Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

California Bureau of Cannabis Control accepting public comments on proposed rules

August 14th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Members of the public are invited to provide comments on California’s proposed rules for cannabis businesses. The Bureau of Cannabis Control and other agencies seek public comments as they consider a permanent set of rules — replacing those temporarily in place.

For background, including the text of the proposed rules, summaries, and the agencies’ reasoning for seeking changes, visit the state’s website. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 27.

For the most part, permanent rules would mirror those currently in place – but there are some key differences. A big improvement is a clarifying statement that adults 21 and older could receive cannabis deliveries at their own homes, statewide. This is a much-needed solution for those who live in parts of the state that have banned retail sales.

Unfortunately, the transition from illicit to legal sales has not gone as quickly as many had predicted in California, due in large part to rural communities that have refused to allow legal sales. By ensuring that deliveries are available for adults everywhere, consumers are given an option for safe, discreet, and legal sales.

Not all proposed rule changes are positive. One change would limit medical cannabis dispensaries to the sale of cannabis products and branded merchandise, preventing them from offering holistic health services such as counseling and support.

If you are a California resident, take a look at the proposed rules and be sure to send comments so they can be received before the deadline on the 27.

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General

MPP has a new executive director!

August 14th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

We’re pleased to announce that Steve Hawkins has been named the new executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. Steve brings three decades of experience fighting for criminal justice reform, having previously served in leadership roles at the NAACP, Amnesty International USA, and the Coalition for Public Safety.

The entire MPP staff is thrilled to welcome Steve to our organization.

Steve began his career as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund challenging racial disparities in the criminal justice system. He later served as executive vice president of the NAACP, spearheading its efforts to end the police practice of “stop and frisk” in New York City and successfully encouraging the NAACP board of directors to adopt a policy in support of marijuana decriminalization. Steve also previously served as executive director of Amnesty International USA, as a program executive for the Atlantic Philanthropies, and as a senior program manager at the JEHT Foundation. You can read a more detailed biography here.

The marijuana reform movement has made incredible gains in the past several years but there’s still a great deal of work ahead. With Steve leading our experienced and talented team of reformers, and with your support, MPP will continue to enact medical marijuana and marijuana legalization laws that serve the interests of the American people.

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont’s primary election is tomorrow

August 13th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Check out our updated voter guides to learn where candidates for state legislature and governor stand on cannabis regulation!

The Vermont state primary election will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, August 14. If you are a Vermont resident and haven’t already voted, please check out our legislative voter guide to learn where candidates for state legislature stand on marijuana policy. Then, please read our guide on the candidates for governor.

This year, we sent candidates a survey consisting of only one question: “Do you support regulating and taxing the production and sale of cannabis in Vermont for use by adults 21 and older?” Our voter guides include responses from candidates for state representative, state senator, and governor, in addition to public statements and incumbent legislators’ votes on the legalization bill.

We have updated the gubernatorial voter guide to include a fifth candidate, state Sen. John Rodgers, who is running as a write-in candidate. At a recent public forum, all five Democratic candidates talked about their support for taxing and regulating cannabis.

For information on where and how to vote in Vermont, click here.

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Tax and Regulate

Connecticut primary election will take place Tuesday, August 14

August 9th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Strong contrast emerges between Democratic candidates for attorney general

The Connecticut primary election will take place next Tuesday, August 14. If you’re a Connecticut resident and you’re not sure how or where to vote, please visit the secretary of state’s website for more information.

On the Democratic ticket, both candidates for governor and both candidates for lieutenant governor have said they support taxing and regulating marijuana. However, in the race for attorney general, there is a strong contrast between the Democratic candidates’ positions. At a recent debate, former U.S. Attorney Chris Mattei spoke strongly in favor of regulating marijuana, while the other two candidates, state Rep. William Tong and state Sen. Paul Doyle, “expressed reservations.” Additionally, Mattei has criticized Tong for his failure to support the medical cannabis bill when it passed in 2012.

None of the five Republican candidates for governor have spoken publicly in favor of ending marijuana prohibition.

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