,’ the press release says.”

By |2011-11-08T07:18:50+00:00November 8th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Medical-marijuana Business Set to Open in Northeast Phoenix

Phoenix Police Raid 2811 Club

Arizona Republic:  “Phoenix police seized records, cash and high-grade marijuana after serving a search warrant at a Phoenix medical-marijuana club Wednesday.  Detectives believe Club 2811, 17233 N. Holmes Blvd., Suite 1615, twisted Arizona’s medical-marijuana law for profit, according to police.”

The following is the text of an email message sent by The Consiglieri Group on October 13, 2011:

THE 2811 Club was Raided by the Phoenix Police yesterday.

Even though a Superior Court Judge decided that the club can remain open during the litigation, the Police , under the direction of the Arizona Attorney General decided to ignore the judges ruling and attempted to close the club by force.  We are the only club in Arizona that has operated in full compliance with the law. We have made ever effort to be transparent in the operation of our club.  We have invited all law enforcement to visit our facility.  We have repeatly stated that if you can show us one law that we are in violation of we will close our doors.  The Attorney General’s office has  been unable to produce any violations. The comments from the police were,

We are going to close this place down one way or the other’.

The Attorney General has ignored the hundreds of  black market illegal operations that have sprung up across the valley in the past few weeks.  People illegally selling pounds of marijuana to anyone with or without a card. Advertising  the sale of marijuana on the internet and from store fronts , with credit card payments and  fedex delivery.  While this blackmarket flourishes, patients are put at great risk, acquiring their marijuana from back alleys and the internet. Patients are getting mugged and ripped off. Apparently our elected officials could care less about patient safety.  The police chose to attack an open , honest and legitimate operation insteadt of focusing their resources on criminal enterprises.  Public safety should be the first concern of  our our elected officials, but clearly it has taken a back seat here.  The Governor is intentionally trying to create anarchy in the  marijuana industry to justify a repeal of the law.  It is clear that this police operation was politically motivated.  All Arizona residents should be outraged, not about marijuana, but about this egregious government abuse.  The Governor, and the Attorney general have a duty under our constitution  to uphold our laws. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is the law of the land.  With their actions today, they have violated the civil rights of every resident of Arizona.

 The police removed all of our electronic equipment including our POS system, computers, and large screen TV’s. We are therefore unable to provide our normal  club educational resource services.  However, we will remain open to allow patients to exchange their marijuana.  We will have patients available that have excess marijuana which they want to  freely give to other patients as permitted under the AZMMA.  As always there is no charge for this exchange.  Additionally, until we can restore full service we will waive the membership fees to the club.  Consequently, admittance  to the Club will be FREE. ( you must be a qualifed MM card holder to enter our club).    Come get your FREE MARIJUANA, while supplies last.

Additionally, we ask you to show your support and visit our club today ( Thursday).  We also need you to sign a petition that will be sent to the Judge.  We will be open from 10am to 5 pm today. Please stop by get some free marijuana and sign our petition.

Sincerely
Allan Sobol”

By |2011-10-13T01:34:51+00:00October 13th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Phoenix Police Raid 2811 Club

James Chaney, Owner of Tempe Pot Club Raided by DEA, Also Suspected of Possessing Meth

Phoenix New Times:  “The owner of a Tempe medical marijuana club raided by the DEA last week was already being sought by cops for possession of methamphetamine, records show.  James Chaney, 37, was arrested along with co-worker Rachel Beeder, 25, on September 29 during the morning raid of the Arizona Go Green Compassion Club at 426 East Southern Avenue. . . . Allan Sobol, the medical pot marketer who opened a compassion club in June, says he agrees with the DEA’s decision.”

By |2011-10-05T07:01:33+00:00October 5th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on James Chaney, Owner of Tempe Pot Club Raided by DEA, Also Suspected of Possessing Meth

DEA Raids Medical Marijuana Club in Tempe, Accuses Owners of Running Illegal Dispensary

Phoenix New Times:  “the DEA has gone after a . . . medical marijuana club in Tempe.  Agents began showing up at the AZ Go Green Co-Op at 426 East Southern Avenue around 8 a.m., according to a news report by Channel 10 (KSAZ-TV). The owners’ of the club, says the report, are Rachael Beeder and James Chaney.  A doctor at the clinic, James Eisenberg, left a note on the door saying he’ll be out till October 1st.”

