Ban on recreational marijuana businesses heads to Huntington Beach council

Huntington Beach zoning amendment that would prohibit the sale and distribution of non-medical marijuana by businesses will be considered by the City Council on Monday. The amendment also would regulate the cultivation of recreational marijuana. The Planning Commission voted 6-1 in late July to recommend approval, with Commissioner Dan Kalmick dissenting on grounds that he believes the city is devoting a large amount of resources to regulating a “boogeyman.” According to the Huntington Beach Police Department, non-medical marijuana businesses and deliveries could have negative effects such as an increase in robberies, thefts and burglaries, a city staff report states. The department says cities that have non-medical marijuana businesses have seen increases in arrests related to driving under the influence, according to the report. Proposition 64, which voters statewide passed in November, allows people 21 and older to use and cultivate non-medical marijuana, with stipulations granting local governments the ability to ban recreational marijuana businesses and regulate cultivation. Under the Huntington Beach amendment, outdoor cultivation of recreational marijuana would be illegal. Indoor cultivation would be restricted to private residences in an enclosed area, according to city documents.

 

Utah – Signatures being gathered!

 

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Signature gathering is under way to put medical marijuana on the 2018 ballot in Utah. As people waited in line for lunch at the popular “Food Truck Thursday” event at the Gallivan Center, volunteers with the Utah Patients Coalition hit them up to sign in support of putting the issue before voters in the 2018 election.
Some of those soliciting signatures are those who would benefit if medical cannabis were legalized in Utah. “I did the illegal thing. I went to Colorado and got what I needed,” said Scott Kingsbury, who has arthritis. “I’m off of five of six prescription medicines and, personally, I think it’s a matter of freedom. It’s a matter of choosing what I want to put in my body.” DJ Schanz, the director of the Utah Patients Coalition, said they have not lacked for volunteers with this issue. Medical marijuana supporters have been increasingly vocal on Utah’s Capitol Hill and launched the ballot initiative frustrated by inaction from the legislature.

However, as the signature gathering effort spreads out across Utah, Schanz said they would hire people to go door-to-door. They must gather 113,000 signatures in 26 of Utah’s 29 senate districts. That’s roughly 10 percent of every county’s population. “We’re trying to get this done before January 10 or so, before the legislative session meets,” Schanz said. “We will be having numerous public events to get this done.” At last week’s Willie Nelson concert, the Utah Patients Coalition landed more than 1,000 signatures with little effort. They plan to be at other concerts and farmer’s markets to get people to sign. The Utah Patients Coalition said it planned to publicize signature-gathering events on its website.
“We’re excited to take this to all of Utah — rural, Salt Lake City, wherever — we’ve seen strong support,” Schanz said. State lawmakers have said they are planning more legislation ahead of the 2018 elections to deal with medical marijuana. However, it may not appease medical cannabis backers who don’t believe it will be as robust as a voter-approved initiative.

Arkansas Update! Get ready residents !

 

By TAFI MUKUNYADZI, Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ medical marijuana industry will ramp up in the next week, with the state poised to accept applications from potential patients, growers and distributors.

Beginning Friday, the state Medical Marijuana Commission will accept applications from those hoping to grow or supply marijuana, while the Health Department will take applications from those hoping to benefit from the first marijuana-as-medicine program in the Bible Belt. The application periods will run until Sept. 18.

State officials expect anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people to seek permission to use the drug for a number of health problems. It will cost $50 to apply and permits must be renewed yearly.

Potential patients must submit written certification from a physician to obtain a registration card, demonstrating that the doctor has fully assessed the patient’s medical history. The application must show that there’s an established physician-patient relationship and that the patient has a certain qualifying medical condition.

All applicants must have a driver’s license or state-issued ID card, and those under age 18 need the consent of a parent or guardian to apply.

Family Council president Jerry Cox, who opposed the medical marijuana plan, fears that some may try to “game” the system and obtain marijuana even if they don’t have one of the 18 medical conditions listed in the law. The health issues include intractable pain, cancer, glaucoma, a positive HIV/AIDS status, hepatitis C, Tourette’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and severe nausea.

Cox said intractable pain and severe nausea are conditions that are difficult to medically prove and that doctors have to take patients at their word when recommending them for medical marijuana. He said that state lawmakers could’ve placed more restrictions on medical marijuana, like blanket bans on edibles and smoking.

Delaware House panel approves marijuana legalization bill

DOVER, Del. – (AP) – A bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Delaware has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The legislation, which was released Wednesday by a House committee and now goes to the full House for a vote, regulates and taxes marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

The bill doesn’t allow people to grow their own marijuana but allows adults over age 21 to legally possess less than an ounce of marijuana for personal use.

The legislation would create a commission to regulate, license and tax the marijuana industry, allowing licenses for up to 40 retail stores.

Consumers would pay an excise tax of $50 an ounce, while businesses would pay an application fee of $5,000 and a $10,000 licensing fee every two years.

Vermont legislature approves recreational marijuana use

A measure legalizing marijuana use in Vermont cleared the state’s legislature on Wednesday.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) has said the legislation is not “a priority for Vermont” and has not made a final decision as to whether he will sign it. The measure makes Vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana use among adults and the first to legalize through a legislative process. Other states have approved recreational marijuana use through ballot initiatives.

