‘Nonprofit’ Rule Doesn’t Ban Cannabis-for-Money Exchange

January 1, 2015- The owner of a Newport Beach medical marijuana coop is busted for selling marijuana after an undercover agent sees a customer pay $60 for 1/8 ounce Since coops can’t sell marijuana for profit, the owner’s business model is to conduct “grows” in which patients get part of the crop for contributing money or labor. The $60 the officer saw changing hands was actually a donation, the owner claims, even though it took place at the same time the patient got his cannabis. The appeals court rules in the owner’s favor. The transaction wasn’t a sale just because marijuana and money were exchanged. A coop can ask patients to donate labor or money. It would be “cruel” to make ill patients work, the court reasoned [California v. Baniani, Ct. App, 4th App. Dist., Div. 3, Aug. 22, 2014].

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