Tag: Election 2016

Oklahoma Will Vote on Medical Marijuana in 2018

Oklahoma voters will get the chance to legalize medical marijuana in 2018.

While supporters had gathered enough signatures to place the measure before voters in 2016, advocates had filed a lawsuit against then-Attorney General E. Scott Pruit after he rewrote the initiative’s ballot title, delaying the vote.

Advocates were successful in their lawsuit earlier this year, when the Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruled 7-1 in their favor.

The measure will appear on the ballot as State Question 788. The finalized ballot title, which is the original title submitted by opponents, was formally approved by Oklahoma Secretary of State Dave Lopez on Thursday.

The measure will most likely appear on the November 2018 ballot, unless Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin calls a special election for the measure.

If approved by voters, medical marijuana would be subject to a 7 percent sales tax.

The full text of the proposal can be found below.


SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 420 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. A person in possession of a state issued medical marijuana license shall be able to:

1. Consume marijuana legally;
2. Legally possess up to three (3) ounces of marijuana on their person;
3. Legally possess six (6) mature marijuana plants;
4. Legally possess six (6) seedling plants;
5. Legally possess one (1) ounce of concentrated marijuana;
6. Legally possess seventy-two (72) ounces of edible marijuana; and
7. Legally possess up to eight (8) ounces of marijuana in their residence.

B. Possession of up to one and one-half (1.5) ounces of marijuana by persons who can state a medical condition, but not in possession of a state issued medical marijuana license, shall constitute a misdemeanor offense with a fine not to exceed Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00).

C. A regulatory office shall be established under the Oklahoma State Department of Health which will receive applications for medical license recipients, dispensaries, growers, and packagers within sixty (60) days of the passage of this initiative.

D. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a medical marijuana license. The license will be good for two (2) years, and the application fee will be One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), or Twenty Dollars ($20.00) for individuals on Medicaid, Medicare, or SoonerCare. The methods of payment will be provided on the website.

E. A temporary license application will also be available on the Oklahoma Department of Health website. A temporary medical marijuana license will be granted to any medical marijuana license holder from other states, provided that the state has a state regulated medical marijuana program, and the applicant can prove they are a member of such. Temporary licenses will be issued for thirty (30) days. The cost for a temporary license shall be One Hundred Dollars ($100.00). Renewal will be granted with resubmission of a new application. No additional criteria will be required.

F. Medical marijuana license applicants will submit their application to the Oklahoma State Department of Health for approval and that the applicant must be an Oklahoma state resident and shall prove residency by a valid driver’s license, utility bills, or other accepted methods.

G. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall review the medical marijuana application, approve/reject the application, and mail the applicant’s approval or rejection letter (stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the application. Approved applicants will be issued a medical marijuana license which will act as proof of their approved status. Applications may only be rejected based on applicant not meeting stated criteria or improper completion of the application.

H. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will only keep the following records for each approved medical license:

1. a digital photograph of the license holder;
2. the expiration date of the license;
3. the county where the card was issued; and
4. a unique 24 character identification number assigned to the license.

I. The Department of Health will make available, both on its website, and through a telephone verification system, an easy method to validate a medical license holders authenticity by the unique 24 character identifier.

J. The State Department of Health will ensure that all application records and information are sealed to protect the privacy of medical license applicants.

K. A caregiver license will be made available for qualified caregivers of a medical marijuana license holder who is homebound. The caregiver license will give the caregiver the same rights as the medical license holder. Applicants for a caregiver license will submit proof of the medical marijuana license holder’s license status and homebound status, that they are the designee of the medical marijuana license holder, must submit proof that the caregiver is age eighteen (18) or older, and must submit proof the caregiver is an Oklahoma resident. This will be the only criteria for a caregiver license.

L. All applicants must be eighteen (18) years or older. A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen (18), however these applications must be signed by two (2) physicians and the applicant’s parent or legal guardian.

M. All applications for a medical license must be signed by an Oklahoma Board certified physician. There are no qualifying conditions. A medical marijuana license must be recommended according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication. No physician may be unduly stigmatized or harassed for signing a medical marijuana license application.