“Vermont lawmakers made history today,” said Matt Simon, the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a marijuana policy group. “The legislature has taken a crucial step toward ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.” Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized the possession and use of marijuana, though each state has its own rules and regulations. For example, in Washington — one of the first states to legalize pot — only individuals using the drug for medical purposes can grow it, though any adult is allowed to possess and use it.

In Washington, D.C., marijuana can be used and “gifted,” but not bought, sold or exchanged for other goods or services.

Marijuana use is illegal according to federal policy, and President Trump’s opposition to legalization has created uncertainty for some states seeking to regulate the industry.

If signed by the governor, the Vermont measure would remove civil penalties for possessing one ounce of marijuana or less and would allow adults to keep up to two mature pot plants. It would also create a commission to develop a plan for taxing and regulating the drug.

Australia announces plans to legalize medical marijuana !

(CNN)The Australian government has announced plans to allow cannabis to be legally grown for medical and scientific purposes.
Under current laws, marijuana is classified as an illegal drug, and while penalties vary from state to state, people who grow, use, possess or sell it can be fined or sent to prison. In a statement Saturday, the government said the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967 would be amended to allow the drug to be grown locally, without breaching the country’s international obligations as a signatory to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961.

“This Government is incredibly sympathetic to the suffering of those Australians with debilitating illnesses and we want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available,” Health Minister Sussan Ley said in a statement. Thousands called for change

Campaigners had been pushing for a change, arguing that it was unfair to criminalize patients who relied on the drug to ease their pain.
More than 246,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org to decriminalize the drug for medical use since it was launched two years ago.
It was initiated by retired nurse Lucy Haslam, whose late son Daniel used medical cannabis to ease the pain of terminal bowel cancer before his death in February at age 25.
In a blog post published this week, she wrote, “It wasn’t until a fellow cancer sufferer suggested he try cannabis that his life with cancer became a little more tolerable. A sick young man reluctantly tried a joint and just like that, he felt so much better.
“He gained an appetite, had his nausea and vomiting addressed and was able to maintain his weight through his ongoing treatment.”
A ‘big win’

After her son’s diagnosis, Haslam founded the group United in Compassion to campaign for legalized medical cannabis.
She described Saturday’s announcement as a “big win,” but she said she hoped it would be “meaningful in terms of getting medicine into the hands of patients in a timely fashion.”
“I’m hoping that it will involve some sort of medical amnesty which could happen immediately but I guess I’m waiting to see the finer detail,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The government said it was important to emphasize that the announcement was not a debate about legalizing of marijuana for recreational use.
“Cannabis is classified as an illegal drug in Australia for recreational use and we have no plans to change that,” Ley said.

California Update! FINALLY!!!!

Nearly 20 years after voters made California the first state in the nation to legalize the medical use of marijuana, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a package of bills to regulate the multibillion-dollar medicinal-cannabis industry.

The stringent and comprehensive regulations create an enforceable framework for governing virtually every aspect of the business in California — from licensing and taxation to quality control, shipping, packaging and pesticide standards.

The lack of regulations for the booming medical pot business has been frustrating to growers, dispensary operators, local governments, law enforcement and patient groups since 1996 when California voters approved Proposition 215, the law that made it legal for doctors to recommend pot to their patients.

In the void, what has emerged is a hazy, semi-legitimate industry with no uniformity between jurisdictions. The regulations seek to change that.

“This new structure will make sure patients have access to medical marijuana, while ensuring a robust tracking system,” the governor said in his signing message. “This sends a clear and certain signal to our federal counterparts that California is implementing robust controls not only on paper, but in practice.”

He was referring to federal laws that don’t recognize the legitimacy of state medicinal marijuana laws. While some aspects of the legislation have been criticized, most involved in the industry say the benefits of having regulations more than outweigh any of the downsides.

“This is going to allow the industry to come out of the shadows and into the light,” said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, a trade group that pushed for amendments on the bills.

3 Bills Signed
The package of laws signed by Brown consists of three bills — Assembly Bill 266, Assembly Bill 243 and Senate Bill 643 — which together create the structure to licens, tax and regulate the industry as well as the funding mechanisms for the agencies that oversee the operations. The laws are scheduled to go into effect in 2018, although some provisions may be phased in earlier. Known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, the bills were passed by the Legislature in September in a down-to-the-wire push before the end of the regular session. Lawmakers considered the action crucial, considering that one or more measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana will likely be on the 2016 ballot. AB266 establishes a new agency, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, to oversee the licensing rules for medical pot growers, the makers of the products and retailers. The agency will be assisted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Department of Public Health and other state agencies. SB643, authored by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, clamps down on clinics that capitalized on the lack of regulation by issuing medical marijuana prescriptions to patients who lacked valid health needs. It also creates licensing and other regulations to oversee the industry. AB243, authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, establishes guidelines and regulations for medical pot cultivators, but takes an environmental approach. It gives the nine regional water quality boards in the state the authority to regulate the discharge of water, chemicals and sediment into the environment.