Splendor (And Questions) In The Grass

California — the state that has legislated pretty much everything through ballot initiatives — may well have three marijuana legalization initiatives on the 2010 ballot.

California’s medical marijuana business culture is interesting.  I was unaware that,as the article reports, there are “hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries across the state” as a result of the 1996 ballot initiative that allows individuals to smoke marijuana for medical purposes.  How are those businesses regulated by the state, if at all?  And, given the fact that marijuana is illegal under federal law, how do those businesses operate?  Do they file tax returns that identify their business as “medical marijuana dispensary”?  How do they get the marijuana that they dispense, and how do they determine if individuals have a legitimate medical need for their product?

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