N. Counties and cities may enact medical marijuana guidelines allowing medical marijuana license holders or caregivers to exceed the state limits set forth in subsection A of this section.

SECTION 2. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 421 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a medical marijuana dispensary license. The application fee shall be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and a method of payment will be provided on the website. Retail applicants must all be Oklahoma state residents. Any entity applying for a retail license must be owned by an Oklahoma state resident and must be registered to do business in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall have two (2) weeks to review the application, approve or reject the application, and mail the approval/rejection letter (if rejected, stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant.

B. The Oklahoma State Department of Health must approve all applications which meet the following criteria:

1. Applicant must be age twenty-five (25) or older;
2. Any applicant, applying as an individual, must show residency in the state of Oklahoma;
3. All applying entities must show that all members, managers, and board members are Oklahoma residents;
4. An applying entity may show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed twenty-five percent (25%);
5. All applying individuals or entities must be registered to conduct business in the state of Oklahoma;
6. All applicants must disclose all ownership;
7. Applicant(s) with only nonviolent felony conviction(s) in the last two (2) years, any other felony conviction in 5 (years), inmates, or any person currently incarcerated may not qualify for a medical marijuana dispensary license.

C. Retailers will be required to complete a monthly sales report to the Oklahoma Department of Health. This report will be due on the 15th of each month and provide reporting on the previous month. This report will detail the weight of marijuana purchased at wholesale and the weight of marijuana sold to card holders, and account for any waste. The report will show total sales in dollars, tax collected in dollars, and tax due in dollars. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will have oversight and auditing responsibilities to ensure that all marijuana being grown is accounted for. A retailer will only be subject to a penalty if a gross discrepancy exists and cannot be explained. Penalties for fraudulent reporting occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

D. Only a licensed medical marijuana retailer may conduct retail sales of marijuana, or marijuana derivatives in the form provided by licensed processors, and these products can only be sold to a medical marijuana license holder or their caregiver. Penalties for fraudulent sales occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

SECTION 3. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 422 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a commercial grower license. The application fee will be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and methods of payment will be provided on the website. The Oklahoma State Department of Health has two (2) weeks to review application, approve or reject the application, and mail the approval/rejection letter (if rejected, stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant.

B. The Oklahoma State Department of Health must approve all applications which meet the following criteria:

1. Applicant must be age twenty-five (25) or older;
2. Any applicant, applying as an individual, must show residency in the state of Oklahoma;
3. All applying entities must show that all members, managers, and board members are Oklahoma residents;
4. An applying entity may show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed twenty-five percent (25%);
5. All applying individuals or entities must be registered to conduct business in the state of Oklahoma;
6. All applicants must disclose all ownership;
7. Applicant(s) with only nonviolent felony conviction(s) in the last two (2) years, any other felony conviction in 5 (years), inmates, or any person currently incarcerated may not qualify for a commercial grower license.

C. A licensed commercial grower may sell marijuana to a licensed retailer, or a licensed packager. Further, these sales will be considered wholesale sales and not subject to taxation. Under no circumstances may a licensed commercial grower sell marijuana directly to a medical marijuana license holder. A licensed commercial grower may only sell at the wholesale level to a licensed retailer or a licensed processor. If the federal government lifts restrictions on buying and selling marijuana between states, then a licensed commercial grower would be allowed to sell and buy marijuana wholesale from, or to, an out of state wholesale provider. A licensed commercial grower will be required to complete a monthly yield and sales report to the Oklahoma Department of Health. This report will be due on the 15th of each month and provide reporting on the previous month. This report will detail amount of marijuana harvested in pounds, the amount of drying or dried marijuana on hand, the amount of marijuana sold to processors in pounds, the amount of waste in pounds, and the amount of marijuana sold to retailers in lbs. Additionally, this report will show total wholesale sales in dollars. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will have oversight and auditing responsibilities to ensure that all marijuana being grown is accounted for. A licensed grower will only be subject to a penalty if a gross discrepancy exists and cannot be explained. Penalties for fraudulent reporting or sales occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

D. There shall be no limits on how much marijuana a licensed grower can grow.

SECTION 4. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 423 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a medical marijuana processing license. The application fee shall be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and methods of payment will be provided on the website. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall have two (2) weeks to review the application, approve or reject the application, and mail the approval/rejection letter (if rejected, stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant.

