Tag: adult use

Denver to Start Licensing First Cannabis Clubs, but Few May Apply

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s largest city is on the brink of licensing some of the nation’s first legal marijuana clubs.

But Denver’s elaborate hurdles for potential cannabis-friendly coffee shops and gathering places may mean the city gets few takers for the new licenses.

Denver voters approved bring-your-own-pot clubs in a ballot measure last year after city officials’ dragged their feet on calls to give legal consumers a place to use the drug. The city plans to start accepting applications by the end of the month.

“There are plenty of places where you can consume alcohol. Let’s give people a place to go to consume marijuana,” said Jordan Person, head of Denver NORML, which advocates for cannabis-friendly public policy.

RELATED STORY

Alaska Proposal Would Open Door to On-Site Consumption

But Denver’s would-be “social use” clubs have faced one delay after another.

First, the state liquor board prohibited cannabis use at any place with a liquor license, making bars and many restaurants off-limits. And retail shops can’t allow consumption on the premises.

That left gathering places like coffee shops, art galleries and yoga studios. Furthermore, would-be clubs must stay twice as far as liquor stores from schools and anywhere children congregate, including playgrounds and sports fields.

“We can’t be in places where it makes sense,” said Kayvan Khalatbari, a Denver marijuana consultant who helped run last year’s club campaign.

City officials say the rules are as flexible as possible given stiff resistance from some community groups and marijuana skeptics. The voter-approved club measure also says the club licenses are a pilot program and neighborhood groups must agree to allow a club before it could open.

RELATED STORY

Where Can I Smoke Legally in a Legal State?

“There were no surprises in the rules,” said Dan Rowland, spokesman for the Denver department that regulates marijuana businesses. “They reflect all the comments we got from the community.”

One hopeful applicant says the regulations are stringent but still a step forward for the industry.

“A lot of us are hoping this will … open the doors for a new kind of business,” said Connor Lux, who runs a co-work space for the cannabis industry and plans to apply for a social use license to hold public, cannabis-friendly events at his business just north of downtown Denver. Applying for a license costs $1,000; the licenses itself is $1,000 a year.

Lux envisions open-to-the-public networking events at his space.

“I don’t think anyone’s planning a giant smoke-out, everybody-coming-to-get-high kind of thing,” he said.

Khalatbari has sued Colorado’s liquor regulators over the ban on cannabis and alcohol in the same location, a lawsuit that hasn’t yet been heard, and says he is considering a lawsuit against the city for what he believes are onerous club rules.

RELATED STORY

John Morgan Sues to Overturn Florida’s Smokeable-Cannabis Ban

Khalatbari noted Denver has much looser distance requirements for places selling alcohol, even allowing bicycle bars to cruise past schools and churches. The mobile bars with drivers ferry groups of pedaling drinkers from one tavern to the next.

“You can ride these stupid moronic bike bars down the street, getting hammered in public. But we’re not giving people a safer choice, even though voters have said over and over again they want to go that way,” Khalatbari said.

Colorado’s marijuana law neither allows nor denies cannabis clubs, leaving the state with a patchwork of local club rules. Some cities tolerate them; in others, clubs operate underground, with members arranging meetups using social media.

State lawmakers earlier this year decided against a plan to regulate marijuana clubs statewide. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper warned that passing the measure could invite a federal crackdown.

The situation is similar in other legal-cannabis states.

RELATED STORY

State Leaders Respond to Sessions’ Criticism of Legal Cannabis

Alaska’s 2014 marijuana measure allowed for on-site consumption at potential “tasting rooms,” though regulators in that state have yet to allow any to open.

And measures approved last year in California and Massachusetts allowed for cannabis clubs, but both states are still working out rules.

Person, the marijuana activist, said she’s hopeful that Denver’s limited rules will prove a step forward in a national move toward marijuana acceptance.

“People still aren’t sure how this is going to work or what’s going to be allowed. But this is progress,” she said.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Alaska Proposal Would Open Door to On-Site Consumption

After flirting for months with permitting on-site consumption at retail cannabis stores, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board has officially proposed regulations to allow the idea to move forward.

The development comes after months of discussion on the issue. In February, following a push to permit on-site consumption, regulators voted 3-2 to reject a proposal that would have allowed it

RELATED STORY

Alaska Sets Sales Record, Still Lags Behind Projections

Since the narrow rejection, the discussion has grown increasingly contentious. Some worry the lack of a legal place to consume could hurt cannabis sales in the state, especially given Alaska’s thriving tourism industry. Others worry visitors will simply spark up somewhere else.

The proposed regulatory changes would allow dispensaries to apply for on-site consumption endorsements that would allow customers to consume cannabis products on the premises.

