Pubdate: Wed, 27 Feb 2008
Source: Marin Independent Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Marin Independent Journal
Author: Richard Halstead
Referenced: Medical Marijuana Delivery Service Makes Debut In Marin
Cited: Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


The founding director of Marin's only sanctioned medical marijuana 
dispensary says the spokesman for a new medical marijuana delivery 
service is out to get her - but he says she is just blowing smoke. 
Lynnette Shaw, director of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, 
has obtained a temporary restraining order against Jeffrey Rifkind, 
the spokesman for We Deliver, a new medical marijuana delivery 
service that began operating in Marin earlier this month.

Rifkind said he was hired by a Marin couple who are managing the 
delivery business to help market it. He said he receives no money 
from sales. Rifkind said the couple want to remain anonymous because 
they're fearful of reprisals from the federal government.

Rifkind and Shaw are hardly strangers. Rifkind has served as a broker 
between Shaw's Marin Alliance and the company that processes its 
customers' credit card payments for a decade.

Shaw claims that Rifkind began making threatening phone calls to her 
and the staff of her Fairfax dispensary after an article appeared in 
the Marin Independent Journal on Feb. 5 publicizing the launch of the 
delivery service.

In documents filed with the court, Shaw states that Rifkind shouted 
such phrases as, "I'm going to get you.

I'm going to take you down. I'm launching World War Three against the 
club." Shaw said she fears for her life and has hired a bodyguard. 
She has asked the court to make Rifkind pay her $500 to cover the 
guard's salary.

"This is all utter fabrication by Lynnette," Rifkind said. "She 
doesn't like competition."

When Rifkind visited the Marin Alliance storefront on Feb. 7, Shaw 
refused him entry and called the Fairfax police to have him removed 
from the premises. Shaw said Rifkind parked his BMW "with an overly 
large advertising sign reading, 'Medical Marijuana Delivery'" in the 
Marin Alliance's parking lot and "tried to sell marijuana out of his 
car to my incoming clientele."

Shaw said Rifkind has attempted to "buy into my business" several 
times over the years. The Marin Alliance has 4,800 members and 
dispenses to about 800 Marin residents each month. Shaw, whose pot 
clinic logs about $1 million in annual marijuana sales, declined to 
disclose her salary, or the salaries paid staff members.

The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, situated next door to a 
Little League field in Fairfax, is the only sanctioned medical 
marijuana dispensary in Marin. When clubs tried to open in other 
Marin cities, local officials moved swiftly to ban them.

Rifkind said he visited the Marin Alliance's office on Feb. 7 to 
notify Shaw that the cost of her credit card redemptions was about to 
be raised. Rifkind said she had been refusing to take his calls. 
Rifkind vehemently denies attempting to sell marijuana out of his car.

"If this statement is not retracted entirely, I may have no choice 
but to bring an action against her for slander and or libel," Rifkind 
wrote in a court filing.

As for trying to buy the club, Rifkind said he once made an offer on 
behalf of his brother, Stephen Rifkind, a lawyer who is representing 
him in Shaw's civil action. The court has granted a temporary 
restraining order requiring Rifkind to stay away from Shaw until a 
court hearing can be held to assess the merits of her request. A 
medical condition kept Rifkind from attending a Feb. 20 hearing date. 
The hearing is now scheduled for 9 a.m. March 26.

Shaw's attorney, Fairfax Councilman Larry Bragman, said he helped 
Shaw with her business permit several years ago. Bragman said it was 
Shaw, not he, who subpoenaed Fairfax police Officer Hector Rodriguez 
last week to testify at her hearing. Bragman said he hasn't discussed 
the merits of the case with Rodriguez, who was called to evict 
Rifkind from the Fairfax dispensary.

"I met him briefly in court - that was the extent of it," Bragman said.

This is not the first time Shaw has sought a restraining order 
against competitors in the medical marijuana field. In 1997, she 
asked the court to protect her from Les and Darice McKay, a Point 
Reyes couple who sought unsuccessfully to open their own medical 
marijuana dispensary in Marin.

"This is her mode of operation," McKay said after hearing of her feud 
with Rifkind.

At the time, Shaw declared that the McKays "were threatening to kill 
me, rub me out and take over the club." 
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