Tax and Regulate

“Be Heard on Cannabis” in Eden Prairie, Eagan, Mankato, and Hibbing next week

Rochester conversation scheduled for Saturday, December 7

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s “Be Heard on Cannabis” community conversations are in full swing, giving Minnesotans a chance to weigh in on how to replace cannabis prohibition with sensible regulation. At the end of the process, Rep. Winkler plans to introduce a bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in Minnesota and shepherd it through the House.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates, to take part and add your voice to the conversation on how to move forward.

Eden Prairie "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Monday, November 18, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eden Prairie Community Center, Cambria Room, 16700 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Eagan "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eagan Community Center, South Oaks Meeting Room, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121

Mankato “Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Wednesday, November 20, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Gustavus Adolphus College Heritage Banquet Room, 800 W College Avenue, Saint Peter, MN 56082

Hibbing "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Saturday, November 23, 2:00 p.m.
Where: Memorial Building little theater, 400 East 23rd Street, Hibbing, MN

Rochester "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: December 7, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Heintz Center at the Rochester Community and Technical College, 851 30th Avenue SE, Rochester, MN

For a list of the hosts and panelists who will lead each community conversation, along with other cities "Be Heard on Cannabis" will visit, check out Rep. Winkler’s "Be Heard on Cannabis" webpage. And stay tuned for updates to the list. The following are expected to host community conversations: Austin, Crystal, Fridley, Maple Grove, New Brighton, Spring Lake Park, and Woodbury.

Don't miss your chance to let your elected officials know it's time to stop punishing Minnesotans for a substance that's safer than alcohol. You may want to consider making a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry, for allowing home cultivation, and for expunging past convictions.

Even if you're not able to make it, you can still make your voice heard. Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman has an online survey you can complete here. Finally, please spread the word by email or social media to help grow the chorus for reform.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan: The wait for legal marijuana stores will soon be over

Regulators have announced December 1 as the first day of adult-use sales

Big news! Starting next month, Michiganders will be able to legally purchase marijuana from regulated businesses. Yesterday, officials with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced that a “dozen or so” existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be authorized to open their doors and sell a portion of their supply to adults 21 and older on December 1.

It’s been just over a year since voters approved Proposal 1, which ended marijuana prohibition and paved the way for the establishment of a legal marijuana market. Since then, state regulators have worked expeditiously to establish a regulatory framework for legal sales. Compared to other legalization states, Michigan’s implementation timeline has been fairly quick.

In just a few weeks, adults in Michigan will be able to legally purchase marijuana from a licensed business. This is a huge milestone, because shifting marijuana sales into a regulated environment is a win for public health and public safety. And this was one of the primary goals when MPP decided to launch the legalization ballot initiative campaign back in 2017. This is what it looks like when we win.

Thanks to the hard work of the MPP staff and campaign team, volunteers, generous donors, and the wisdom of the voters, we’re seeing the beginning of a new chapter of marijuana policy in Michigan.

But marijuana remains federally illegal, and there are still only 11 legal states, so please consider contributing to MPP to help us bring reform to the rest of the country.

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Prohibition

N.H.: Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition kicks off on November 21!

Panel discussion at the Jupiter Room will feature advocates and legislative leaders — mark your calendar and encourage your friends to attend this important event!

It has been another very frustrating year for cannabis policy reform advocates in New Hampshire, and Manchester’s three state senators are a big part of the reason. Despite the fact that their state party’s platform calls for legalization of cannabis, Democratic Senators Donna Soucy, Lou D’Allesandro, and Kevin Cavanaugh all voted to kill the bill that would have allowed limited home cultivation by qualifying patients.

If you’re wondering how this could have been possible, check out this article describing the role of Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano and Mayor Joyce Craig in bringing about the defeat of HB 364.

It’s clear that activists need to become more organized and active in the Queen City. If you live in or near Manchester, please join us on Thursday, November 21 as we launch the Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition with an expert panel and Q&A session. Here are the details:

WHAT: Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition Kickoff, featuring expert panel and Q&A

WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, November 21

WHERE: Jupiter Hall, 89 Hanover Street, Manchester

WHO: Sen. John Reagan (R-Deerfield)
Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton)
Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project
Jeanne Hruska, ACLU-NH
Ross Connolly, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire

You can RSVP here at the Facebook event page.

Please mark your calendars for November 21 and share this message with your friends and family in the Manchester area!

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Prohibition

Va.: General Election results increase momentum for marijuana policy reform

Ask your lawmakers to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2020!