See “Jailed Medical Marijuana Clinic Worker Speaks Out.”  “FOX 10’s cameras were the only ones there when the DEA raided a medical marijuana clinic in Tempe. In another exclusive, the woman that ran the Arizona Go Green Compassion Club talks to us from behind bars.”

For more about whether an Arizona cannabis club is legal under Arizona’s medical marijuana laws see “Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

By |2015-04-06T18:52:31+00:00September 30th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Federal Dispensary Attacks, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles, Video|Comments Off on DEA Raids Medical Marijuana Club in Tempe, Accuses Owners of Running Illegal Dispensary

Arizona vs. The 2811 Club – the Lawsuit to Shut Down Arizona Cannabis Clubs

The text of Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s August 8, 2011, press release states:

“PHOENIX (Monday, August 8, 2011) — Attorney General Tom Horne today filed a civil action against four Phoenix-area cannabis clubs and one individual that falsely claim to be operating lawfully under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). The action is for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief and is filed on behalf of the State and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“The law permits one card holder to give marijuana to another card holder. But is does not permit the activities of these Defendants, who charge fees to members. These private entities and individuals are in no way permitted to legally transfer marijuana to anybody,” Horne said. “The operators of these clubs claim that they are protected under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act when they are not registered as non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries as required under that law. These people are marketing themselves as being able to lawfully transfer marijuana, and that type of deception and blatantly illegal activity must be stopped.”

The filing in Maricopa County Superior Court claims that The 2811 Club, The Arizona Compassion Association, Yoki A Ma’ Club, the Arizona Compassion Club and Michael R. Miller are all private cannabis clubs or owners/operators of clubs that have claimed they are able to lawfully participate in the possession, production, transportation, sale, or transfer of marijuana in accordance with A.R. S. § 36-2801 et. seq., the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. However the Act does not offer legal protection to cannabis clubs, cooperatives or any other person, association or entities that are not registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries. Nor does the act decriminalize the possession, production, transportation, sale, or transfer of marijuana by or through those entities.

This action asks the court to issue a declaratory judgment that each of the Defendants is violating the AMMA and prohibit them from engaging in activities that involve selling, producing, transporting, transferring or possession of marijuana.”

Arizona vs. The 2811 Club Complaint

The Attorney General’s complaint in the matter of  State of Arizona vs. The 2811 Club, The Arizona Compassion Association, Yoki A Ma’ Club, the Arizona Compassion Club and Michael R. Miller follows:
Pot Complaint 1

Arizona vs. The 2811 Cannabis Club Motion to Show Cause & Application for Injunction

Pot Complaint 2

By |2011-10-13T00:30:03+00:00August 9th, 2011|AZ Marijuana Law Lawsuits, Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Arizona vs. The 2811 Club – the Lawsuit to Shut Down Arizona Cannabis Clubs

2811 Club & Alan Sobol Respond to Arizona Attorney General’s Lawsuit

On August 9, 2011, Alan Sobol sent the following message to the public.

The 2811 Club Welcomes the Court Challenge

Phoenix  August 8, 2011.  Arizona Attorney General Tom Horn issued a  news release yesterday announcing that he filed  a complaint for Declaratory Judgement asking the Courts to rule on the legitimacy of Cannabis clubs.  What Mr. Horn did not say was that Mr. Sobol, the marketing agent who developed the Cannabis Club business model in question,  filed for a Declaratory Judgment weeks ago, also asking the Court to render a decision on whether or not the 2811 Club business model was legal under Arizona State law . Sobol’s Action is still awaiting a response from the Attorney General’s office.  The 2811 Club welcomes this Court intervention.

 The 2811 Club, LLC opened it’s doors for business on July 4th 2011. This Club was Arizona’s first Cannabis Club.  The 2811 Club is an Educational and Resource facility with a campus  intended as a venue for qualified patients to learn, share knowledge, exchange  medication and network together.  “This is a membership only club, you must be a qualified patient and possess a Arizona medical marijuana card issued by the AZDHS to enter” says Sobol.