B. The Oklahoma State Department of Health must approve all applications which meet the following criteria:

1. Applicant must be age twenty-five (25) or older;
2. Any applicant, applying as an Individual, must show residency in the state of Oklahoma;
3. All applying entities must show that all members, managers, and board members are Oklahoma residents;
4. An applying entity may show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed twenty-five percent (25%);
5. All applying individuals or entities must be registered to conduct business in the state of Oklahoma;
6. All applicants must disclose all ownership;
7. Applicant(s) with only nonviolent felony conviction(s) in the last two (2) years, any other felony conviction in 5 (years), inmates, or any person currently incarcerated may not qualify for a medical marijuana processing license.

C. A licensed processor may take marijuana plants and distill or process these plants into concentrates, edibles, and other forms for consumption. As required by subsection D of this section, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will, within sixty (60) days of passage of this initiative, make available a set of standards which will be used by licensed processors in the preparation of edible marijuana products. This should be in line with current food preparation guidelines and no excessive or punitive rules may be established by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Once a year, the Oklahoma State Department of Health may inspect a processing operation and determine its compliance with the preparation standards. If deficiencies are found, a written report of deficiency will be issued to the processor. The processor will have one (1) month to correct the deficiency or be subject to a fine of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each deficiency. A licensed processor may sell marijuana products it creates to a licensed retailer, or any other licensed processor. Further, these sales will be considered wholesale sales and not subject to taxation. Under no circumstances may a licensed processor sell marijuana, or any marijuana product, directly to a medical marijuana license holder. However, a licensed processor may process cannabis into a concentrated form, for a medical license holder, for a fee. Processors will be required to complete a monthly yield and sales report to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. This report will be due on the 15th of each month and provide reporting on the previous month. This report will detail amount of marijuana purchased in pounds, the amount of marijuana cooked or processed in pounds, and the amount of waste in pounds. Additionally, this report will show total wholesale sales in dollars. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will have oversight and auditing responsibilities to ensure that all marijuana being grown is accounted for. A licensed processor will only be subject to a penalty if a gross discrepancy exists and cannot be explained. Penalties for fraudulent reporting occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

D. The inspection and compliance of processors producing products with marijuana as an additive. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will be compelled to, within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, appoint a board of twelve (12) Oklahoma residents, who are marijuana industry experts, to create a list of food safety standards for processing and handling medical marijuana in Oklahoma. These standards will be adopted by the agency and the agency can enforce these standards for processors. The agency will develop a standards review procedure and these standards can be altered by calling another board of twelve (12) Oklahoma marijuana industry experts. A signed letter of twenty (20) operating processors would constitute a need for a new board and standard review.

E. If it becomes permissible, under federal law, marijuana may be moved across state lines.

F. Any device used for the consumption of medical marijuana shall be considered legal to be sold, manufactured, distributed, and possessed. No merchant, wholesaler, manufacturer, or individual may unduly be harassed or prosecuted for selling, manufacturing, or possession of medical marijuana paraphernalia.

SECTION 5. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 424 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. A marijuana transportation license will be issued to qualifying applicants for a marijuana retail, growing, or processing license. The transportation license will be issued at the time of approval of a retail, growing, or processing license.

B. A transportation license will allow the holder to transport marijuana from an Oklahoma licensed medical marijuana retailer, licensed growing facility, or licensed processor facility to an Oklahoma licensed medical marijuana retailer, licensed growing facility, or licensed processing facility.

C. All marijuana or marijuana products shall be transported in a locked container and clearly labeled “Medical Marijuana or Derivative”.

SECTION 6. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 425 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. No school or landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to and may not otherwise penalize a person solely for his status as a medical marijuana license holder, unless failing to do so would imminently cause the school or landlord to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations.

B. Unless a failure to do so would cause an employer to imminently lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination or imposing any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based upon either:

1. The person’s status as a medical marijuana license holder; or
2. Employers may take action against a holder of a medical marijuana license holder if the holder uses or possesses marijuana while in the holder’s place of employment or during the hours of employment. Employers may not take action against the holder of a medical marijuana license solely based upon the status of an employee as a medical marijuana license holder or the results of a drug test showing positive for marijuana or its components.

