Medical Marijuana

Last chance: Cultivate Utah's cannabis community

Today is your last chance to register for NCIA's Utah Industry Social for less than $25 a ticket. This event is a great opportunity to connect with other cannabis professionals in a fun cocktail-hour setting. Tickets include appetizers, hosted bar, local music, and classic games.

Utah Industry Social
January 29, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Salt Lake City
The Falls Event Center

Register now!

Register before midnight January 11 to get your tickets 15% off (regular price $25)
OR join NCIA for complimentary tickets.

 

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Medical Marijuana

Strengthen Utah's new legal medical cannabis community

2018 was monumental for cannabis advocates in Utah, but there is more work to be done. One way of building support for Utah’s new medical cannabis law is to strengthen the community around it. NCIA’s inaugural Utah Industry Social is the premier opportunity for cannabis advocates and professionals to make meaningful connections, cultivate community, and learn from one another in a relaxed cocktail-hour setting. Tickets include appetizers, hosted bar, local music, and classic games. Will we see you there?

Utah Industry Social
January 29, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Salt Lake City
The Falls Event Center

Register now!

Register before midnight January 11 to get your tickets 15% off (regular price $25) OR join NCIA for complimentary tickets.

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Join MPP at the Second Annual Cannabis Law Institute September 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C.

This year, the National Cannabis Bar Association’s Second Annual Cannabis Law Institute will take place on September 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C. at the George Washington University Law School.

Featuring some of the nation’s leading attorneys, academics, and politicians, this event will convene the best minds and visionaries working in the cannabis industry and reform movement for two days of panels and discussion. Programming is focused on education for attorneys, and you can receive 11+ CLE credits for select jurisdictions. Evenings will feature networking events.

We’re excited to announce that MPP’s Deputy Director Matt Schweich will be moderating the panel discussion on Federalism & States’ Rights, which will also include MPP’s Director of Federal Policies, Don Murphy.

You’re invited to attend by registering here. Use the code “friendsofncba” to receive $200 off the full ticket price, and if you are a member of NCBA, you get an additional $100 off.

With over 60 speakers and panelists from organizations like the Brookings Institution, the National Cannabis Industry Association, Americans for Safe Access, and leading cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, the conference will address the most challenging areas of law as they relate to the cannabis industry, including banking, tax, finance, intellectual property, labor and employment, corporate governance, and more. Congressmen Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and David Joyce of Ohio will also be in attendance as part of the keynote conversation on Friday morning.

If you live in the D.C. metro area, you don’t want to miss this important event. We hope to see you there!

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Prohibition

Tell Facebook to stop censoring organizations like ours

Sign the petition and urge Facebook to stop its discriminatory practices

In the age of social media, Facebook seems to be living in the past when it comes to its attitude towards marijuana. In addition to rejecting advertising from numerous legal marijuana businesses, the platform is unfairly suspending pages and “shadow banning” organizations like ours, making it difficult for supporters to find us and see our content.

Facebook should know better. Poll after poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose marijuana prohibition. And dozens of states have legalized marijuana in one form or another. By restricting legal marijuana businesses and advocacy organizations from fully utilizing their site, Facebook is siding with prohibitionists and tilting the social media landscape in their favor.

We are joining the National Cannabis Industry Association in urging our allies to call on Facebook to immediately change its policies. Sign the petition to end the discrimination against legal marijuana businesses and advocacy groups like ours.

Thank you for taking action. Please share this email and the petition with others. We will continue to fight back until Facebook changes its policies, so stay tuned for further updates.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan Legalization Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has cleared a major hurdle towards making marijuana legal in Michigan. This morning, the Board of State Canvassers approved the petition signatures, and the initiative to regulate marijuana will be on the ballot in November. If approved by voters, Michigan would become the first state in the Midwest with an adult-use cannabis law.

In addition to allowing adults age 21 and older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana, the initiative would: regulate marijuana businesses that cultivate, process, test, transport, and sell marijuana; legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp (used to make textiles, biodegradable plastics, food, construction materials, and fuel); protect consumers with proper testing and safety regulations for retail marijuana; impose a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana sold at the retail level on top of the state’s six percent sales tax; and give local governments the option of whether they want to allow marijuana businesses in their communities.

Organizations supporting the coalition include the Marijuana Policy Project, the National Cannabis Industry Association, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, and MILegalize.

The initiative is being certified at a time when national attention is focused on marijuana policy reform. Earlier this month, President Trump reiterated his position in favor of not interfering with state marijuana policies in a conversation with Sen. Cory Gardner and assured him that the Department of Justice would not target individuals and businesses that are in compliance with state marijuana laws.

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Prohibition||Tax and Regulate

Marijuana Credit Union Could be Open in Colorado by January 1 Under State Charter

Colorado marijuana businesses may soon be able to move away from using cash-only systems.

According to The Denver Post:

The Colorado Division of Financial Services … issued Fourth Corner Credit Union an unconditional charter to operate, the first state credit-union charter issued in nearly a decade.

The next hurdles will be obtaining insurance from the National Credit Union Administration, the federal regulator of credit unions, and getting a master account from the Federal Reserve System.

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office called the charter “the end of the line” for the state’s efforts to solve the marijuana industry’s nagging problem: obtaining banking services. Although the NCUA insurance is not guaranteed — sale and consumption of marijuana remain illegal under federal law — Fourth CornerFourth Corner can operate until NCUA makes its decision.

“A Colorado law of 1981 allows a credit union to open its doors while an application for share-deposit insurance is pending,” said attorney Mark Mason, one of Fourth Corner’s key organizers.

