Tax and Regulate

Maine: Public hearing on proposed adult-use regulations next week

Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy has released a second draft of their proposed rules regarding the state’s adult-use marijuana regulatory framework. The updated draft can be found here.

On Thursday, May 23, a public hearing will be held in Portland on these rules. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard. Here are the details:

What: Public hearing on adult-use marijuana rules
Where: Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland, Maine 04101
When: Thursday, May 23 at 8:00 a.m.

If you cannot make it to Portland, public comment will still be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 2. You can submit your online public comment here.

I hope to see you next week and look forward to getting our adult-use program finally up and running.

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Medical Marijuana||Tax and Regulate

Developments in Michigan’s adult-use and medical marijuana programs

The Marijuana Policy Project led the successful 2018 campaign to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Michigan. Since voters approved Prop 1 last November, Michigan’s marijuana landscape has seen significant changes. A few recent updates are worth bringing to your attention.

In March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order establishing the Marijuana Regulatory Agency within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The new agency will soon replace the controversial Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, which held its final meeting last week. Read more here.

A Michigan court overruled a previous deadline and is allowing dozens of unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to remain open around the state, as caregivers continue to supply the market. Licensed businesses, which must comply with stricter regulations, want regulators to close these unlicensed entities down. A bill in the legislature would require businesses to be licensed by June 1 to continue operating.

State regulators are considering ways to satisfy a portion of Michigan’s adult-use legalization law that requires “a plan to promote and encourage participation in the marihuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition.” The provision was included to address the fact that communities of color saw significantly higher marijuana arrest rates compared to predominantly white areas under the old law.

The final rules for Michigan’s adult-use marijuana market are due this December. As regulators and stakeholders continue to shape the future of marijuana in the state, we’ll keep you informed about new developments.

Stay tuned!

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Medical Marijuana

Missouri: Updates on the rollout of medical marijuana program

Last November, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 to establish constitutional protections for medical marijuana patients and create a system for them to safely access medical marijuana. For the past several months, state officials have been making progress in implementing the new law. Here are a few updates:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued draft rules governing physicians and the system they must use to issue medical marijuana recommendations to qualifying patients.

  • The law requires the department to finish the rule-writing process by June 4.

  • Regulators are also accepting suggestions from the public about rules for the medical marijuana program. Click here to share your opinions with them!

  • Patients will be able to apply for a medical marijuana registration card by July 4.

  • DHHS has established 10 advisory committees composed of subject matter experts to help review draft questions for the facility license applications. More information about these committees and how feedback can be provided can be found here.

  • The state commissioned and published a study by three economists predicting there will be 26,000 registered medical marijuana patients in Missouri by 2022.

Thank you for continuing to support sensible marijuana policy reforms, and stay tuned for more updates from us!

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Tax and Regulate

Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Begins Public Discussion of Marijuana Regulations

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has begun its public policy discussion for the retail marijuana regulations to implement Question 4. While we will address a few items during the upcoming public hearings, the first few days have generally shown encouraging results! The commission has looked at a variety of issues around marijuana business licensing and has made a few key determinations already:

  • Businesses that derive more than 50% of revenue from marijuana may apply for a social consumption license, which would allow on-site consumption of marijuana. Other businesses that derive less than 50% of their revenue from cannabis sales may apply for a mixed-use license and may only sell marijuana in conjunction with another service, such as a restaurant, spa, movie theater, or yoga studio.

 

  • The regulations will give priority review to business license applicants who have lived in areas disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and who hire employees that live in areas of disproportionate impact. This change will help the communities that have been most affected by the racial disparity in enforcement of marijuana prohibition.

 

  • Applicants will receive priority for hiring people with prior drug convictions.

 

These decisions show the Cannabis Control Commission’s willingness to address the problems created by marijuana prohibition and the racial disparity in its enforcement, and we applaud their willingness to craft a fair and effective regulatory scheme. The commission will continue looking at draft regulations through next week, at which point the rules will be open for public comment. The final regulations are slated for March of next year.

