Two Stories of Plans to Dispense Medical Marijuana

All over California, the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries have grabbed headlines. California voters had earlier said yes to legalization of medical marijuana, but the question remains – how to obtain it? In the Eastern Sierra, Mammoth officials have met to hammer out a process for dispensaries and in Inyo, one man says he will go back to the Inyo Supervisors with his plan for an outlet.

Brett Birmingham of Big Pine had drawn attention when he published a doing business as statement with the name


Brett Birmingham, Big Pine

Marijuana Caf. Birmingham already operates a video store and sporting good store on Big Pine’s main street. He plans to go back to the Inyo Supervisors to press his plans.

Birmingham has set aside a separate space for his marijuana dispensary in the back of his current businesses. He said he had received a letter form Planning Director Mike Conklin that explains that sale of medical marijuana would amount to a violation of the County’s Zoning Ordinance. The letter says that if he proceeds with the sale of medicinal marijuana at his place of business in Big Pine, “this matter will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for further action.”

Meanwhile, in Mammoth Lakes, Steve Klassen, who had gone public at a Town Council meeting as a user of medicinal marijuana, has since then met with Police Chief Randy Schienle, Lt. Jim Short, Planning Commissioner Tony Barrett and Nancy Mahannah of the Health Department to discuss possibilities. Klassen said he plans to open a co-operative to dispense medical marijuana.


Steve Klassen, Mammoth Lakes

Klassen said that next week he and the police chief will make a presentation to the Town Council that they are working together. Klassen said he believes the issue will go to the Mammoth Planning Commission for work on an ordinance. Klassen, who has used medicinal marijuana since 1996, said he thinks it is best not to ban marijuana dispensaries. “That’s not the compassionate choice,” he said. Klassen said that he and town officials have set a deadline for a new ordinance at May 31st. He said that Mammoth officials have shown a desire to work together.

Klassen referred to material from Attorney General Jerry Brown who explained the voter approval of medicinal marijuana. The Attorney General spoke of cooperatives but also the need to form a business to dispense marijuana.

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