RELATED STORY

Public Consumption Gets Another Go in Alaska

Public comment is being accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 and can be submitted by email at amco.regs@alaska.gov or online through the Alaska Online Public Notice System. Written comments can be sent to the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office, at 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1600, Anchorage, AK 99501.

Written questions can also be submitted until 10 days before the public comment section closes.

Alaskan adult-use cannabis market is starting to find its groove, but sales still lag far behind the state’s original projections. From October—the first month of legal cannabis sales—through June, Alaska collected roughly $1.75 million in cannabis tax revenue—over a quarter of a million dollars less than the state had originally projected.

RELATED STORY

Alaska AG Says Feds Couldn’t Overturn State’s Cannabis Law


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Nevada Judge Clears Way for More Cannabis Licenses

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada judge has cleared the way for the state’s marijuana regulators to start issuing cannabis distribution licenses to businesses other than existing alcohol wholesalers.

Carson City District Judge James Russell lifted a temporary restraining order Thursday that had forced the state to adhere to a provision of the ballot measure voters approved in November providing liquor wholesalers exclusive rights to marijuana distribution for 18 months unless they couldn’t keep up with market demand.

RELATED STORY

Some Nevada Cannabis Retailers ‘Running on Fumes’

Russell said after an hour-long hearing there’s overwhelming evidence that alcohol wholesalers don’t have the capability to meet the needs of dozens of recreational cannabis dispensaries from Las Vegas to Reno.

He says a group of alcohol distributors that filed suit over the matter is free to appeal their case to the Nevada Tax Commission, as required by law. But he says he has no power to supersede the authority of the state agency that recently determined there’s an insufficient number of alcohol businesses to handle the job.

Nevada’s Taxation Department says the protracted legal fight has created a delivery bottleneck that’s undermining an otherwise robust marijuana industry and the state revenue that comes with it.

RELATED STORY

Nevada Regulators Could Scrap Home Cannabis Delivery

Legal sales started with a bang July 1. But Tax Director Deonne Contine says the tiny distribution network’s inability to keep pace with demand is forcing up prices and sending buyers back to the black market.

She says it’s also jeopardizing worker safety at dispensaries forced to stockpile supplies and huge amounts of cash to accommodate erratic deliveries.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Ontario Report Urges Immediate Decriminalization and Many Other Things

One of the many distinctive (and divisive) features of the Cannabis Act—which proposes to legalize adult-use recreational cannabis across Canada in July 2018—is how it leaves the specifics of cannabis distribution, possession, and purchase up to the individual provinces.

This week, Ontario took a step toward creating its own regs with the release of “Cannabis Legalization and Regulation,” a report by the Ontario division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). The report provides provincial officials with “wide-ranging recommendations to reduce the health risks and harms associated with the legalization and regulation of cannabis.”

RELATED STORY

Ottawa vs. the Provinces: The Legalization Deadline Showdown Intensifies

The most notable of those recommendations: immediate decriminalization. “Given the plans for legalization of cannabis in 2018,” the report states, “decriminalization of cannabis for simple possession for the general population should be considered immediately in the coming months prior to legalization.”

That policy advice came in the report’s “Focus on Health Equity” section, which also includes this observation: “Currently, there are systemic inequalities leading to the criminalization of marginalized groups for cannabis possession, which account for thousands of arrests and convictions every year. Arrests for cannabis possession continue to take place, often disproportionately impacting marginalized communities across the country.”

RELATED STORY

Poll: Canadians Want Ottawa to Erase Cannabis Convictions

Other recommendations range from revenue mandates (the CMHA urges allocating 100 percent of cannabis-related revenue to mental health and addictions services) to the minimum age for cannabis purchase, which the CMHA would like to align with the Ontario’s legal age for purchasing alcohol (19). A few notable passages from the 5,000-word document:

* The “Regulating Sales” section puts forth an impressively intricate recipe for doing so, from restricting advertising to the same cartoon- and endorsement-free zone occupied by tobacco marketers, to ensuring “appropriate and reasonable pricing to deter consumers from purchasing cannabis through illegal means.” The CMHA would also have cannabis distributors earn the title: “Distribution of cannabis should include the provision of cannabis education to patrons through the implementation of a Cannabis Card program, similar to Ontario’s Smart Serve program.”

RELATED STORY

Keep Canada’s Medical and Adult-Use Systems Separate, Researchers Say

* In the “Road Safety” section, things get strict, with the CMHA urging a zero-tolerance policy for cannabis consumption in any motorized vehicle. “A zero-tolerance policy would include both the driver of the motorized vehicle, as well as any passengers in the car,” reads the report. “It is important that a clear message be sent to the public as soon as possible regarding zero tolerance for impaired driving due to cannabis use.”

