medical marijuana plantsHere’s another unique angle on a unique industry you may not have considered:

Can medical-marijuana dispensaries declare bankruptcy?

To an increasing portion of the populace, medical-pot dispensaries are a business similar to many others—they have a building, some staff, a product.

That’s not to say that everyone wants that business near their home, but an increasing percentage of the population appear to view it as an industry like others—and like some others, one that has some needed regulation.

But a recent case in California throws that into question. After all, if the federal government is a significant holdout in the movement toward acceptance of the medical-marijuana industry, and if the federal government is in charge of the Bankruptcy Courts … you get the picture.

As a story by Stephanie Gleason begins:

“Mother Earth’s Alternative Healing Cooperative Inc. is in some trouble. The San Diego startup that opened last year is facing debt, the threat of eviction from its landlord and is involved in litigation. To deal with these issues, the company did what many would—on Wednesday, it filed for Chapter 11.

“However, Mother Earth isn’t just any business. It’s a medical-marijuana dispensary, licensed by the state of California and San Diego County, but it’s seen as illegal by the federal government. And, for now, it’s unclear whether the company can deal with its debts this way. After all, the Bankruptcy Code is a federal law.”

Read the complete story here.

In Arizona Attorney, we have covered broader aspects of the medical-marijuana controversy, specifically the dialogue over it in this state. But the intriguing question about bankruptcy is a good one. For if an entity cannot avail itself of bankruptcy protection, can it ever call itself a business?

What is your answer to the BK question?

Arizona Attorney July-August 2011

This month, I was pleased to see that a great Arizona blawg has been honored by the ABA Journal. The Journal’s annual Blawg 100 recognizes excellence in a wide variety of areas. It’s nice to see Arizona on the radar.

The blog is called Arizoneout, and it’s written by Dinita James at Ford & Harrison LLP. Here’s how she describes the cutting-edge focus of herself and her site:

Dinita James

“Dinita James is a partner with Ford & Harrison LLP and a former newspaper reporter and editor whose journalism instincts tell her that medical marijuana is going to be one of the hottest workplace issues for Arizona employers for the foreseeable future. Through Arizoneout, she hopes to inform, educate, and raise awareness about the myriad issues the legal use of marijuana present for workplaces in the Grand Canyon State.”

You may read more about Dinita here.

I came across the blog quite awhile ago, and I have been charmed by her detailed yet accessible coverage of marijuana and employment issues. In fact, this past year we added Arizoneout to the Blog Network on the Arizona Attorney News Center—and I’m glad we did.

Remember, this ABA Journal thing is a competition, and the top blogs are chosen by vote. So if you’re so inclined, follow the link on Dinita’s page to indicate your support. Or just click here.

In the meantime, were any other Arizona bloggers named? Please let me know by posting below.