Tag: Election 2016

Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Advocates Urge Towns to Allow Regulated Businesses, Follow Marshfield Example

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

BOSTON, MA — Towns passing legal cannabis bans and moratoriums are guaranteeing continued market control by criminals and street dealers, the group behind the legalization measure passed by voters last November said today.

The group praised Marshfield voters for rejecting a measure at a town meeting yesterday that would have banned marijuana retail facilities in the town.

“Very simply, if cannabis isn’t sold by regulated and taxed retailers, it will continue to be sold by criminals who don’t check IDs and don’t care about the safety of their product,” said Jim Borghesani, Massachusetts spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project and former communications director for the Yes on 4 campaign. “Marshfield voters made a responsible decision yesterday to make sure their town takes commerce away from street dealers and puts significant new tax dollars in the town coffers.”

Borghesani added that the legislature’s decision to change the law passed by voters made it easier to ban marijuana businesses without a clear mandate from local residents.

“While we accepted the overall legislative compromise this past summer, we believe it was a mistake to create two classes of municipalities in the state when it comes to local bans,” Borghesani said. “The legislative changes to the law passed last year have allowed local officials to ban businesses without a convincing mandate from local voters.”

One “no” town, Mashpee, passed a moratorium this week at a town meeting attended by only 320 voters. There are 10,848 registered voters in Mashpee.

“Unfortunately, these decisions are being made by a very small percentage of voters in some towns. We’re hopeful that more towns will follow Marshfield’s example, and we will be working to inform local voters about upcoming ban proposals,” Borghesani said.

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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.

Mass. Legalization Advocates Seek Assurances From Cannabis Control Commission

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

BOSTON, MA — The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the group behind the marijuana legalization measure passed by voters last November, said today that the newly appointed Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) members who opposed Question 4 should make clear that their personal positions will not impact their board responsibilities or cause further delays in implementing the law.

The group also called for the CCC Chairman, Steven Hoffman, to request that the governor and the Legislature provide adequate funding to get the legal sales system up and running on the current schedule.

“A strong majority of Massachusetts voters passed Question 4 last November. Since then, we’ve seen a six-month delay, a deeply flawed legislative rewrite process, blown deadlines, and now a five-person regulatory board stacked with four legalization opponents. These developments in no way instill confidence that the implementation of legal marijuana sales will be any better than the state’s dreadful medical marijuana rollout,” said Jim Borghesani, Massachusetts spokesman for MPP and former communications director for the Yes on 4 Campaign.

Borghesani called for the four anti-legalization commissioners to publicly commit to adhering to the current timeline for implementation, which would allow retail sales to adults to begin on July 1, 2018.

“We want assurances, and we think the voters deserve assurances. There is too much at stake to simply sit back and hope for the best. We want to see solid commitments to advancing the will of the voters,” Borghesani said.

Matthew Schweich, Director of State Campaigns for MPP and former campaign director for the Yes on 4 Campaign, called upon CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman to request from the governor and the Legislature the level of funding necessary to implement the law without any further delays.

“Supporters of legalization, which include a majority of Massachusetts voters, have cause for concern. By a significant margin, the individuals responsible for implementing this public policy opposed its creation less than a year ago. If the CCC is truly committed to upholding the will of the people without any further delays, then Chairman Hoffman will publicly request the funding necessary to allow legal sales of marijuana to begin on July 1, 2018,” said Schweich.

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg earlier this year proposed a first-year CCC budget of $10 million. However, the current budget includes just $1.2 million for the CCC.

“The legalization policy will soon be generating millions of dollars in tax revenue for the Commonwealth, but that can only happen if the Legislature provides the funds to establish the program and regulations, and that will only happen if the CCC is committed to meeting its deadlines,” Schweich said.

Massachusetts’ track record on medical marijuana — with only 12 dispensaries open five years after voters approved the medical measure — justifies concerns about the adult-use rollout, Borghesani added.

