Tax and Regulate

Connecticut Legislature ends session without voting on cannabis

We must continue building support for legalization, but first, we need to make sure chronic pain is approved as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.

A new poll just came out, and it confirms (yet again) that Connecticut residents strongly support legalizing cannabis and expunging criminal records for low-level offenses. Sadly, the legislature ended its regular session yesterday without voting on any of the bills that would have ended cannabis prohibition.

It's disappointing that our opponents were able to create enough uncertainty and confusion to delay our progress. However, we've come a long way — three committees advanced bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis this year. If we can ramp up our efforts, we are optimistic we can get past the finish line in 2020. Please help us continue to build our coalition by making a contribution today. Please also "like" our coalition on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Unfortunately, your help appears to be needed on another issue. You might think it would be a no-brainer for Connecticut to approve chronic pain as a qualifying condition for the medical cannabis program, but the discussion about whether to do so has been "tabled for a future meeting" by the Board of Physicians.

Please email the Department of Consumer Protection to politely express your frustration with the delay and urge them to approve chronic pain as soon as possible!

Finally, please share this message with your family and friends!

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Medical Marijuana

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Dies On Suspended Session

Thursday marked the end of SB 1262 in California, as the Assembly Appropriations Committee failed to take a vote on the measure before deadline. Unfortunately, this means that another legislative session has passed without the enactment of sensible statewide regulations and clearer legal protections for medical marijuana providers. However, while SB 1262 was ostensibly written to address this widely agreed upon issue, the most recent version had a number of flaws that ultimately led to MPP opposing passage.

Perhaps the most glaring flaw of the legislation was ceding regulatory power to the Department of Consumer Protection, an agency that never expressed any interest in being entrusted with this important task. In fact, the department failed to take part in a single stakeholder meeting. While we are certainly disappointed that the legislature failed to pass a regulatory bill, we are relieved that they did not pass one that would have caused more harm than good.

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Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Officials Hear Testimony on Medical Marijuana Regulations

Officials from Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), which has been charged with organizing the state’s medical marijuana program, heard compelling public testimony Monday morning as the department prepares to establish rules regarding dispensary operations.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a medical marijuana bill into law last May, and the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses in October. Unfortunately, there are no dispensaries currently operating in the state, and it is illegal for patients to grow plants for personal use.

[caption id="attachment_6319" align="alignright" width="195"]Tracey Fanning Tracey Gamer Fanning[/caption]

This loophole has left patients like Tracey Gamer Fanning in an unnerving legal gray-zone. Tracey was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006. The myriad medication she was prescribed left her bedridden and unable to function. This all changed when her doctor recommend she try marijuana. "It gave me my life back," she told CBS.

Despite the impact it’s had on Tracey’s cancer, every time she uses the drug she is breaking the law. Dedicating her limited time to medical-marijuana advocacy, Tracey lined up to speak at Monday’s hearing.

I want the politicians to see my face, the face of a mother from West Hartford who is just grateful to be at the dinner table in the evening instead of in bed, of someone who is so thankful to be part of her children's lives, of someone who lost an advertising career but gained a life mission.

The DCP has composed a 70-page draft of regulations that mimics the state system that controls the distribution of such pharmaceuticals as OxyContin.

MPP’s Director of State Policies, Karen O’Keefe, expressed concerns over the expense of the system of production and distribution. “The provision that requires $2 million in an escrow for producers, that’s a huge sum of money,” Karen stated. “It could edge out the little guy.” MPP has submitted suggested changes to the state regulations.

The DCP will accept written comments until Friday.

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