 Once inside, the club provides a safe, clean, well managed facility which includes an array of services designed to meet the needs of Patients including, extensive educational classes, a comprehensive marijuana Library, and  on-line research services, pain management services and demonstrations, daily entertainment, specialized discounts on various  marijuana related products and services, marijuana  testing  services,  strain consulting,   and perhaps most importantly the unique ability to safely network with other qualified patients.

 Patient to patient transfers are permitted under the law so long as nothing of value is exchanged.  In  fact the Club is named after the provision of the law that specifically allows such exchanges: A.R.S 36-2811.   Both Horn and Sobol agree, that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does permit qualified patients the right to  freely exchange their medication.   However, the law does not specify where such exchanges must take place. For example, the law does not require such exchanges to take place in a Dispensary.  The 2811 club does not  sell or distribute marijuana whatsoever.  The club simply provides a safe venue for qualified patients to freely  exchange marijuana among themselves, so long as it is done in full compliance with the law.  Any membership fees charges are for use of the facility and its extensive services, and not for the  sale of marijuana as alleged by Horn.

Additionally, In the good faith  and spirit of the law the Club provides free space to a Compassion Association comprised of qualified patients and caregivers who also distribute free samples ( approx 4 grams)  of their own individually grown, very high quality, medical grade marijuana.  This medication is independently tested ,professionally labeled and packaged.  Other then the space it donates, The 2811 Club has no affiliation with this private not-for-profit compassion club. Qualified, credible and highly skilled caregivers who are associated with the Compassion group, make themselves  available to qualified patients who wish to register them through the AZDHS program. There is simply no safer way for qualified patients to obtain the medication they voted for.

Moreover,  any qualified patient is welcome to visit the club and exchange their medication with other club members. Qualified patients do not have to utilize the 2811 Club to exchange their marijuana, however, they choose  to visit this facility because they know that all members of the Club are qualified patients, the facility offers extensive security,  provides numerous other services including  extensive education and marijuana testing, and it’s  simply a great place to meet other qualified patients.   In the absence of such a facility, qualified patients would be forced into the streets, or risky Craigslist advertising  to attract other patients.    Sobol says the club fill a niche, it  is the merely the vessel that brings qualified patients together and  is absolutely  legal.  Some patients join the club just to take advantage of the extensive educational services provided by the Arizona Cannabis University, which is included in the membership fees.  The club maintains strict membership rules to assure full compliance with the law. The 2811 Club is presently  the only  safe, dignified and legal way for qualified patients to comply with the law.

We believe Mr. Horn’s Compliant is in Violation of the  Arizona Voter Protection Act,  is an abuse of his authority, and moreover is further evidence of  the  bad faith efforts on the part of  Arizona government officials to thwart the will of the Arizona Voters. In an apparent attempt to justify a repeal of the Medical marijuana Act in 2013 some of our elected officials are apparently trying to create mayhem in this industry.  The Governors actions are merely a self filling prophecy.      Mr. Horn’s Civil Action alleges  that there is no provision in the law that allows for this type of Cannabis Club. The fact is, there is no provision in the law that specifically precludes  it either.  The fact is qualified patients can legally meet in practically any venue to exchange their medication. For example,   If  two qualified patients were to meet at a Movie theater to exchange their medication, would Mr. Horn move to close down all theaters?  We believe that government officials have a obligation to  uphold the laws of this state.  They should be exerting their energies on how to safely implement the Arizona Medical Marijuana law rather than conspiring to  to stop it.  Properly managed facilities like the 2811 Club can provide qualified patients statewide with an organized, professional and fully compliant network of patient and caregiver exchanges sufficient to meet the needs of this program.

