Should I open a medical-cannabis dispensary?

Plus: Don’t miss the 15th-ish Occasional Cannabis Comedy Festival on September 15 at Harlow’s

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

I want to open a cannabis dispensary. What should I do?

—Ann Trapenoor

Good luck. There are so many dispensaries already. I mean, it’s not like 2009, when you couldn’t swing a dead blunt without hitting a cannabis dispensary. But there are still plenty of spots in the cities that allow them.

What do you know about running a business? How good is your lawyer? Are you prepared to go to jail? Jail doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to, but it is still a possibility. Maybe you should take a class. Oaksterdam University in Oakland still teaches classes, and I know 420 College does seminars in the Sacramento area. I sat in on a 420 College class a few months ago and found it very informative.

You may also want to think about an ancillary marijuana business. Perhaps a packaging company or a lab, or perhaps you could develop some sort of newfangled point-of-sale system. Not everything has to be a pot shop. Have fun exploring.

Is there anything I can do to support cannabis in Sacramento?

—Bubba Jack

Yes, there is! You can come to the 15th-ish Occasional Cannabis Comedy Fest on Monday, September 15, at 8 p.m. at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, located at 2708 J Street. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. This show will be a blast and the proceeds go to Americans for Safe Access. I will host, and there will be a raffle. Here’s a link: See you there!

I was reading your column from a few weeks back and it seems that language in Senate Bill 1193 pertaining to returning seized cannabis, etc., was stricken from the bill quite some time ago. The way I read the current approved language, there’s nothing good about this bill. It’s a bad bill that only makes matters worse. What it does is allow courts or police to destroy more of what they seize before the case is resolved. Later, if there is an acquittal, the acquitted appears to be S.O.L. If I’m correct, and the good language has been stricken, you should be urging your readers to contact lawmakers with strong complaint rather than support for this bill.

—Smart in the Senate

I believe you are correct. According to legislative info websites, SB 1193 was amended on August 18. The catch is that I turned in my column on August 15, and it was published on August 21. SN&R and I should’ve updated it. That’s our bad. It is so hard to remain topical in this fast-paced world. My editor, Nick Miller, will tell you that I wait until the last possible second to give him this column because I want the information to be as up-to-date as possible. At least, that’s what I tell him.

Anyway, yes, they have taken all of the good shit out of SB 1193 and now it’s bad legislation. Call your representative and tell them to vote no.