Both chambers of the Virginia Legislature flipped in Tuesday’s General Election. Democrats now hold the majority in the state Senate and House of Delegates going into the 2020 legislative session. Marijuana reform efforts have stalled in previous legislatures, but with new leadership, there is new opportunity.

Now is a great time to let your lawmakers know you want them to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2020.

There has been increasing momentum from elected officials — including Attorney General Mark Herring, Governor Ralph Northam, and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R) — to decriminalize marijuana possession.

Polling has also shown that 76 percent of Virginians support decriminalizing marijuana possession and 61 percent support ending marijuana prohibition altogether.

It is past time for Virginia to reform its marijuana laws to stop criminalizing marijuana consumers. In 2018, police agencies reported nearly 29,000 marijuana arrests. Under current law, a simple marijuana possession charge is punishable by a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Please urge your lawmakers to decriminalize or legalize cannabis in 2020. Then, forward this message to your family and friends in Virginia.

P.S.: If you have suffered from a marijuana possession arrest and are interested in getting more involved in marijuana policy reform efforts in Virginia, please reach out to state@mpp.org.

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Medical Marijuana

Iowa: Regulators approve adding PTSD as qualifying condition

Ask your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

On Friday, November 1, the board that oversees Iowa’s low-THC medical cannabis program recommended adding PTSD and intellectual disability with aggression to the program’s list of qualifying conditions. Now, the Iowa Board of Medicine must agree with these additions before they are added.

Expanding the list of qualifying conditions is an important victory for some patients. Unfortunately, the board rejected adding opioid dependency and Alzheimer’s disease as qualifying conditions.

Please ask your legislators to ensure that as many patients as possible who could benefit from medical marijuana have access!

The board also recommended that state legislators replace the current three percent THC potency cap with a purchasing limit of 4.5 grams of THC over 90 days. Removing the THC cap would significantly improve Iowa’s medical cannabis program, which is currently leaving most seriously ill Iowans behind.

It’s time for Iowa to have a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Take action by emailing your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Iowa and encourage them to do the same.

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Medical Marijuana

Kentucky general election will take place November 5

Candidates for governor and attorney general have debated medical cannabis — find out where they stand before you go to the polls!

Kentucky’s general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, and the candidates for governor and attorney general have all been talking about cannabis policy. Here’s a brief overview of what they’ve been saying:

In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has indicated support for medical cannabis, but he has been harshly critical of Colorado and other states that have legalized for adult use. During a recent debate, he asked, “How’s that working out for Illinois?” (Illinois’ legalization law does not take effect until January 1, 2020.) The Democratic candidate, Attorney General Andy Beshear, has indicated strong support for medical cannabis, and Libertarian candidate John Hicks supports legalization for both medical and adult use.

When the two candidates for attorney general appeared on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” on October 14Daniel Cameron (R) said, “I think we need a discussion about medical marijuana,” but he seemed to defer to law enforcement on the issue, saying, “I think they’re a little bit leery.” Former Attorney General Greg Stumbo (D) said he strongly supports medical cannabis, and he will “push for and advocate” decriminalizing possession of small amounts. Notably, Stumbo sponsored a medical cannabis bill during his time in the General Assembly.

Finally, in the race for treasurer, challenger Michael Bowman (D) supports medical cannabis and has called for “a conversation” about legalization. A web search did not reveal any public comments on the issue from incumbent Allison Ball (R).

State legislators do not face re-election this year, but now would be a great time to remind them that you want to see Kentucky pass a medical cannabis law in 2020! Write your legislators today.

After you write your legislators, please share this message with your friends and family and remind them to vote on Tuesday, November 5!

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Tax and Regulate

“Be Heard on Cannabis” stopping in Bemidji on Saturday

Mid-November community conversations planned in Eden Prairie, Eagan, and Monkato

This fall, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler is leading "Be Heard on Cannabis" community conversations across Minnesota to explore how to replace cannabis prohibition with sensible regulation. At the end of the process, Rep. Winkler plans to introduce a bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in Minnesota and shepherd it through the House.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates, to take part and add your voice to the conversation on how to move forward.

Bemidji "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Saturday, October 26, 11:00 a.m.
Where: Bemidji City Hall, 317 4th Street NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Eden Prairie "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Monday, November 18, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eden Prairie Community Center, Cambria Room, 16700 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Eagan "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eagan Community Center, South Oaks Meeting Room, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121

Mankato "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Wednesday, November 20, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Gustavus Adolphus College Heritage Banquet Room, 800 W College Avenue, Saint Peter, MN 56082

For a list of the hosts and panelists who will lead each community conversation, along with other cities "Be Heard on Cannabis" will visit, check out Rep. Winkler's "Be Heard on Cannabis" webpage. And stay tuned for updates to the list. The following are expected to host community conversations: Austin, Crystal, Fridley, Hibbing, Maple Grove, New Brighton, Rochester, Spring Lake Park, and Woodbury.

