Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Going Corporate

The New York Times: Medical marijuana dispensaries are going corporate as "more and more states allow medical use of the drug." As "California considers outright legalization, marijuana's supporters are pushing hard to burnish the image of pot by franchising dispensaries and building brands; establishing consulting, lobbying and law firms; setting up trade shows and a seminar circuit; and constructing a range of other marijuana-related businesses." Many supporters favor outright legalization of the drug. In California, "dispensaries already employ all manner of business gimmicks to survive in an increasingly competitive market" including advertisements in the trade magazine for everything from daily specials, free samples and home delivery to — since it is California — free parking. "There are also new schools and seminars that can be used as credit for required continuing education classes for doctors and lawyers." But federal authorities continue to oppose decriminalization, and though 14 states allow medical marijuana, raids on dispensaries are still common (McKinley, 4/23).

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