C. For the purposes of medical care, including organ transplants, a medical marijuana license holder’s authorized use of marijuana must be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a registered qualifying patient from medical care.

D. No medical marijuana license holder may be denied custody of or visitation or parenting time with a minor, and there is no presumption of neglect or child endangerment for conduct allowed under this law, unless the person’s behavior creates an unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor.

E. No person holding a medical marijuana license may unduly be withheld from holding a state issued license by virtue of their being a medical marijuana license holder. This would include such things as a concealed carry permit.

F. No city or local municipality may unduly change or restrict zoning laws to prevent the opening of a retail marijuana establishment.

G. The location of any retail marijuana establishment is specifically prohibited within one thousand (1,000) feet from any public or private school entrance.

H. Research will be provided under this law. A researcher may apply to the Oklahoma Department of Health for a special research license. That license will be granted, provided the applicant meet the criteria listed under Section 421. B. Research license holders will be required to file monthly consumption reports to the Oklahoma Department of Health with amounts of marijuana used for research.

SECTION 7. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 426 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The tax on retail medical marijuana sales will be established at seven percent (7%) of the gross amount received by the seller.

B. This tax will be collected at the point of sale. Tax proceeds will be applied primarily to finance the regulatory office.

C. If proceeds from the levy authorized by subsection A of this section exceed the budgeted amount for running the regulatory office, any surplus shall be apportioned with seventy-five percent (75%) going to the General Revenue Fund and may only be expended for common education. Twenty-five percent (25%) shall be apportioned to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and earmarked for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

SECTION 8. The provisions hereof are severable, and if any part or provision hereof shall be void, invalid, or unconstitutional, the decision of the court so holding shall not affect or impair any of the remaining parts or provision hereof, and the remaining provisions hereof shall continue in full force and effect.

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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.

Proposed Changes to Massachusetts Marijuana Law “Insults Voters”

A supporter holds up a “Yes on 4” sign at the 2016 Boston Freedom Rally (Scott Gacek/The Daily Chronic)

BOSTON, MA — The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy has voted to advance a bill to repeal and replace the marijuana legalization measure approved by voters in November, angering supporters who are calling the proposal an “insult to voters.”

According to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), who carefully crafted the language of the voter-approved Question 4, the proposal approved by Beacon Hill lawmakers this week “bears very little resemblance to the legalization law passed by 1.8 million voters in November.”

“The bill would undermine efforts to replace the unregulated market with a system of licensed businesses,” says Will Luzier, MPP’s campaign manager for Question 4. “It would take away the right of voters to decide on local marijuana policy, and it could impose a tax rate on marijuana that exceeds 50%. It authorizes the sharing of information with the FBI on cannabis commerce, including employees and medical patients. It also makes the Cannabis Control Commission — the entity that will regulate marijuana businesses — less unaccountable.”

The proposed changes to Question 4, which was approved by 54 percent of voters last November, could be voted on by the full House as early as Thursday.

This is not the first change to the marijuana legalization law.  As written, Question 4 called for regulated marijuana sales to start in January 2018.  Last December, in a sparsely attended special session, lawmakers quickly and quietly passed a bill that delayed marijuana sales until July 2018.

Increased Taxes

Among the most notable changes proposed by lawmakers is a massive increase in taxes on recreational marijuana sales, more than doubling the maximum tax imposed on retail cannabis sales.

The language of Question 4 imposes an excise tax of 3.75% in addition to the state sales tax of 6.25%, adding a total 10% sales tax at the point of sale. Local communities have the option to add an additional 2% sales tax, making the total possible tax 12%.

The proposed changes to the law call for a much higher excise tax of 16.75%, in addition to the 6.25% sales tax, making the total minimum tax statewide 23%.  Cities and towns could then tack up to 5% more in local taxes, bringing the total possible maximum tax to 28%, more than double the rate approved by voters.

Medical marijuana sales would remain tax-free.

