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Mobile Medical Marijuana Dispensary Faces Tough Legal Road

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By Kamika Dunlap on June 16, 2010 9:45 AM

Although Stewart Hauptman and Helen Cherry have found a way to keep business rolling for their Pace Arrow motor home medical dispensary, they face a tough legal road ahead.

As previously discussed, the couple travels in their RV pot shop around Southern California and Las Vegas, serving about 700 members of their marijuana collective.

They recently relocated to an unincorporated area of Riverside County, California, after an unsuccessful fight with zoning laws in Norco.

Their new location however, is the center of a conundrum created by conflicting federal, state and municipal laws that leave mobile collectives, and a growing number of pot delivery operations that work like couriers, in uncertain territory.

The Hauptman's roving pot-mobile, which sells $10 pot cookies may have found itself on shaky legal grounds.

A 1996 voter-initiative legalized marijuana for medical use in California, but court battles are being fought about whether indiviual cities can ban distribution.

Americans for Safe Access, an organization that supports medical marijuana, says that a mobile medical marijuana dispensary is easier to operate, as storefront sales are becoming less welcomed.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in California officials say it's also difficult to argue that city zoning laws apply to mobile dispensaries or delivery services.

In addition, businesses could increase if voters approve an initiative on the November ballot to legalize pot possession in California, as previously discussed.

The initiative, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 would allow cities and counties to adopt their own laws to allow marijuana to be grown and sold. It also would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana and impose taxes on marijuana production and sales.

According to the latest poll, California voters are split over whether to legalize pot.

The Public Policy Institute of California surveyed voters and found that 49% think marijuana use should be made legal, 48% do not and 3% do not know.