Medical Marijuana||Tax and Regulate

Colo.: Gov. Polis signs bills to improve cannabis policies

Cannabis hospitality, delivery, and other improvements are coming soon!

Great news! In the past week, Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed several bills to improve Colorado's cannabis laws — including to allow delivery and hospitality (cannabis cafés), to make investment easier, and to allow patients to use medical cannabis for anything a prescription opiate could be prescribed for.

The new laws include:

  • HB 1234, which will allow home delivery in cities and counties that allow it. Medical cannabis deliveries can begin as soon as January 2, 2020, and deliveries to adult consumers can start in January 2021;
  • HB 1230, which allows businesses like hotels or restaurants to set aside a location for patrons to consume cannabis — also in cities and counties that opt in. It will also allow licensed retail locations to sell small amounts of cannabis for use on-site;
  • HB 1090, which allows publicly traded companies to invest capital in cannabis businesses; and
  • SB 13, which allows patients to register to use medical cannabis (which is taxed at a much lower rate than adult-use cannabis) for any condition for which they could be prescribed prescription opiates. It also makes it easier for minor patients to qualify, by allowing any kind of physician (rather than just certain specialists) to sign their certification.

Colorado continues as a leader in cannabis policy, and these new laws are yet another step forward. Our hearty appreciation to the bill sponsors, governor, and all those who worked to get these measures through a difficult process!

 

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Tax and Regulate

Colo.: Home cannabis delivery and on-site consumption bills head to governor

New measures represent big advancements in cannabis policy

Lawmakers passed two key cannabis bills this week. One would authorize the home delivery of cannabis products, while the other would create much-needed locations for adults to consume cannabis outside of personal residences.

HB 1234 would allow both medical cannabis patients and adult consumers to order cannabis products for home delivery. They would be limited to private residences and would not be allowed on college campuses. Deliveries would only be allowed if they are authorized by their local jurisdictions, either through a local referendum or the local governing body. Medical cannabis deliveries would begin January 2, 2020, with deliveries to adult consumers starting the following January.

The other measure, HB 1230, would allow businesses like hotels or restaurants to set aside a location for patrons to consume without violating the law. It would also allow licensed retail locations to sell small amounts of cannabis for use on-site. The emergence of hospitality centers is a big step forward for tourists and other consumers seeking a legal option.

Colorado continues as a leader in cannabis policy, and these bills are yet another step forward. Thanks to all those who helped get these measures through a difficult process. Both are expected to be presented to the governor in the coming days, and many anticipate he will sign both into law.

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Tax and Regulate

Colorado: Cannabis delivery heads to Senate floor!

If you live in Colorado, let your state senator know it’s time to legalize and regulate cannabis delivery.

The bill to allow safe, regulated cannabis deliveries in Colorado is out of committee and headed to the Senate floor! The vote could happen as soon as tomorrow, so there’s no time to lose.

Let your state senator know you want them to support this sensible bill.

Then, post the link to social media or forward this message to other supporters of sensible cannabis policy.

Unlike alcohol and other legal products, Colorado prohibits patients and adult consumers from having cannabis delivered.

A bill that would fix that — HB 1234 — has already passed the House.

Many medical cannabis patients have significant mobility limitations. Driving to the store is impossible for some due to their medical condition. Far more dangerous prescriptions can be delivered in the mail, but cannabis delivery remains illicit and in the shadows. Starting next year, medical cannabis deliveries would be allowed.

Beginning in 2021, HB 1234 would allow all adults 21 and older the benefits of cannabis delivery. This can provide safe, regulated access to adults and bring cannabis consumers closer to equal footing with alcohol consumers.

Don’t forget to take a few moments to send your senator a note using our free online tool, then share this message with friends and family in Colorado.

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Tax and Regulate

Colorado: House passes bill to allow cannabis delivery!

If you live in Colorado, let your state senator know it’s time to legalize and regulate cannabis delivery.

Unlike alcohol and other legal products, Colorado prohibits patients and adult consumers from having cannabis delivered. Sure, delivery exists, but it’s unregulated and unsafe for everyone involved.

But a bill to fix that is on the move. HB 1234 — which would allow safe, regulated delivery — has passed out of the House and is starting to make its way through the state Senate.

Let your state senator know you want them to support this sensible bill.