“The House proposal in no way improves the measure passed by voters. It weakens it and it insults voters in the process,” Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Yes on 4 campaign, said in a statement. “Its irrational tax increase will give drug dealers the ability to undercut the legal market, and its removal of ban authority from local voters will give a handful of selectmen the ability to overrule the opinion of their own constituents.”

Rep. Mark Cusack (D-Braintree) is co-chair of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, the committee who wrote the proposed legislation behind closed doors, largely in secret.  Cusack touted the proposed changes to the bill as necessary, claiming the will of Bay State voters has not been compromised.

“The voters voted to allow people 21 years of age and above to be able to access a regulated and safe marketplace. That is exactly what this bill does,”Cusack told the Boston Globe. “The ballot question is fundamentally flawed.’’

Cusack says the higher tax rate is “a responsible tax rate” and is necessary to fund regulation while generating additional income for the state.

But not all lawmakers are on board with the legislature’s re-write of the citizen initiated referendum, including Cusack’s co-chair for in the joint committee, Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville).

“This proposed bill directly assaults the will of the voters,” Sen. Jehlen told the Boston Herald, noting that the proposed 28% would be among the highest tax rates in the eight states that have legalized retail marijuana sales.

“If you keep more people in the illicit market, you’re not getting their taxes,” she told CBS News. “Second, if you raise the tax too high, you keep people in the illicit market.”

Also prominent among the many changes to the marijuana law is transferring the authority to restrict or ban cannabis related businesses.  As approved by voters, the current marijuana law requires municipal officials who want to ban or restrict marijuana related businesses from operating in their communities to get final approval from voters via a referendum.

The proposed changes to the marijuana law strip that final say from voters, giving local lawmakers unilateral authority to ban or limit dispensaries, cultivation facilities, and other marijuana related businesses operating in their communities.

“The removal of ban authority from local voters will give a handful of selectmen the ability to overrule the opinion of their own constituents,” says Borghesani.  “We think that will be problematic and could usher in a new era of prohibition.”

“The public has always been ahead of legislators on this issue, in Massachusetts and every other state. To turn around and alter something the public passed and take power away from voters, and give it to elected officials who have not been leaders and have shown a reluctance to embrace new marijuana public policy is a big mistake and a dramatic revision of the bill passed by voters,” Borghesani added.

Home Cultivation

While home cultivation of up to 12 plants per household remains in the proposed law, advocates are concerned that the law opens the door for the Cannabis Control Commission, the agency created to oversee the state’s marijuana industry, to reduce the plant limit or impose restrictions and regulations on home grows.

According to the proposed changes to the law, the commission would be allowed to “establish rules and regulations on the unlicensed manufacture of marijuana or marijuana products within a person’s primary residence.”

Advocates fear the language could allow regulators to require expensive home cultivation licences, home grow site inspections, or reduced plant limits.

Changes to Oversight

The third major change to the law involves the Cannabis Control Commission, the governing agency established by Question 4 to regulate the marijuana industry in Massachusetts.  Under current law, the state treasurer has the sole authority to hire and fire the three members of the Commission.

But under the proposed changes to the law, the Commission would be expanded to five people, and give the treasurer, Governor and Attorney General each the ability to appoint one member to the Commission. The other two seats would be filled by a majority vote of the thee appointed members.

The Commission would still be a part of the treasurer’s office, and they do not appear to support the proposed changes.

“While we are still reviewing all the details of the bill, it is apparent that this structure does not provide operational authority or accountability within the treasurer’s office, which we believe is critical to have a safe, secure, and efficient implementation,” Chandra Allard, a spokesperson for state treasurer Deborah Goldberg, told the Boston Globe.

Medical Marijuana

While most of the outcry regarding the proposed changes to the marijuana law come from supporters of recreational marijuana, medical marijuana advocates are concerned with a provision in the proposed bill that strips oversight of the state’s medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Health and reassigns it to the Cannabis Control Commission, placing all of the state’s marijuana oversight — both medical and recreational — under one governing body.

While this consolidation could be helpful in reducing bureaucratic oversight, advocates fear that could place the state’s medical marijuana program at risk in the current political climate.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but while the Obama Administration mostly looked the other way, the Trump Administration’s Justice Department, under the leadership of longtime marijuana foe Attorney General Jeff Sessions, appears to be leaning towards a federal crackdown of recreational, and possibly medical, marijuana sales.