Don't miss your chance to let your elected officials know it's time to stop punishing Minnesotans for a substance that's safer than alcohol. You may want to consider making a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry, for allowing home cultivation, and for expunging past convictions.

Even if you're not able to make it, you can still make your voice heard. Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman has an online survey you can complete here. Finally, please spread the word by email or social media to help grow the chorus for reform.

 

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Tax and Regulate

Next Wednesday: Attend a town hall on legalization in Danbury!

Expert panel will feature a retired police captain, a nurse, and a clergy member — please attend and show your support!

Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced he will ask the Connecticut Legislature to pass a cannabis legalization bill in 2020. This is very encouraging news, but we know that Gov. Lamont can't end prohibition alone — we will need to continue building support in the legislature in order to achieve this worthy goal!

Encouragingly, since the end of session many legislators have expressed interest in learning more about the issue and in hearing more from their constituents. We are pleased to announce that two of these legislators — state Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan and Sen. Julie Kushner — will be hosting a community conversation on cannabis legalization in Danbury on Wednesday, October 30, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event will feature a panel of experts who support legalization, followed by audience Q&A.

This will be a great opportunity to show support and participate in the discussion. Here are the details:

WHAT: Community conversation on cannabis legalization, regulation, and taxation

WHERE: Connecticut Institute for Communities, 120 Main Street, Danbury (in the Community Room)

WHEN: Wednesday, October 30, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

WHO: Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan and Sen. Julie Kushner; Capt. Lawrence Hunter (Retired, Waterbury Police Department); Rev. Tommie Jackson; Kebra Smith-Bolden, R.N., president, CURE-CT; Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project

Please attend if you are able, and share this information with your friends in the Danbury area!

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Tax and Regulate

Md.: Let your lawmakers know you want them to end prohibition in 2020!

Please ask your legislators to support legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and older!

At the beginning of the 2019 legislative session, Senate President Mike Miller and the late House Speaker Michael Busch created a legislative work group to study how to best implement the legalization of marijuana.

The workgroup is supposed to issue its report by the end of the year, but its work is progressing slower than anticipated. The workgroup has held a few meetings in the summer and fall. Its next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13.

We need to keep the pressure up to make sure legislators know voters want them to put an end to the disastrous policy of cannabis prohibition in 2020. Here's how you can get involved:

  1. Schedule a meeting with your legislators and let them know you want them to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adult use in 2020. You can find out who represents you by clicking here. If you set up a meeting with your legislator(s), let us know by emailing info@marylandcannabispolicy.org. We can provide you with tips and background materials. Please also let us know how it went after.

  2. Email your legislators today and ask them to support legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older.

  3. Write a 150-250 word letter-to-the-editor of a local or statewide paper, calling on the legislature to legalize and regulate cannabis in 2020. You can draw from points here.

  4. Encourage your friends and family in Maryland to contact and meet with their legislators. Forward this message to them, and share the action link on social media.

It is important legislators hear from as many of their constituents as possible. Supporters like you can help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end cannabis prohibition in 2020!

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Tax and Regulate

Don’t force legal cannabis consumers to pay for new county jailhouse in Pueblo County​

VOTE NO on proposed county tax that would double current local cannabis tax rate

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, and a measure appearing before Pueblo County voters would significantly hike retail cannabis tax rates. Measure 1B would raise local cannabis sales taxes from 3.5% to 6%, and a major part of that new tax is widely expected to pay for a new jailhouse.

If you reside in Pueblo County, please vote NO on Measure 1B. We don't need another tax on lawful cannabis consumers – especially to incarcerate more people.

The proposed new tax is estimated to raise $3.5 million each year from legal cannabis consumers, and much of it is expected to help pay for a planned new $140 million county jail. Many find the tax hike insulting and a sad return to using cannabis to fuel the criminal justice system. Quite simply, cannabis should not be used to lock people up, nor should cannabis taxes.

Many voters have already received their ballots by mail and have until November 5 to turn them in. Residents can register to vote through Election Day. If you plan to mail your ballot in, please do so this week. Don't delay! For a detailed rundown of the candidates, measures, and 24-hour drop-off locations and polling centers, click here.

If you are a Pueblo County voter, please VOTE NO on Measure 1B, and please pass this message along to your network in Pueblo.

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