Many medical cannabis patients have significant mobility limitations. Driving to the store is impossible for some due to their medical condition. Far more dangerous prescriptions can be delivered in the mail, but cannabis delivery remains illicit and in the shadows. Starting next year, medical cannabis deliveries would be allowed.

Beginning in 2021, HB 1234 would allow all adults 21 and older the benefits of cannabis delivery. This can provide safe, regulated access to adults and bring cannabis consumers closer to equal footing with alcohol consumers.

HB 1234 can pass this year, but it’s crucial that senators hear from supportive constituents. Take a few moments to send your senator a note using our free online tool, then share this message with friends and family in Colorado. 

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Tax and Regulate

Penn. lt. governor's legalization listening tour kicks off today

If you live in Pennsylvania, write your state lawmakers to ask them to support regulating — not prohibiting — cannabis for adults' use.

In the past two months, the conversation about whether Pennsylvania should legalize and regulate marijuana for adults has picked up steam.

In December, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said the state should take a "serious and honest look" at legalization. Then, in January, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced a statewide listening tour on legalization that begins today in Harrisburg.

The first stops on his tour are:

Harrisburg, Dauphin County
Tonight, Monday, February 11, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, 3301 N. Front Street

Newport, Perry County
Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Newport Public Library, 316 N. 4th Street

Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County
Wednesday, February 13, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
American Legion Post 109, 224 W. Main Street

Erie
Saturday, February 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State Street

Warren
Saturday, February 16, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Warren Public Library, Slater Room

Stay tuned for more stops: The lieutenant governor plans to visit all 67 counties on his tour. You can also check out stops on his Facebook page.

Before you attend, check out our background materials — such as the top 10 reasons to regulate cannabis and a snapshot of how things are going in Colorado and Washington six years into legalization. You can draw from our materials as you make the case for a more humane approach to cannabis.

In other exciting news, Rep. Jake Wheatley (D) and 26 cosponsors introduced a bill to relegate cannabis prohibition to the dustbin of history. Change will not happen overnight, given the opposition of legislative leaders. But with time and effort, we can end prohibition in the Keystone State.

So make your voice heard: Write your lawmakers in support of legalizing and regulating cannabis, and plan to speak out during the statewide listening tour. And don't forget to spread the word to other thoughtful Pennsylvanians.

Sincerely,

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Tax and Regulate

Legal marijuana businesses open their doors in Massachusetts today!

Nearly two years ago, voters in Massachusetts approved Question 4, the initiative MPP spearheaded to dismantle and replace marijuana prohibition. After decades of seeing lives ruined by marijuana arrests and watching an illicit market thrive, Massachusetts voters realized that it was time for a different approach. 

Starting today, a new chapter begins. Massachusetts is now the seventh state where adults 21 and older can legally purchase marijuana products from regulated businesses. 

All over the country, we’re seeing the benefits of treating marijuana similarly to alcohol. In states like Colorado and Washington, marijuana arrest rates have plummeted. New tax revenue is bolstering schools and local communities. Law enforcement agencies are solving serious crimes like assault and burglary more quickly. Massachusetts made the right decision in 2016, and it is only just beginning to reap the rewards. 
 
Victories like these are only possible thanks to the tireless efforts of thousands of volunteers and activists who refuse to sit on the sidelines. I’m proud MPP was able to play a lead role in the Yes on 4 campaign — but we can’t do this work without people like you who fight alongside us. 

As we celebrate this milestone in Massachusetts, let’s resolve to make 2019 another year that leads to historic reform. With record popular support, and newly elected governors and lawmakers who support legalization, we have the opportunity to pass laws in several states that lack the ballot initiative process. But, there’s a lot of work to do to turn that popular support into new laws. Your contribution ensures we can continue changing laws across the country. 

 

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General

Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform!

Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform.

Michigan has passed legalization! MPP played a central role in this campaign from start to finish. From coordinating the initiative drafting to overseeing the production of TV ads, MPP staffers worked alongside a excellent campaign team for two years to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to adopt legalization. This is a huge win that will maintain our momentum in Washington, D.C. to pass a landmark federal reform bill through Congress in the near future.

Utah passed medical marijuana! MPP led the drafting process and played an important supporting role throughout the campaign. We are so proud of the Utah Patients Coalition team on this historic win that will end the heartless policy of criminalizing patients. If we can pass medical marijuana in Utah, then we can pass it in any state in the country…and we will.