House Expected to Vote Thursday

The bill is expected to be introduced to the House on Thursday. While the bill advanced out of committee by a 10-1 vote, some committee members say their support for the bill, as written, ends there.

“With deep reservations I will be supporting this out of committee but I will not at all hesitate to vote no on the floor … if this bill continues in the shape and form as it is,” Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Boston) told the Boston Herald.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, the Marijuana Policy Project is asking you to please call your state representative and tell them not to vote for this bill when it is presented for a vote.  You can do so by clicking here.

“We must not allow politicians to repeal and replace the will of the people, especially when their proposed changes are so flawed and misguided,” they say.


Update: The Salem News is reporting that legislative leaders have decided to postpone a vote until next week.

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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 Halts Early Start to Recreational Marijuana Sales

CARSON CITY, NV — Nevada’s anticipated July 1 start to recreational marijuana sales could be delayed following a judge’s ruling earlier this week on a complaint from the alcohol industry.

A district judge issued an order Tuesday banning the state’s Department of Taxation from enforcing a May 31 application deadline for medical marijuana dispensaries applying to take part in the early recreational cannabis sales slated to start July 1, indicating possible delays.

Voters approved Question 2 in November, legalizing marijuana possession in Nevada starting January 1 of this year.  Under the measure passed by voters, state regulators were given until the end of this year to establish rules and regulations to govern the cultivation, production, testing, and sale of marijuana, with retail sales expected to begin January 1, 2018.

After state lawmakers expressed interest in allowing early retail marijuana sales at medical marijuana dispensaries, which had been successful in Oregon after voters approved a similar measure in 2014, state regulators pushed for an early start to retail sales in Nevada.

Last month, the Nevada Tax Commission voted 6 to 1 to allow medical marijuana businesses in good standing to apply for “early start” licenses.

But that decision has been met with resistance from The Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada, who filed a legal complaint arguing that Question 2 gives liquor wholesalers exclusive rights to marijuana distribution licenses for the first 18 months of cannabis sales in the state.

On Tuesday, a district judge in Carson City agreed, issuing a temporary restraining order, putting the application process on hold.

“The statute clearly gives a priority and exclusive license to alcohol distributors, in order to promote the goal of regulating marijuana similar to alcohol,” the judge ruled.

Tuesdays’ court order means the state cannot issue cannabis distribution licenses to anyone except licensed liquor wholesalers.  A hearing on the temporary restraining order is expected within the next couple of weeks.

Until then, the extent of the impacts and potential delays to the early start program remains unclear.

An attorney representing the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada, Sam McMullen, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that the group’s intent was not to delay retail marijuana sales.

“We just want our rightful place. We don’t want to slow this down inordinately,” McMullen said.

According to a spokesperson for the Department of Taxation, however, only one licensed alcohol wholesaler has applied for a marijuana distribution license.

Distribution licenses cost $15,000 under the temporary regulations that go into effect with the state’s early start program.  Distributors are responsible for transporting marijuana and marijuana products from cultivation and production facilities to dispensaries.

State regulators from the Department of Taxation say they had reached out to alcohol distributors in November, but received “insufficient interest” in the recreational cannabis industry.

The department said it only a handful of liquor dealers showed minor interest, but no concrete business plans were submitted for how those companies would distribute marijuana.

“While some were ‘interested,’ none followed up to indicate that they had a plan going forward to be ready to serve the market or that they had sorted out issues with respect to their federal liquor license,” the department said in March.

Because liquor distributors are licensed on the federal level, where cannabis remains illegal, acting as a distributor of marijuana in Nevada could put those licenses at risk.

In March, the department decided that it would open the applications for distribution licenses beyond alcohol distributors, because the cannabis industry would not be able to operate.

Some existing medical marijuana providers in Nevada, however, question why distributors are even needed, with many dispensaries operating cultivation facilities within or near their retail operations.

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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 Pass Bill to Implement Marijuana Legalization Initiative

AUGUSTA, ME — The Maine Legislature has passed a bill to fund the implementation of the successful 2016 marijuana legalization initiative and change the agency that will regulate marijuana for adult use.

