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Name: People v. Solis
Case #: B238099
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/13/2013

Medical marijuana collective operators could not use Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) defense where income was treated as a personal salary, the collective was not registered as a nonprofit, and purchases of marijuana were made outside the collective. Solis and two other defendants operated THC, which purported to be a medical marijuana collective serving 1700 members. In defending against multiple marijuana related charges, they invoked the defense provided by the MMP for qualified patients who associate to cooperatively cultivate medical marijuana. To establish the defense, the operation must meet the definition of a “collective or cooperative,” and the marijuana cannot have been sold for a profit. Here, all of the collective’s excess income (approximately $80,000 a year) was treated by Solis as a personal “salary” without accountability to the collective’s membership. Moreover, the collective was not registered as a nonprofit, and appellants admitted purchasing marijuana from persons outside the collective. The appellate court upheld the defendants’ convictions for the marijuana offenses finding that substantial evidence supported the trier of fact’s finding that appellants’ evidence failed to raise a reasonable doubt whether THC was a cooperative or a collective as contemplated by the MMP, and whether it sold marijuana for a profit.