Currently, many banks and other financial service providers have been unwilling to work with the marijuana industry out of fear of violating federal law. Some lawmakers have been trying to address this issue with the help of the National Cannabis Industry Association, but until they are successful, such credit unions may be the only solution available to marijuana businesses.

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Medical Marijuana

Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Business Seminar

Myfoxdc.com reported on a business seminar sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Cannabis Industry Association yesterday to educate entrepreneurs about Maryland’s new medical marijuana law and growing industry.

The law allows state residents suffering from certain qualifying conditions to use marijuana, if recommended by a doctor. It also authorizes 15 licensed marijuana cultivators to operate in the state.

“For many patients we know that this is the best treatment for their conditions,” stated Rachelle Yeung, legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project. “Since Maryland is only issuing 15 growing licenses, competition is fierce. This is a serious business,” she said.

Maryland has rules in place covering banking, product safety, and where dispensaries can be located. Put simply, the medical marijuana business industry will be well regulated and efficient. However, for those looking to operate, it will not be an inexpensive business venture. The overall price — including the $125,000 to get in the business, $40,000 to run a dispensary, and up to $6,000 in application fees — amounts to a little less than $200,000.

[caption id="attachment_8178" align="alignright" width="300"] Jamie Raskin[/caption]

According to Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, the high cost helps determine who is serious about entering the medical marijuana industry and financially able to maintain the strictest professional standards. Such requirements were designed by lawmakers to ensure a safe and tightly controlled medical marijuana system, yet there are valid criticisms that they create barriers of entry for poor communities or people who have previously been victimized by the war on marijuana.

Medical marijuana applications for the 15 growing licenses are expected to be collected at the beginning of 2015, and the first patients could start receiving their medication by early 2016.

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General

MPP's Rob Kampia to Speak at NCIA Cannabis Business Summit

The National Cannabis Industry Association is launching its first national conference, The Cannabis Business Summit, June 24-25 in Denver, Colorado. The summit will offer cannabis business leaders a national stage on which to discuss the best practices and business developments from around the industry. The summit will include more than 35 sessions, more than 800 attendees, and an exhibition floor featuring more than 30 leading cannabis businesses over the course of two days. Several topic-oriented tracks will give attendees the opportunity to focus on their areas of expertise. Conference highlights and topics covered will include:

  •  Latest state and federal policy developments
  • Best practices in cultivation, retail, and infused products
  • Latest developments in banking and taxation
  • Securing investment for cannabis businesses
  • Streamlining your business with technology
  • Security, compliance, and safety for you and your customers
  • Integrating sustainability into your business plan
  • Risk management and industry insurance
  • Responsible and effective marketing
  • Philanthropy and community engagement

Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia will also be speaking at the event!

NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit will be held at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. Along with the educational sessions and an exhibitor showcase, the event will also include a fundraising reception to support NCIA’s work advancing the policy goals of the responsible cannabis industry. Visit the conference website online, and register at http://www.cannabisbusinesssummit.com.

 

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Prohibition||Tax and Regulate

Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer Teaming Up With Grover Norquist to Push Marijuana Industry Tax Reform

[caption id="attachment_6917" align="alignright" width="139"]Grover_Norquist Grover Norquist[/caption]

In yet another case of people with disparate political ideas coming together to support marijuana policy reform, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) president Grover Norquist held a press conference Thursday to announce the release of a white paper protesting the unjust application of tax codes to marijuana businesses, Legal Cannabis Dispensary Taxation: A Textbook Case of Punishing Law-Abiding Businesses Through the Tax Code.

Under current policy, marijuana businesses are not permitted to deduct many of their operating expenses and are forced to pay significantly more taxes than other industries.

Earlier this year, Rep. Blumenauer introduced H.R. 2240, the Small Business Tax Equity Act, to eliminate the unfair treatment of legitimate marijuana businesses by the IRS. The bill is supported by ATR, the National Cannabis Industry Association, MPP, and more than a dozen members of Congress.

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Medical Marijuana

Legislation Introduced to Ease Banking Access for Legal Marijuana Businesses

For medical marijuana dispensary owners and the patients who rely on them for access to their medicine, Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter’s (D) bill is common sense.

[caption id="attachment_6714" align="alignright" width="240"]10EdPerlmutter Rep. Ed Perlmutter[/caption]

Perlmutter introduced legislation yesterday that would allow legal marijuana-related businesses to have access to traditional banking services. The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act aims to accomplish this by updating federal banking laws to account for discrepancies with state laws: Currently, financial institutions are barred from working with any organization that sells a controlled substance, regardless of whether the state it resides in permits marijuana sales. Banks that violate this law risk losing their deposit insurance or their federal charter. If the bill is enacted, medical marijuana dispensaries – and the businesses getting ready to open for recreational marijuana sales in Colorado and Washington – will finally have access to bank accounts, credit cards, and loans.

Under the current system, medical marijuana dispensaries are forced to operate on a cash-only basis. For many businesses, this means storing hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal safes, carrying sacks full of hundreds to the state Department of Revenue in order to pay taxes, and looking for unusual sources of start-up revenue. For some businesses, the added burdens have forced them to close shop.

Jamie Lewis, a board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and owner of two Denver-based medical marijuana companies, said, “Each year, my companies contribute to the five million dollars in tax revenue Colorado collects from the sales of medical marijuana. Making those tax payments is unnecessarily challenging because we do not have access to banking services other local businesses take for granted. Regulators, business owners, and medical marijuana patients alike all deserve the accountability, safety, and efficiency offered by this legislation.”

The bill has been backed by a bipartisan group of 16 Republicans and Democrats, including co-sponsors Jared Polis of Colorado and Denny Heck of Washington.

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