The Senate on Thursday passed LD 243 unanimously “under the hammer,” without debate or a roll call vote, sending it to Gov. Paul LePage for final approval.

The House passed it “under the hammer” on Wednesday.

LD 243 would transfer the authority to oversee adult-use marijuana from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS).

The Bureau would be responsible for licensing adult-use marijuana businesses and creating and enforcing regulations.

LD 243 also allocates $200,000 to the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation and $1.4 million to DAFS to implement Question 1.

“We hope Gov. LePage will give swift approval to this bill so we can begin to see some meaningful progress on establishing Maine’s adult-use marijuana program,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project and campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “In the meantime, the Legislature should allow Maine’s existing medical marijuana businesses to begin serving adults 21 and older. This approach was successful in Oregon, and it is now being adopted in Nevada. It would work for Maine, as well.”

“Initiating adult sales in existing medical marijuana businesses would allow for a slower rollout and give regulators time to make adjustments. It would immediately generate much-needed tax revenue and provide adults with a safe way to purchase marijuana. Marijuana is a legal product now, and Mainers want it to be sold in licensed stores, not on Craigslist and Facebook,” Boyer added.

Parts of the new law too effect in January, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

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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.

Dispensaries and the New Legal Niches of Marijuana in California

It is no secret that the legal framework concerning Cannabis in the Unites States of America is rapidly changing the last years. The cannabis industry is now the fastest growing industry in the United States.  California seems to be the leader in Cannabis sales compared to the other States. There is far more legal marijuana sold in California than Colorado and Washington.

Since more than have the voters in California approved the marijuana legalization measure, known as Proposition 64, on November last year, the adults in California can grow their own cannabis plants and use the drug in their homes. The new law is called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act or AUMA.

State agencies are now designated to impose taxes at the retail and cultivation level of marijuana, license marijuana and regulate it. But recreational shops will not be able to function until January 2018. Before then, you still need a doctor’s prescription to get medical cannabis until that time.

The Dispensaries are popping up and there is a whole new market that consists of new services and new jobs. As the Marijuana market comes out from the underground to legitimate distribution, new eras in the consumption of marijuana is beginning. In a lot of states, marijuana is gaining more and more acceptance on various levels.

Different legal age groups have started discovering the marijuana market for themselves. New products are being tried out and new ideas are being converted to products for sale.

Marijuana edibles, high end concentrates and tourist related marijuana spa and tours are a few of the blooming ideas. The competition is also on the increase as more people enter the market to take a share of a fast-growing sector in the economy. Marijuana marketing is more advanced than ever before due to increased competition.

Although the legalization of marijuana could take a different turn during Trump’s presidency, another big headline in the cannabis industry in the US was the New York Stock Exchange’s approval to list a marijuana company on its exchange for the first time

Research by marijuana market research firm, the Arcview Group has shown that the state of California makes up more than 25% of all legal marijuana sales in all 50 US states plus Canada.

Well-established medical pot markets in many states still account for much of the country’s legal marijuana sales, but recreational marijuana sales is expected to help fuel the cannabis market’ s soaring growth over the next few years.

The biggest driver of growth in coming years is sure to be new laws being passed by states.

There is a possibility that in the future, marijuana dispensaries will be replaced by online shops where the products will be delivered straight to consumers.

In 2015, Americans spent at least $5 billion on legal recreational and medical cannabis.

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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 Retail Marijuana Sales to Begin This July

Nevada regulators have approved rules to allow for the expedited sales of cannabis to adults.

Members of the Nevada Tax Commission voted 6 to 1 on Monday to license select medical dispensaries to engage in retail sales of non-medical cannabis.

Dispensaries in good standing with the state will be able to apply for “early start” licenses on May 15. Those facilities who are approved by state regulators will be able to engage in adult use marijuana sales on July 1.

A majority of voters decided last November in favor of The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, a voter-initiated measure regulating the commercial marijuana market.

Provisions in the law eliminating criminal penalties regarding the personal possession of personal use quantities of cannabis took effect on January 1, 2017.

Separate provisions in the measure regulating the commercial production and sales of cannabis were initially slated to take effect on January 1, 2018.

