Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jul 2011
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2011 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Author: Christopher Cadelago


While many people were at the beach, eating barbecue and taking in
fireworks, Bob Riedel was busy opening the first legally permitted
medical marijuana collective in unincorporated San Diego County.

Mother Earth's Alternative Healing Cooperative reopened at 10 a.m.
Monday in an industrial park outside El Cajon. Riedel shuttered his
former location in Fallbrook because it would not have qualified for
an operating permit.

The county's year-old restrictions limit collectives to industrial
areas and prohibit them from operating within 1,000 feet of places
such as parks, churches, homes, schools, libraries and other medical
marijuana facilities. Supervisors later approved an $11,000 annual fee
for collective operators.

On Monday, more than 50 people joined the co-operative, which lists
its hours of operation as 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday
and closed Sunday.

About 90 percent of those who signed up were over the age of 45,
Riedel said. Medical marijuana dispensaries have historically drawn
the ire of neighbors who argue that many members are young and appear
to be healthy.

Riedel is hiring licensed pharmaceutical technicians, testing all of
the product on site and doing customer surveys to determine which
strains of medical marijuana are most effective. He also promised not
to run advertisements depicting marijuana or to advertise free or
discounted product. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.