“We heard time and time again that state officials wanted to ‘get this right,’ which is precisely what they said about medical marijuana. We need to be assured that this rollout is not going to be a repeat of the medical marijuana debacle,” said Borghesani.

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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.

No One Has Applied to Grow or Sell Medical Marijuana in Arkansas (Yet)

LITTLE ROCK, AR — Arkansas is halfway through the application period for medical marijuana growers and dispensaries for their fledgling medical marijuana program, and so far the total number of applications received is zero.

While some naysayers could claim this shows little interest in the upcoming medical marijuana industry in Arkansas, a spokesperson for the state says they’re not concerned as applicants are most likely being diligent in navigating the complex application process.

“We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete,” Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press.

“Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications,” Hardin says, noting that the applications are likely to be received closer to the September 18 deadline.

Meanwhile, over 400 completed patient applications have been approved to date, according to the Department of Health, who estimates approximately 30,000 residents will eventually participate in the program.

Medical marijuana identification cards will not be issued until 30 days prior to the first dispensaries opening.

Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, was approved by voters on November 8, garnering over 53 percent of the vote.

More information on the Arkansas medical marijuana program is available from the Arkansas Department of Health.

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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.

Massachusetts House and Senate Reach Compromise on Marijuana Legalization Implementation Bill

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

BOSTON, MA – After weeks of talks and missed deadlines, legislators in Massachusetts have reached an agreement on legislation that will make changes to Question 4, the law to regulate marijuana for adults that was approved by voters in November 2016.

“After weeks of intense advocacy from Massachusetts voters, legislators have decided to respect the will of the people,” said Matthew Schweich, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project and one of the leaders of the 2016 campaign. “We are relieved that the legislature has dropped the House’s ‘repeal and replace’ bill introduced last month, which would have made damaging changes to the law.”

The compromise bill’s most significant changes relate to local control and taxes. The legislation adjusts the local control policy, allowing local government officials in towns that voted “no” on the 2016 ballot initiative to ban marijuana businesses until December 2019. For towns that voted “yes” in 2016, any bans must be placed on a local ballot for voters to approve.

The maximum sales tax rate (which depends on whether towns adopt optional local taxes) will increase from 12% to 20%. Under the bill, the state tax will be 17% and the local option will be 3%.

“The law passed by voters was well-crafted and required no alteration,” said Schweich. “However, we respect the need for compromise, and while we don’t approve of every provision of this bill, we are satisfied that the outcome will serve the interests of Massachusetts residents and allow the Commonwealth to displace the unregulated marijuana market with a system of taxation and regulation.”

Last month, the House and Senate passed very different implementation bills before beginning negotiations to resolve their differences.

Massachusetts residents made over 1,000 telephone calls to their lawmakers urging rejection of the House approach, while advocacy organizations put additional pressure on the legislature.

“We commend the Senate for holding the line on a number of important issues,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesperson for the 2016 Yes on 4 campaign and the subsequent advocacy effort to defend the law. “Now it’s time to provide funding that will allow the regulators to establish the rules that will govern marijuana cultivation and sales.”

The progress in Massachusetts will likely add momentum to regional efforts across New England to tax and regulate marijuana for adults.

“Maine is in the process of implementing its marijuana regulation law passed by voters, while legislators in Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut all seriously considered bills to make marijuana legal for adults this year,” said Schweich. “The fact that marijuana sales will begin in Massachusetts in just one year will place added pressure on Rhode Island in particular. If legislators fail to take action, the Ocean State will soon be senselessly forfeiting significant and sorely-needed tax revenue to its neighbor.”

On July 1, Nevada became the fifth state in the nation to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults. Regulated marijuana sales are set to begin in Massachusetts in July 2018.

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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.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Reach Marijuana Compromise; Tax Raised to 20%

BOSTON, MA — After weeks of closed-door negotiations, lawmakers in Massachusetts have reached a compromise on changes to the voter-approved law that legalized marijuana in the Bay State.

The changes still need to be ratified by members of both chambers of the state legislature, which is expected later this week.

