Ex-manager of medical marijuana dispensary convicted - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ex-manager of medical marijuana dispensary convicted of pot profiteering

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The former manager of a now-defunct medical marijuana dispensary was convicted Tuesday of selling the drug for profit to undercover officers.

Jovan Jackson -- himself a medical marijuana patient -- was found guilty of three felony counts, including possession for sale of marijuana.

Jackson faces more than six years behind bars at his sentencing Oct. 27, but Deputy District Attorney Chris Lindberg said he wouldn't expect Jackson to do any time in prison.

After a day of deliberations, a jury found that Jackson twice last year sold marijuana to undercover officers from Answerdam Alternative Care in Kearny Mesa.

Judge Howard Shore ruled before trial that Jackson could not use the state's medical marijuana law as a defense.

Lindberg said the jury reached a true verdict.

"We felt that the actions in this case by Mr. Jackson exceeded the bounds of the medical marijuana law in opening up a retail medical marijuana store," the prosecutor said outside court.

Defense attorney Lance Rogers said he would appeal the case, specifically the judge's ruling not allowing for a medical marijuana defense.

Jackson, a Navy veteran who now works as a barber in Lemon Grove, echoed his attorney's comments.

"The fight is not over," he said outside court. "This is just one chink in the armor."

During trial, Lindberg said an undercover officer was able to get a medical marijuana card after complaining to a doctor about back pain.

The officer went to Answerdam on July 16, 2009, and bought 1/4-ounce of marijuana for $130, the prosecutor said.

Jackson, 32, appeared to be in charge of the business when the officer was there buying drugs, according to Lindberg.

He said officers seized drugs and other business records during a raid at the business, but Jackson was not there. According to some of the records seized, drug sales totaled $14,000 for the months of June and July 2009, Lindberg said.

Rogers said that part of the problem is the vagueness of the state law, which allows medical marijuana patients to grow the drug for medicinal purposes.

The California Attorney General's Office issued guidelines in 2008 on how medical marijuana could be grown and distributed, but those guidelines are interpreted differently in different counties, Rogers said.

Another problem is "cross-sworn officers" who are charged with enforcing both state and federal law, because all marijuana possession is illegal under federal law, he said.

Jackson was acquitted last year of similar charges stemming from a raid at the Kearny Mesa collective in which an undercover detective bought marijuana in the summer of 2008.

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