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Medical Marijuana

Proposed Ohio Medical Marijuana Regulations Released

Dec 16, 2016 Chris Lindsey

dispensaries, Level II, OH, Ohio, physicians, regulations

flag_of_ohio-svgProposed rules were published yesterday governing both dispensaries and physicians operating in the emerging medical marijuana program in Ohio. Both sets of proposed rules are available online. Members of the public are invited to review and comment on them before January 13, 2017.
Most of the proposed rules are sensible, but there is room for improvement. One area of concern is the state’s initial proposal to limit the total number of dispensaries to 40. Given the state’s population and the likely size of the program, such a low number could create significant access problems for patients.
In addition to the newly proposed rules, the state also published a revision to its cultivation rules, available here. While still short of ideal, the state made several major improvements, including doubling the number of smaller, Level II licenses, increasing the square footage limits for all cultivators, and lowering the financial burden.
If the dispensary or physician rules could affect you, please take a moment to review and comment. The rules and instructions for commenting are available here. A more detailed analysis of the rules and how the program could be impacted will be published on our website in the coming weeks.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Draft Business Rules Released

Since Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (Act 16) went into effect on May 17, 2016, the Department of Health has been working to implement the new law. Thus far, it has created regulations regarding — and accepted applications for — the safe harbor letter program, which provides legal protections for those caring for minor patients when they administer medical marijuana. The department recently announced that 53 caregivers have received a letter.PA Seal
On August 18, the department released draft temporary regulations regarding growers and processors and asked for comments. The draft created a strong foundation for the final version of the rules, though it is unclear when the department will publicize the final version. MPP submitted our recommendations for strengthening the draft on August 23. It is expected that they will soon release the draft temporary regulations for dispensaries as well.
The department also announced a public survey for patients and caregivers, which allows individuals to provide input on the application process and the financial hardship program.

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Medical Marijuana

Proposed Rule Changes Would Be Devastating to New Mexico Patients

Jun 13, 2014 Morgan Fox

Department of Health, New Mexico, NM, PTSD, regulations

New Mexico is considering rule changes that would make the medical marijuana program less transparent and less accountable. The proposed rules would also make it harder for patients — many of whom are disabled veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain — to access their medicine. Thousands of seriously ill patients are worried that their medicine will be taken away.

Hearings are scheduled for next Monday, June 16.newmexico flag

The proposed rules would reduce the number of plants that patients could grow from twelve currently to six. They would also create a new $50 patient application fee, force patients to pay for their own criminal background checks, and remove necessary checks and balances in the system. They would also triple the annual fees licensed producers must pay, which would surely be reflected in medical cannabis prices.

 

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General

Delaware Finalizes Compassion Center Rules

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services has finalized regulations for a single medical marijuana compassion center. Unfortunately, the pilot center will be limited to cultivating 150 plants — far too few to meet patients’ needs. MPP has submitted comments urging the department to revise the regulations to ensure a workable program. While the governor and DHHS refused to lift the cap now, there is a possibility of doing so later if and when the current regulations prove too limited.

DHHS has also issued a compassion center request for proposal (RFP) for a single compassion center. It plans to license one center to begin growing medical marijuana by July of this year. Meanwhile, the department continues to accept applications for medical marijuana ID cards, which will be required for patients seeking to obtain their medicine from a compassion center. If you are interested in reading the RFP or applying for a medical marijuana ID card, please visit the medical marijuana program's website to access the relevant application forms.

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Medical Marijuana

Proposed Delaware Medical Marijuana Regulations Will Not Provide Acceptable Access

Earlier this month, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services issued proposed regulations for a single medical marijuana compassion center that could only cultivate 150 plants – far too few to meet patients’ needs. MPP submitted comments on behalf of Delaware’s patients and potential providers urging the department to revise the regulations to ensure a workable program.

The regulations unnecessarily restrict the compassion center program to a single pilot center that can possess no more than 150 plants and 1,500 ounces of medical marijuana. Gov. Jack Markell announced this approach at a time when the federal government indicated it was concerned about large-scale grows. However, since then, the Department of Justice directed federal prosecutors to stop considering “the size or commercial nature of a marijuana operation alone” as a reason to take legal action against it.

The plant limit will result in shortages, forcing patients to go without or driving them to the criminal market. Meanwhile, a single compassion center does little to help patients who happen to live miles from it. DHSS should register three centers as called for by law.

You can read MPP's proposed revisions here.

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Prohibition||Tax and Regulate||Video

MPP's Mason Tvert On Federal Marijuana Position

Last week, MPP's Mason Tvert spoke with Andrew Sullivan at The Dish about several aspects of marijuana policy and where it is headed. In this segment, he discusses where the federal government stands on the implementation of marijuana regulations in Colorado and Washington, and how they will deal with marijuana businesses:

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