In Missouri, voters approved medical marijuana, and they chose the best of the three possible initiatives. We congratulate our allies in the marijuana reform movement for this important win that will help patients access the medicine they need.

Sadly, North Dakota did not pass its legalization initiative. In such a conservative state, it was always an uphill battle. The proponents ran a strong campaign, but in a midterm year, the electorate was always going to be a challenge. North Dakota passed medical marijuana in 2016. It’s only a matter of time before the state adopts legalization, either via ballot initiative or legislative action.

As a movement, we won three out of four states. And for MPP, we’ve now played a leading role in seven of the 10 states that have legalized marijuana for adults (Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Michigan).

We couldn’t do this work without the support of voters, allies, activists, and donors. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made these crucial victories last night possible.

In other great news, voters elected at least seven governors who support ending marijuana prohibition — Ned Lamont in Connecticut, JB Pritzker in Illinois, Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, Tim Walz in Minnesota, Gavin Newsom in California, Jared Polis in Colorado, and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan. For more details, check out our elections page.

 

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Colorado’s Nov. 6 general election is just 15 days away!

The state’s choice of governor will likely have a huge impact on state cannabis policy

Vote counting officially begins today, October 22, for the upcoming general election, which takes place on November 6. Many voters received ballots over the last several days by mail. The race for governor includes noted cannabis policy champion Congressman Jared Polis, whom MPP rates with an A+ grade.

Current Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is term-limited and must step down, and between the major party candidates, Jared Polis (D) has the clear advantage when it comes for support for good cannabis policy. He is the only candidate who supported the legalization initiative in 2012 and has been a strong advocate for improving federal law as Congressman for U.S. House District 2. Among other achievements in Congress, he started the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

By contrast, current State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) offers only limited support at best for cannabis policy reform. He voiced support for stricter regulations for medical marijuana during a recent public forum and referred to Polis’ stance as a “radical extreme plan.” MPP gives him a C.

The positions of two other candidates, Bill Hammons of the Unity Party of Colorado and Scott Helker of the Libertarian party, are unclear. Neither candidate has a prior voting record on cannabis legislation, nor public statements on cannabis policy.

For more information on Colorado’s Election Day, be sure to visit the state’s elections website here. And most of all, be sure to vote this general election in Colorado!

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Tax and Regulate

New poll on the Michigan legalization campaign

A new poll shows the Michigan marijuana legalization campaign ahead with 56% support. While we remain cautiously optimistic about success on Election Day, we are not out of the woods yet.

A well-funded opposition campaign could still emerge. If that happens, we would likely see misleading TV and online ads telling voters that legalization has failed in Colorado, California, and beyond.

The Michigan campaign needs resources in order to present voters with the facts on this issue: prohibition has proven to be an utter failure and legalization policies are working effectively in other states.

There are just 55 days until Election Day. I know you get many such requests, but will you make a $20 donation today to support legalization in Michigan?

Michigan is a very important campaign for these reasons:

– Michigan would be the first state in the Midwest to legalize, putting pressure on nearby states including Illinois and Ohio;
– Michigan would become the second most populous state in the country to fully legalize marijuana; and
– A victory in Michigan would further increase pressure on Congress to pass federal reform in 2019.

This November, let’s make Michigan the 10th state to legalize marijuana.

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Tax and Regulate

Colorado Legislature Approves On-Site Consumption Lounges

House Bill 1258 passed both houses of the Colorado General Assembly and is now heading to the governor’s desk. If signed, the bill would allow approved retail cannabis stores to open a tasting room where on-site cannabis consumption is allowed.

This is yet another big step forward in a state that has long been a leader in cannabis policy. If the bill becomes law, customers could purchase concentrates for vaping on site, along with edible marijuana products. Visitors to the shops would not be allowed to bring their own cannabis products, consume whole-plant cannabis, or smoke on site.

Although Colorado voters ended cannabis prohibition in 2012, restrictions on where cannabis can be consumed have been a burden, particularly for visitors to the state and people living in public housing. While purchases are allowed, there are few options for those who are unable to consume at a private residence. HB 1258 offers a solution by establishing regulated locations where adults can gather and consume without fear of breaking local or state law.

Many responsible marijuana consumers in Colorado believe they should be able to meet in a social setting, no different than those who enjoy a beer with friends at a public place.

If you are a Colorado resident, please ask Gov. John Hickenlooper to sign HB 1258 without delay.

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