* Tagged onto the section addressing the Minimum Age for Purchase is this bracing proposition: “The Government of Ontario should advocate with the Federal Government to remove criminalization for simple possession of cannabis, especially for youth. CMHA recommends further research into a model similar to the Portugal’s decriminalization policy for young people that would allow for social services, counseling and education instead of criminal sanctions for underage cannabis possession.”

Read the full CMHA Ontario report here.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Vermont Governor Creating Commission for Cannabis Legalization

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says he’s organizing a commission to study issues related to the legalization of marijuana and will announce members in the next few days.

As Vermont Public Radio reports, retail outlets in Maine and Massachusetts will begin selling legal recreational marijuana in less than a year. The Republican governor says he wants the new commission to help answer questions about the arrival of legalized marijuana in neighboring states, especially concerning highway safety.

RELATED STORY

Massachusetts Vows Crackdown on Impaired Drivers

Scott says he wants to have more stringent highway safety standards in place before he’ll consider state-sanctioned recreational marijuana sales.

Earlier this year, Scott vetoed legislation that would have legalized possession of marijuana for Vermont residents. A compromise measure he negotiated was later blocked by state House Republicans in June.

RELATED STORY

Vermont Legalization Push Falls Flat, Dead Till 2018

Meanwhile, at least two applicants have filed for a medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation license in Bennington, Vermont.

The Bennington Banner reports that the applications came in after legislators approved a fifth license for the state in June. Lindsey Wells, who works for the registry program, says most of the interest is in Bennington as it has a larger underserved population.

Town Manager Stuart Hurd says he has been contacted by Vermont Green Grow and a doctor’s group from the Burlington area.

RELATED STORY

Vermont Gov. Vetoes Cannabis Legalization Bill

Wells says the applicants will be judged on the safety of the community, health needs of registered patients and their business plan. Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson makes the final decision.

The owner will also be allowed to create a satellite retail operation under the legislation.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Lawmakers Leave Key Cannabis Questions Unanswered

Maine lawmakers adjourned Aug. 2, leaving important questions about the state’s new adult-use cannabis program unresolved. Whether the work continues later this year during a special session or ends up waiting until the legislative session begins in January, there are many key decisions to be made.

Some of the main things still left on the table, the Bangor Daily News reports, involve making rules for the state’s adult-use retail market, implementing laboratory testing procedures, hammering out tax rates, and establishing regulations for both commercial and home cultivation.

RELATED STORY

Maine Panel Mulls Doubling 10% Tax on Cannabis

In short, state lawmakers have yet to address numerous issues that are fundamental to the smooth operation of a legal cannabis market.

A special committee working on cannabis implementation has been meeting for months—one of the few committees still working after the Legislature was adjourned. Lawmakers have already pushed back implementation of the sales and regulatory system, delaying it until three months after the original date of February 2018.

RELATED STORY

Maine Dispensary’s Offer: Clean Up Trash, Get Free Cannabis

The committee has made some progress, having reached a preliminary decision capping the number of mature plants that individuals can legally possess. No decisions have be made final.

Currently, there are still 31 cannabis-related bills awaiting consideration, according to the Bangor Daily News, many of which could end up in a single omnibus proposal. All told, lawmakers carried more than 340 bills into January.

RELATED STORY

Maine Wants Advice on How to Regulate Cannabis


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Massachusetts Officials Seeking Candidates for Cannabis Board

BOSTON (AP) — The race is on to assemble the five-member board that will oversee recreational and medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

Under a new state law approved last month, Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and state Treasurer Deb Goldberg will each name one member of the regulatory board, and the three elected officials will together appoint the remaining two members.

RELATED STORY

A Brief Guide to Massachusetts’ New Cannabis Law

The commission is supposed to be in place by Sept. 1.

Healey says the attorney general’s office will accept applications until Aug. 15 for both her individual and joint appointment.

Goldberg, who will select the chair of the panel, has said she is dedicated to finding commissioners who will ensure a “safe and timely implementation” of the marijuana industry in Massachusetts.

Retail cannabis shops are expected to begin opening in mid-2018.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

State Leaders Respond to Sessions’ Criticism of Legal Cannabis

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired a warning shot at state-legal cannabis last week. In separate letters sent to leaders in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon, he raised what he called “serious questions” about the states’ cannabis laws. Now some state officials are shooting back.

“Honestly, it’s hard to take him seriously if he relies on such outdated information,” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson told the Seattle Times in response to Sessions’ criticism. “Do your homework, get good information.”