Regulators decision to expedite marijuana sales is in sharp contrast to the actions of lawmakers in several other states, including Maine and Massachusetts — both of which have taken steps to delay adult use marijuana sales by several months.

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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.

Anti-Cannabis Group Violated CA Campaign Finance Laws, Commission Finds

A leading anti-cannabis advocacy group has agreed to pay thousands of dollars in fines for violating California campaign finance laws as organizers fought Proposition 64, a November ballot measure that legalized adult-use cannabis in the state.

The committee allegedly failed to identify special interests that contributed more than $50,000.

SAM Action Inc., the political arm of anti-legalization organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana, has reportedly signed off on $6,000 in fines recommended by the enforcement staff of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The group told investigators that the violations were “inadvertent.”

The proposed penalty comes less than two weeks after SAM Action Inc. threatened to identify the financial ties of any congressional representative to support a measure by US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) aimed at protecting state-legal medical marijuana from federal intervention. “The representatives who sign on to this letter will be investigated, and any ties to the pot industry lobby will be exposed,” the group warned.

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According the FPPC, however SAM has struggled to expose even its own financial ties. As the Patrick Greevy of the Los Angeles Times reports, the group, founded by former Obama administration drug policy advisor Kevin Sabet, failed to disclose numerous campaign details to regulators as the group fought Prop 64:

The violations included not changing the campaign committee’s name to include its major donor, Juliet Schauer, a retired art professor and Pennsylvania activist who contributed $1.36 million to the group to cover expenses in California and other states considering marijuana legalization.

The committee also was late in disclosing five Schauer contributions, failed to accurately report the total amount of contributions and failed to file a list of its top 10 contributors, as required by the state Political Reform Act.

SAM maintains the violations were “inadvertent,” according to the FPPC report, and were caused by “inexperience with California campaign reporting requirements.”

The state commission will consider approving the recommended fines on April 20.

RELATED STORY

Crossing Ethical Lines: How Your Tax Dollars Are Funding Cannabis Opponents

FPPC enforcement staff have also proposed $3,500 in fines against a campaign committee dubbed Public and Mental Health Advocates Against 64, a group that was sponsored by and received major funding from SAM Action Inc. In advertisements opposing Prop 64, the campaign committee allegedly failed to identify the names of special interests that contributed more than $50,000.

“Special interests were not identified in the committee name until 15 days before the election,” West wrote in the report, “which was 107 days after the deadline to identify these economic or other special interests.”

Prop 64 passed in November with support from 57% of state voters.


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.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Proponents Victorious in Ballot Fight

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Proponents Victorious in Ballot Fight | NORML

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The state Supreme Court of Oklahoma has ruled in favor of the proponents of a forthcoming statewide ballot measure to regulate medical cannabis access. In a 7 to 1 ruling, justices rejected the state attorney general’s rewording of the initiative’s ballot title and ordered that the measure’s initial language be restored. […]

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Proponents Victorious in Ballot Fight | The Daily Chronic


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.

California Gov. Moves to Align Medical and Recreational Marijuana Regulation

California Gov. Moves to Align Medical and Recreational Marijuana Regulation | Drug Policy Alliance

SACRAMENTO, CA — Late Tuesday afternoon, Governor Jerry Brown released his proposal to align medical marijuana regulations passed by the Legislature in 2015 and the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act, both of which call for commercial licensing and regulation to begin in January 2018. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Proposition 64, was passed by […]

California Gov. Moves to Align Medical and Recreational Marijuana Regulation | The Daily Chronic


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 Lawmakers Moving Forward With Expedited Plan For Adult Use Marijuana Sales

Nevada Lawmakers Moving Forward With Expedited Plan For Adult Use Marijuana Sales | NORML

CARSON CITY, NV — State officials in Nevada are holding firm on an expedited plan to begin adult use marijuana sales in July, despite comments from the Trump administration indicating a forthcoming crackdown in states that regulate its commercial production and sale. Nevada Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told the Associated Press that the agency […]

Nevada Lawmakers Moving Forward With Expedited Plan For Adult Use Marijuana Sales | The Daily Chronic


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.