Instead of a repeal-and-replace bill proposed by the House, the compromise bill reflects an “amend and improve” approach favored by the Senate.

Much of the original ballot measure will remain intact, with the most noticeable change being the tax imposed on retail marijuana sales.

While the changes to the legalization law are not as drastic as originally proposed by the House, the tax rate on recreational cannabis will be raised significantly.

As approved by voters, retail sales of marijuana would be subject to a 3.75% statewide excise tax, combined with the 6.25% state sales tax, making the statewide tax 10%. Local communities were given the option to impose an additional two percent local tax, making the total maximum tax 12%.

The House sought to impose stiff taxes that would have raised this to a 28% minimum tax.

The compromise bill will instead raise the excise tax on marijuana from 3.75% to 10.75%, which will be added on to the state 6.25% sales tax, making the statewide marijuana tax 17%.

The compromise also increases the local tax option from two to three percent, making the statewide maximum tax 20%.

Lawmakers also compromised on the dispute over who has the right to ban or restrict marijuana related businesses. In cities in towns where a majority of voters supported Question 4, a referendum would be required to pass zoning restrictions or ban businesses.

But in the 91 municipalities in the state where a majority of residents voted against the ballot question, a referendum would not be necessary. Instead, a vote by the board of the selectmen or city council could ban marijuana retailers.

Other notable changes in the compromise bill include a provision raising the amount of decriminalized marijuana for minors under 21 from one to two ounces.

The compromise bill also makes cultivation by minors under 21 a civil offense, rather than a criminal one.

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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.

Legal Marijuana Sales in Nevada: 8 Things You Need to Know

As of 12:01 a.m Saturday, legal adult marijuana sales begin in Nevada. And they will commence immediately, with dispensaries on the Las Vegas Strip announcing plans to be open to usher in Sin City’s newest attraction.

But don’t go lighting up on the Strip! Smoking in public is not allowed.

Nevada now joins Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington in allowing people to legally buy and sell weed in pot shops. It’s the first of the states where voters legalized it at the polls to see shops open, getting out of the gate ahead of California, Maine, and Massachusetts.

That’s because the state fast-tracked legal pot sales by granting licenses to a few dozen existing medical marijuana dispensaries in order to let them sell to any adults while officials finalized regulations for the legal marijuana market, which was mandated to begin by January 1, 2018.

So, now that you can add legal weed to Las Vegas’s allures, here’s a few things you need to know:

1. How much can I buy? Visitors and residents alike can purchase up to an ounce of buds and up to an eighth-ounce of marijuana edibles.

2. Where can I buy it? Look for medical marijuana dispensaries that have been granted recreational sales licenses. Those are clustered in the Las Vegas and Reno areas, including dispensaries on the Strip. There’s a complete list of dispensaries here, but remember, not all have the recreational sales okay, so if you’re about to go shopping, contact them directly to find out.

3. What do I need? You need to be at least 21 and have government-issued ID that says so. If you’re a medical marijuana card holder, you don’t have to be 21. And you need to have cash. That’s because the federal government refuses to let banks handle marijuana business since pot is still federally illegal. Congress is working on this issue, but in the meantime, hit the ATM ahead of shopping.

4. What should I buy? Regular consumers will have a pretty good idea what they like, but novices can consult their budtenders. There will be a variety of high-quality, high-potency strains on sale, both “stimulating” sativas and “enervating” indicas, as well as a dizzying plethora of hybrid strains.

5. What about edibles? Edibles will be on sale, too, in a wide variety of forms, but because of emergency regulations issued Monday by the Department of Taxation, those products can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or 100 milligrams per package. That 10 milligram measure is a good one; novice users will certainly feel an impact at that level. But those emergency regs, which also restrict packaging and labeling are likely to produce initial shortages of edibles given the short lag time between their promulgation and opening day.

6. What’s it going to cost? Grams will be going for $10 to $15, ounces for anywhere from $150 for bargain buds to $325 for the primo. Edibles prices will depend on the various products.