It is outrageous for Mr. Horn to suggest that the 2811 club is some how deceptive. We have been totally transparent in the development and operation of our Club.  The 2811 Club has  repeatedly invited all law enforcement, including Mr. Horn, to visit our facility.  In fact, on August 1, 2011 we sent the Attorney General a request for a meeting to discuss the legal issues concerning Cannabis Clubs.  The e-mail stated in part;

“It has always been my intent to operate in full compliance with the law, therefore,  if there is some specific legal statute, or compelling and meritorious argument that would preclude such business operations in Arizona then, in that case, I would most definitely withdraw my proprietary licenses and  cease all marketing efforts. Absent such specific limitations or regulations, I believe it would be in our mutual interest to meet and review Cannabis Club operations.  I look forward to hearing from you.”

There was no response  from Mr. Horn!

We  adamantly believe that our 2811 club business model is in full compliance with State Laws and  we welcome the opportunity to expedite this matter in the Courts.

We again extend an invitation to all law enforcement  and government officials to come visit our facility.  We have nothing to hide.  We take great pride in the fully compliant facility we have developed, and the services it provides to our members.

We thank our members for their continued support, and encourage all those who suffer with the qualifying conditions to apply for a Medical Marijuana Card.  We have a Doctor on site who will review your records and, if qualified,  write you the required recommendation.  In a further effort to demonstrate our true desire to help we are again lowering our price for Doctor Evaluations to $65.00. (The Lowest evaluation price in the State).

Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions,  602-993-5600 or visit our website for more information:   the2811club.com.

Thank you

Allan Sobol, Marketing Director

The 2811 Club, LLC

By |2011-10-13T00:30:19+00:00August 9th, 2011|AZ Marijuana Law Lawsuits, Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on 2811 Club & Alan Sobol Respond to Arizona Attorney General’s Lawsuit

Arizona Attorney General Sues Cannabis Clubs to Stop Distribution of Marijuana

Attorney General Tom Horne agrees with me.  Read my article called “Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?”  The following is the text of an August 8, 2011, blog post by Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble.

“A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post expressing serious concerns about the legality of so-called cannabis clubs that have been popping up recently.  It appeared to me that the clubs are distributing marijuana to customers in a way that’s inconsistent with the provisions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act- and the persons involved could be conducting illegal marijuana transactions…  which is why we asked the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for review and analysis.

“The Arizona Attorney General has completed their analysis of “cannabis clubs” and have concluded that the clubs and the folks working in them aren’t allowed to legally transfer marijuana.  The Attorney General filed a civil action in Maricopa County Superior Court today against four Valley cannabis clubs.  Today’s action asks for a “declaratory judgment and injunctive relief” meaning that we’re asking the court to stop the cannabis clubs from operating and claiming that they’re able to operate under the protection of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Phoenix New Times:  “Tom Horne, State Attorney General, Asks Court to Shut Down Cannabis Clubs; Says He’s Taking “Softer Approach” by Not Ordering Arrests” – Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne asked a court today to shut down cannabis clubs, claiming they’re ‘blatantly illegal’ under Arizona’s medical marijuana law.  The motion, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, names four clubs and an individual: ‘The 2811 Club, The Arizona Compassion Association, Yoki A Ma’ Club, the Arizona Compassion Club and Michael R. Miller.’ Horne wants a judge’s ruling that the clubs aren’t legal and an injunction to stop them from the ‘selling, producing, transporting, transferring or possession of marijuana’. . . . We asked Horne if he was just passing the buck on this decision. If he’s so sure the clubs are acting illegally, why not just have the clubs raided and their staffs arrested?

I’m taking a softer approach,’ Horne tells us.”

Phoenix New Times:  “Al Sobol, Pot Club Manager, “Happy” to Have Court Decide on Clubs’ Legality” – “Al Sobol, a prominent medical marijuana marketer, says he’s “happy” that state Attorney General Tom Horne seeks to have a court review the legality of cannabis clubs.  Sobol is the manager of the 2811 Club, LLC, one of the businesses named in the legal actions filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court today by state Attorney General Tom Horne.”

East Valley Tribune:  “Horne asks judge to shut down Arizona’s ‘marijuana clubs’” – “Calling them illegal drug dealers, Attorney General Tom Horne asked a judge on Monday to shut down the ‘marijuana clubs” that are opening up around the state.  In legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, Horne said the medical marijuana law that voters approved last November has no provision for the kind of clubs where members, after paying a fee, can get access to free drugs. More to the point, he said the exceptions in the law that club owners say permit what they do does not exist.”

