Although medical marijuana dispensaries and cooperatives are operating legally under California state law, they remain the focus of the federal government and subject to criminal charges. U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy has committed her office to shutting down all dispensaries and cooperatives operating in the Southern District of California. Since late 2011, the number of storefront dispensaries has dropped from over 250 to less than 20 according to a recent statement released by the DEA.
Now, the government has shifted their focus from physical stores to medical marijuana delivery services. Many cooperatives shutdown due to the fear of being prosecuted and transitioned to an on-line storefront. Patients can order through a website and the marijuana will be delivered to them. Where patients used to go to the dispensaries, the dispensaries now deliver to the patients.
On the surface, this appears to be an "intra-state" activity because the patient who ordered the medical marijuana and the company that delivered it are both in California. However, these transactions are subject to federal prosecution because virtually every transaction involves either the internet or a cell-phone which use "inter-state" communications facilities that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal courts.
If you have been charged with a drug crime in state or federal court it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact my office at (619) 274-8036 to schedule a consultation.