7. Where can I smoke it? Well, therein lies the rub, especially for visitors. The only places smoking pot is allowed are at your home or on your front porch. There’s no smoking it on the Strip, in clubs or casinos, at rock concerts, or any other public place. And there’s no smoking it in hotel rooms, either. Either a lot of tourists are going to end up with public smoking citations, or they start making local friends in a hurry, or they end up paying smoke damage surcharges on their hotel room credit card bills, or all of the above. This is going to have to change, especially since estimates are nearly two-thirds of legal pot buyers are going to be visitors. In the meantime, it could make edibles more attractive.

8. Can I take it home with me? Not if you live in a state where it is illegal. And if you live in a state where it is legal, why bother? If you get caught trying to bring it onto an airplane, the TSA won’t bust you (since they’re looking for terrorists, not tourists), but will turn you over to the local cops, who also won’t bust you (since your weed isn’t illegal in Nevada), but the hassles might cause you to miss your flight.


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

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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.

Legal Adult Marijuana Sales to Begin in Nevada on Saturday

LAS VEGAS, NV — Legal adult marijuana sales will begin in Nevada on Saturday, making it the fifth state in the nation to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. PT, adults 21 and older with a valid ID will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana-infused edibles or concentrates from licensed marijuana retail outlets.

Retail marijuana sales will be subject to a 10 percent sales tax, which state officials estimate will generate more than $60 million in the first two years.

“The marijuana prohibition era is finally coming to an end in Nevada,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which backed Question 2, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol that was approved by approximately 54.5 percent of Nevada voters in November. MPP supported similar, unsuccessful initiatives in Nevada in 2002 and 2006.

“Adults will now be able to purchase marijuana similarly to how they purchase alcohol, from regulated businesses rather than criminals in the illegal market,” Tvert said. “Nevadans voted for safer communities, new tax revenue, and a more sensible marijuana policy. That is exactly what they are going to get.”

Question 2 required the state to initiate adult sales by January 1, 2018, but the Nevada Tax Commission adopted temporary regulations allowing sales to begin six months earlier through existing licensed medical marijuana outlets.

Marijuana possession has been legal for adults 21 and older since Question 2 took effect on January 1, 2017.

Nevada is one of eight states that have enacted laws to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use. Regulated adult marijuana sales are currently taking place in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, and they are expected to commence next year in California, Maine, and Massachusetts. A petition drive to place a similar proposal on the November 2018 ballot is currently underway in Michigan.

“Legal marijuana sales in Nevada are going to accelerate growth in public support for ending marijuana prohibition,” Tvert said. “Tens of millions of visitors per year from all over the U.S. and around the world will see firsthand that regulating marijuana works. What happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas, but what is learned about marijuana in Vegas will be shared with everyone back home.”

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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 Licensed Adult Use Marijuana Sales Set to Begin Saturday

CARSON CITY, NV — Starting this Saturday, July 1, specially licensed medical cannabis dispensaries will have the opportunity to engage in the retail sale of marijuana to adults.

State tax regulators finalized temporary rules on Monday governing adult use sales. Regulators so far have issued over 80 licenses to business establishments seeking to engage in activities specific to the production, testing, or sale of cannabis to adults.

“Adults in Nevada will now be able to access cannabis in a safe, above ground, regulated environment,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “To their immense credit, lawmakers moved expeditiously to implement the will of their voters. Elected officials elsewhere would do well to follow Nevada’s example.”

Adult use sales are anticipated to be limited because of an ongoing legal dispute regarding who may legally transport cannabis to retail stores. Last week, a Carson City judge issued an injunction prohibiting any entity other than liquor distributors from engaging in retail marijuana transport.

As a result, retailers will only be able to sell their existing inventory.

A majority of voters decided in November in favor of the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act – a voter-initiated regulating the adult use marijuana market. In May, state regulators decided in favor of expediting the timeline for retail marijuana sales from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2017.

Seven additional states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington — no longer impose criminal penalties with regard to the adult possession or use of 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.

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.