RELATED STORY

Sessions Attacks Washington’s Cannabis Laws in Letter to Governor

In the letters, which have been criticized by cannabis reform advocates as misleading and designed to overstate the flaws in state cannabis programs, Sessions claims that the laws have been inadequately enforced, enabling minors to access cannabis and allowing diversion of legal cannabis into other states as well as the illegal market.

In a statement, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he’s “incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to implement legalization in a way that keeps youths safe, minimizes diversion into the black market, and minimizes diversion out of our state.”

RELATED STORY

The Haymaker: Why Is Jeff Sessions Hiding His Task Force?

“It is clear that our goals regarding health and safety are in step with the goals Attorney General Sessions has articulated,” Inslee continued. “Unfortunately he is referring to incomplete and unreliable data that does not provide the most accurate snapshot of our efforts since the marketplace opened in 2014.”

Sessions’ letters to the adult-use cannabis states rely on information from High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) reports. The HIDTA program, created in the late 1980s, exists to “reduce drug trafficking and production in the United States.”

RELATED STORY

In Rebuke to Sessions, Senate Committee OKs Medical Marijuana Protections

In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper said his office takes Sessions’ concerns seriously. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the Attorney General and arrive at the most effective approach to the states and the federal government working together to protect public health, public safety and other law enforcement interests,” a spokesperson told The  Denver Channel. “We take the concerns shared in the letter seriously and will provide a comprehensive response.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

State Lawmakers’ Group Urges Feds to Deschedule Cannabis

In a sign that state lawmakers across the US are warming to the idea of legalization, the National Conference of State Legislatures is urging the federal government to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and allow states to set their own policies around the plant.

RELATED STORY

Inside a Nerve-Rattling Trip to Pay Cannabis Taxes in Los Angeles

Not only would such a move respect the will of individual states, the group argues in a resolution adopted Monday, it would also improve public safety by easing cannabis businesses’ access to banking services. Because federally insured banks can face penalties for working with the industry, many companies still operate in cash, making them a prime target for theft and robbery.

“State legislators and the vast majority of voters agree that marijuana policy should be left to the states.”

Karen O’Keefe, Marijuana Policy Project

The resolution says the group “believes that the Controlled Substances Act should be amended to remove cannabis from scheduling thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses.”

It’s the third time in as many years that the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) has called for cannabis reform at the federal level. Last year the group approved a resolution calling for the removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the CSA, and a 2015 resolution urged that “federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana and hemp policies without federal interference.”

But while the latest resolution goes further than past iterations have, the NCSL emphasized that the document isn’t meant as a full-blown endorsement of legalization.

The group “acknowledges that each of its members will have differing and sometimes conflicting views of cannabis and how to regulate it,” the resolution continues, “but in allowing each state to craft its own regulations we may increase transparency, public safety, and economic development where it is wanted.”

RELATED STORY

Calif. Sen. Harris Warns Sessions: “We Don’t Need Help Going After Grandma’s MMJ”

Legalization advocates applauded the measure as a sensible step forward.

“States should not have to worry about the federal government interfering with their marijuana policy choices,” Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement about the resolution. “State legislators and the vast majority of voters agree that marijuana policy should be left to the states.”

O’Keefe added that “legitimate, taxpaying marijuana businesses should not have to face the difficulties of operating on a cash-only basis. Allowing banks to offer them financial services will be good for the industry and benefit public safety.”

RELATED STORY

Shh! Here’s How Cannabis Companies Are Banking Legally on the Down Low

A poll conducted last month by SurveyUSA for the advocacy organization Marijuana Majority found that 76% of Americans support individual states being able to make their own laws around cannabis use and sales. In a Quinnipiac survey released in April, 94% of Americans said they support allowing adult patients to use doctor-recommended medical cannabis, while 60% said they support adult-use legalization.

As Marijuana Majority founder Tom Angell noted Monday, the NCSL also considered a separate resolution that endorsed the idea that “medical cannabis can be an effective tool in combating the  national opioid crisis.”

The resolution, which the organization’s Health and Human Services Committee said it will vote on later this year, argues that “there is ample evidence that states that have medical cannabis programs have accomplished a significant reduction in the number of opioid related deaths with resulting fewer hospitalizations related to opioid related deaths in states that have passed medical cannabis programs.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Massachusetts Governor Names Five to Cannabis Advisory Board

Gov. Charlie Baker has picked five people to serve on a Cannabis Advisory Board that will help guide regulators enforce cannabis laws.

The post Massachusetts Governor Names Five to Cannabis Advisory Board appeared first on Leafly.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.