By |2015-04-06T18:52:31+00:00August 9th, 2011|AZ Marijuana Law Lawsuits, Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Arizona Attorney General Sues Cannabis Clubs to Stop Distribution of Marijuana

Legal Marijuana in Arizona, but Not for the Sellers

New York Times:  “Marijuana is known to cause red eyes, gales of laughter and the munchies. In Arizona, add another side effect: utter confusion.  Voters narrowly approved a ballot initiative last November allowing medical marijuana in the state, but the result has been just the opposite of an orderly system of dispensing cannabis to the truly sick. Rather, police raids, surreptitious money transfers and unofficial pot clubs have followed passage of the new law, creating a chaotic situation not far removed from the black-market system that has always existed.”

By |2011-07-23T15:18:27+00:00July 23rd, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Legal Marijuana in Arizona, but Not for the Sellers

Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

Alan Sobol and his 2811 Club are breaking unchartered ground by creating an organization where card-carrying Arizona medical marijuana patients can pay a fixed fee of $75 to enter the club’s facility and obtain “free” marijuana.  Sobol claims his cannabis club is legal under Arizona’s medical marijuana laws, but he filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court to get a court ruling on the legality of his cannabis club under Arizona’s law.

Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2811.B, states:

“A registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver is not subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau . . . For offering or providing marijuana to a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver for the registered qualifying patient’s medical use or to a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary if nothing of value is transferred in return and the person giving the marijuana does not knowingly cause the recipient to possess more than the allowable amount of marijuana.”

This statute apparently protects a registered Arizona medical marijuana patient from violating Arizona’s criminal marijuana laws if the patient gives not more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana (or less if the recipient has additional marijuana) to another Arizona medical marijuana patient.  Stated another way, this statute protects registered Patient A if Patient A gives an allowable amount of marijuana to registered Patient B and nothing of value is received by Patient A.

If a cannabis club wants to be protected by ARS Section 36-2811.B then the events that occur at the club must be limited to registered Patient A or registered caregiver C giving an allowable amount of marijuana to registered Patient B.  Here are some potential problems that could cause a cannabis club to not be protected from Arizona state prosecution:

