Susan Luzzaro 8:14 a.m., May 23
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Begin Implementing "Pop-Up" Locations
Popular Restaurant Trend Inspires Retailers to Sell Product at Temporary "Streetcorner Shops."
"I don't know why we didn't think of this before."
CORNER OF 30TH AND IMPERIAL, JUST AROUND MIDNIGHT - Marshall Samuelson had a problem. The Federal Government had just served him a notice letting him know that his state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary was in violation of Federal law, and that he need to join the 62% of dispensaries that had already shut down, "and pronto," if he wanted to avoid jail time.
"And that wasn't all," marvels Samuelson. "They also wanted me to turn over all my product, without any expectation of reimbursement. Does that sound like justice to you? But it's not like the courts were going to be any help - 'Your Honor, can I please keep my weed?' Whatevs. I was in a tight spot."
That's when Samuelson heard about MedMarList, a Craigslist-style online directory that allowed sellers and users to communicate about temporary storefronts set up at various places around the city. "The whole thing is modeled after the pop-up restaurant trend," explained Samuelson. "You know, where a chef sets up shop at a certain spot for a little while, then tears down the operation and moves on. It keeps things flexible, and it also allows the seller to respond quickly to the customer's needs. In many cases, a provider can be on a consumer's street corner within 10 minutes. And in our case, it allows us to close up and move on in a hurry should the wrong element come calling."
Asked whether the "wrong element" indicated recreational marijuana users seeking to abuse the medical marijuana system or Federal authorities seeking to abuse medical marijuana distributors, Samuelson just smiled. "Now why would I answer a silly question like that?" he asked.