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Interview with the Rolling Stone writer who wrote about Medical Marijuana in LA

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Sometimes you're in the right place at the right time. Rolling Stone contributing editor Vanessa Grigoriadis just happened to be finishing up an indepth, behind-the-scenes look at the medical marijuana craze here in LA when 11 dispensaries were raided. Needless to say a good story suddenly got a lot better and even more timely.

Taking the reader pretty much everywhere medical marijuana dispensary owner "Daniel" goes throughout his day, Grigoriadis describes a world that's wild and shady and cutting edge and profitable and totally fascinating.

With over 100 dispensaries up and running in LA, the ones described in last week's RS feature "The Great California Weed Rush", have problems trusting their employees, fear highway cops who might bust them when they transport large quantities, fear feds that might raid them, try to protect themselves against common thieves, and then have to hear about new gangs that have learned how to pick the most complicated new safes.

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Ms. Grigoriadis, who also writes for New York, was nice enough to answer some of our questions about her story via email.

LAist: You wrote "He looks at his cell phone. 'Should I call the store?' he worries. 'If I call them, they're going to try to hide something before I get there. Maybe they've been buying on the side...' What would they be buying on the side? Aren't they in a store filled with pot and hash? What is there to buy on the side?

Vanessa Grigoriadis: Dispensary owners generally sell managers of each store pounds of weed, then wait for a profit when the sales are completed. If the manager buys their own weed and sells it "on the side" instead of the weed the dispensary owner sold them, there's no profit for the owner.