  • Charging patients a fee when the club is involved in the marijuana gift transaction.  If a patient pays $75 to enter the club’s facility will a judge or jury find that the charge is for something other than to obtain marijuana?  If a cannabis club charged $75 to get in its door would anybody pay that amount if the club did not provide free marijuana?  Can you think of any business establishments that charge $75, $50 or $25 to get in the door?  Private country clubs charge a lot, but they provide golf and other amenities.  There are also private clubs that charge a high membership fee, but these cannot survive unless they provide value in return for the fee.  Yes amusement parks charge big admission fees, but cannabis clubs are not amusement parks or country clubs.  The best argument a cannabis club would have to avoid prosecution for violating Arizona’s criminal marijuana laws is if the club merely charges a fee for the use of its premises and the club is not involved in any way in the marijuana gift transaction.  Example 1:  Consider Cannabis Club 1 that charges $75 for a registered patient or caregiver to enter its premises.  It does not store or possess marijuana or assist donors and donees in finding each other or in consummating a marijuana gift transaction.  The donor must find a donee while both are in Club 1’s premises and the donor personally gives the donor’s marijuana to the donee.  Example 2:  Compare that scenario with Cannabis Club 2 that charges the same premises entry fee, but it accepts marijuana from patients and caregivers who then depart the premises and are not thereafter involved in the gift transaction.  Club 2 holds the marijuana and gives it to a patient.  Neither the marijuana donor nor the donee ever meet or are involved in consummating the gift transaction.  I do not believe Club 2 will be protected by ARS Section 36-2811.B.
  • Who is making the gift of marijuana?  ARS Section 36-2811.B protects Patient A who gives marijuana to Patient B in exchange for nothing of value.  The cannabis club must be able to prove that the marijuana transaction involved Patient A giving to Patient B.  The transaction cannot be cannabis club giving marijuana to Patient B.  The club must keep detailed records to show the source of all marijuana given to patients.  If a person wants to be able to rely on the protection provided by ARS Section 36-2811.B that person must be able to prove that a gift of marijuana complied with the requirements of ARS Section 36-2811.B.  If Patient A merely gives marijuana to Patient B how does Patient A prove the gift complied with ARS Section 36-2811.B?  At a minimum, the club should have a document signed by Patient A (or Caregiver C) and Patient B in which it states that on a certain date Patient A (or Caregiver C) gave Patient B a specified amount of marijuana for free.  The document should contain a statement that the recipient represents and warrants to the giver that acceptance of the marijuana will not cause the recipient to possess more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana.  Donor and donee must sign the document.  Although not required, the signatures should be acknowledged before a notary public.  The document should contain proof of the identity of the parties such as the party’s Arizona driver’s license number and patient or caregiver ADHS registration numbers.  I also recommend the parties make a photo copy of each party’s Arizona driver’s license and patient or caregiver card and attach the copies to the acknowledgment of gift document.
  • Does a registered patient or caregiver make the gift of marijuana or is the gift made by a third party?   For ARS Section 36-2811.B to apply, Patient A or Caregiver C must make a gift to Patient B.  If neither Patient A or Caregiver C is at the club’s facility to actually make the gift and the gift is made by club personnel, then a court could find that Section 36-2811.B does not apply.
  • What is the source of the marijuana that is given to a patient?  The cannabis club must be able to prove that the marijuana that was actually given by Patient A to Patient B was Patient A’s marijuana.  This means that at a minimum the club must have an inventory system to track the source and disposition of all marijuana.  It must also have a system to segregate each patient’s and caregiver’s marijuana so it can show the source of the marijuana when another patient receives a gift of marijuana.
  • Does Arizona law allow the cannabis club to possess Patient A’s marijuana?  I don’t think so.  Arizona’s medical marijuana law allows registered patients and caregivers to possess marijuana, but it does not allow a third party like a club to possess a registered patient’s or caregiver’s marijuana.  If the club rather than the registered patient or caregiver possess marijuana, those involved with the club could be charged with violating Arizona’s criminal marijuana laws.

I am sure there are other potential problems that I have not addressed, but the ones listed above are the most obvious.  Another issue involves registered caregivers who cannot be a caregiver for more than five registered patients.  A registered caregiver’s marijuana must go to one of the caregiver’s five registered patients.  Is that what happens at a cannabis club?

By |2011-10-13T00:31:19+00:00July 20th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

Alan Sobol & Cannabis Clubs are Arizona Medical Marijuana Pioneers

KTAR.com:  “The founder of a Phoenix cannabis club is suing Gov. Jan Brewer and State Health Services Director Will Humble.  Al Sobol, owner of the 2811 cannabis club, said Humble ‘threatened’ his club last week after being asked if he felt the clubs were legal.”  See “Confusion abounds in Arizona’s tricky medical marijuana marketplace” and “Marijuana club owner sues to keep doors open.”

By |2017-02-12T07:38:02+00:00July 20th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Alan Sobol & Cannabis Clubs are Arizona Medical Marijuana Pioneers

Medical-marijuana Clubs Pop Up as Arizona Law is Debated

Arizona Republic:  “Medical-marijuana dispensaries can’t yet operate in Arizona pending a judge’s ruling on Proposition 203. But that doesn’t necessarily keep cardholders from finding pot.  At least a handful of clubs that provide patients with medical marijuana have opened up in the Valley to fill that void.”

By |2011-07-22T08:33:16+00:00July 18th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Medical-marijuana Clubs Pop Up as Arizona Law is Debated

Humble: Marijuana Club Circumvents Law

Capital Media Services:  “You could soon have a marijuana club down the block or around the corner.  An entrepreneur in the state’s medical marijuana industry has found what he believes is a loophole in the law that restricts distribution of the drug to just 125 specially licensed dispensaries. Allan Sobol already has opened his first club in North Phoenix and has plans with his business partners to expand elsewhere.”

