Tax and Regulate

Vermont: Don’t miss two upcoming events to build momentum for cannabis regulation

Mark your calendar for a panel discussion December 5 and a state house advocacy day on January 9 — then write your representatives and tell them Vermont urgently needs to begin regulating cannabis in early 2020!

The Vermont House of Representatives missed an important opportunity when it adjourned in May without taking action on S. 54, the bill that would legalize and regulate cannabis sales in Vermont. Fortunately, House leaders have said the bill — which has already passed the Senate 23-5 — will be “a top priority” when the legislature reconvenes in January.

Gov. Phil Scott still has not pledged his support for S. 54, so advocates are not taking success in 2020 for granted. To keep the discussion going, Attorney General T.J. Donovan’s office will be hosting a public forum on the issue on Thursday, December 5. Here are the details:

WHAT: Conversation about Cannabis: Lessons from our Neighbors

WHERE:
 Contois Auditorium, 149 Church Street, Burlington

WHEN:
 Thursday, December 5, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

WHO:
 Erik Gunderson, Maine Office of Marijuana Policy
Kevin Conroy, Foley Hoag
Charlotte Hanna, Community Growth Partners
Laura Subin, Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana
Joe Bergeron, Association of Vermont Credit Unions
David Mickenberg, Mickenberg, Dunn, and Smith, PLC

You can read a summary of S. 54, as approved by the House Government Operations Committee, here.

Please also mark your calendars for January 9, 2020. We will be kicking off the legislative session with a lobby day at the State House starting at 8:00 a.m., joined by our allies at Heady Vermont and other key coalition members, and we would love to have you join us. You can RSVP here.

Finally, please contact your representatives now and urge them to support passage of S. 54. Then, share this message with your family and friends!

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Vermont: Time is running short!

If you live in Vermont, please email your representatives and call House Speaker Mitzi Johnson’s office and urge her to bring S. 54 to a vote before session ends this week!

S. 54 has already passed the Senate in an overwhelming 23-5 vote, and it has passed the House Government Operations Committee in a 10-1 vote. Unfortunately, we are now racing against the clock. The legislative session is scheduled to end this Friday, and the bill has not yet been scheduled for a vote in the House.

It is critically important that you email your representatives and call House Speaker Mitzi Johnson’s office today to remind them that this issue is an important priority for Vermonters.

You can read a summary of S. 54, as amended by the House Government Operations Committee, here.

Please share this message with your family and friends and urge them to email their representatives and call the House speaker’s office today!

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont: Bill to regulate cannabis advances in House, but time is running out

If you live in Vermont, email your state representatives today — tell them Vermont needs to finish the job and regulate cannabis in 2019!

The Vermont Senate has already passed S. 54, a bill that would create a regulated and taxed market for adult-use cannabis in Vermont, and last week the House Government Operations Committee voted 10-1 in favor of its passage. The bill is currently being considered by the House Ways and Committee.

Please email your state representatives today and urge them to support regulating cannabis in 2019!

You can read a summary of the bill, as amended by the House Government Operations Committee, here. The legislative session is expected to conclude at the end of next week, so it’s very important that representatives hear from you today.

After you email your state representatives, please share this message with your family and friends!

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Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Patients Urge Governor to Stop Bowing to Law Enforcement

A group of local medical marijuana patients and advocates gathered in front of the Minnesota governor’s mansion Thursday to deliver a very large and provocative “get better soon” cardDayton card 1 to Gov. Mark Dayton, who is recovering from hip surgery. The governor is currently holding up a widely supported bill that would allow seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it because it is opposed by some law enforcement officials.

Following a brief news conference hosted by Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, patients, their family members, and supporters signed the huge greeting card which was then delivered to the governor.

Gov. Dayton has said he will only support the medical marijuana bill, HF 1818, if it has the approval of law enforcement officials, who he instructed to work with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Carly Melin, to reach a compromise. Rep. Melin met with leaders of law enforcement organizations this week, but they steadfastly refused to support workable medical marijuana legislation, resulting in Rep. Melin temporarily removing the bill from the House Government Operations agenda.

The group also launched a Change.org petition calling on Gov. Dayton to “show some backbone” and get HF 1818 passed. The petition has received more than 1,800 signatures since it was launched.

The governor took notice. After meeting with advocates, he has promised to try to work out a compromise.

 

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General

Minnesota Health Policy Committee Supports Medical Marijuana

Late on March 4, the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Policy Committee approved HF 1818 in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. The compassionate bill will be heard next in the House Government Operations committee.

[caption id="attachment_7411" align="alignright" width="192"]Carly Melin Rep. Carly Melin[/caption]

HF 1818, sponsored by Rep. Carly Melin, would allow Minnesotans who suffer from specified conditions to legally obtain, possess, and use marijuana with their doctors’ recommendations. It also creates a state-regulated program to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients in a timely and safe manner. The Minnesota Legislature passed a similar proposal in 2009, only to see then Governor Tim Pawlenty veto it.

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