By |2015-04-06T18:52:30+00:00July 15th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Humble: Marijuana Club Circumvents Law

AZ Department of Health Services to Cannabis Clubs: You are Walking on Thin Ice

What follows below is the text of Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble’s July 14, 2011, blog post:

“The Arizona Department of Health Services has serious concerns about the legality of so-called cannabis clubs. The information that we have regarding these ‘clubs’ suggests that they are distributing marijuana to customers in a way that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, and the persons involved could be conducting illegal marijuana transactions. For this reason, we have referred this issue to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for review and analysis by its civil and criminal divisions.”

I view this as a warning to medical marijuana clubs that give away or facilitate the giving of marijuana among people who are licensed Arizona medical marijuana patients.  I cannot imagine the Arizona Attorney General who is suing the United States over medical marijuana is going to bless these clubs.

By |2011-07-22T08:33:52+00:00July 15th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles, Will Humble Speaks|Comments Off on AZ Department of Health Services to Cannabis Clubs: You are Walking on Thin Ice

Arizona Compassion Club Helps Obtain Medical Marijuana for Qualified Patients

Phoenix New Times:  “In a creative work-around to the state’s lack of marijuana dispensaries, a group of card-holding patients are offering various strains of buds, edibles and tinctures in exchange for donations from club members. The Arizona Compassion Club operates out of several Valley offices, and the people running the clubs believe they’re perfectly legal.”

By |2011-07-22T08:34:04+00:00June 26th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Arizona Compassion Club Helps Obtain Medical Marijuana for Qualified Patients

Can a Person Who Holds an Arizona Medical Marijuana Patient Card Sell Marijuana to Another Arizona Licensed Patient or Caregiver?

The arrest of Gary Ferguson and others by the Gilbert Police Department raises the question of whether an Arizona medical marijuana patient cardholder can sell marijuana to another person who is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services as a medical marijuana patient or caregiver.  Several people have been or will be arrested as a result of Mr. Ferguson’s operation of  the Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group where card-holding Arizona medical marijuana patients were able to gather to smoke pot and sell marijuana to other licensed patients.  Mr. Ferguson told a reporter that he believes that Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2815 authorizes Arizona licensed patients sell marijuana to other Arizona licensed patients.  For more on this arrest, see “Gilbert police raid of medical-marijuana group raises questions.”

Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2815.C states:

“Any cardholder who sells marijuana to a person who is not allowed to possess marijuana for medical purposes under this chapter shall have his registry identification card revoked, and shall be subject to other penalties for the unauthorized sale of marijuana and other applicable offenses.”

Unfortunately for those arrested in the Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group raid, this statute does not say that Arizona medical marijuana patients may sell marijuana to other licensed Arizona medical marijuana patients.  Nor does this statute authorize caregivers to sell marijuana to other caregivers or patients.

The issue of a licensed patient or caregiver supplying marijuana to a third party is addressed in Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2811.B, which states:

“A registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver is not subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau . . . For offering or providing marijuana to a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver for the registered qualifying patient’s medical use or to a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary if nothing of value is transferred in return and the person giving the marijuana does not knowingly cause the recipient to possess more than the allowable amount of marijuana.”

This statute is a safe harbor for licensed Arizona medical marijuana patients who supply marijuana to other licensed Arizona medical marijuana patients ONLY IF THE SUPPLIER GETS NOTHING OF VALUE from the receipient.  If the supplier receives any money or any property of value, Arizona’s medical marijuana laws do not protect the supplier from prosecution for violating Arizona state or local marijuana laws.  Nor will the supplier avoid prosecution under federal law because the U.S. Attorney and many of the state U.S. Attorneys including Arizona’s Dennis Burke have said the U.S. will not generally spend U.S. resources prosecuting patients and caregivers who comply with the laws of a state like Arizona that have legalized medical marijuana.  An Arizona licensed medical marijuana patient who sells marijuana to another Arizona licensed patient is not complying with Arizona’s medical marijuana laws and could therefor be prosecuted for violating federal marijuana laws.

By |2014-07-25T06:48:48+00:00June 24th, 2011|Cannabis Clubs, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Can a Person Who Holds an Arizona Medical Marijuana Patient Card Sell Marijuana to Another Arizona Licensed Patient or Caregiver?
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