Tag: regulations

New Jersey Gov Signs Order to Expand Medical Marijuana Access

Exactly one week after taking office, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order expanding access to medical marijuana for patients who qualify for it under state law.

Murphy’s order instructs the state Health Department to review barriers to access for patients, and remove them.

Cannabis reform was near the top of Murphy’s policy agenda during last year’s campaign. The Democrat promised to sign legislation legalizing and regulating the adult use of cannabis. That bill is now working its way through the New Jersey Legislature. In the meantime, Murphy this morning signed an executive order aimed at cutting through the difficulties encountered by the state’s 15,000 registered patients who currently have access to only five dispensaries across New Jersey.

Murphy called the state’s medical marijuana program, which was enacted in 2010 and then slow-walked under previous Gov. Chris Christie, an MMJ program “in name only,” and declared that New Jersey’s patients will no longer be denied compassionate care.

RELATED STORY

What Makes a Medical Cannabis Program Succeed?

Murphy noted that New Jersey, with a population of 9 million, serves only 15,000 patients. Michigan, with a similar population, serves more than 218,000 patients, and Arizona, with a smaller population, serves more than 136,000 patients. “The need for medical marijuana in New Jersey currently far exceeds the supply that the existing licensed [dispensaries] are able to provide,” says the order. (The full text of Murphy’s executive order is reprinted below.)

“Our law is eight years old,” Murphy said. “Since it took effect, significant medical research has been conducted. Our goal is to modernize the program in New Jersey, bring it up to current standards, and put patients first.”

RELATED STORY

NJ Court: Medical Cannabis Benefits ‘Abundant and Glaringly Apparent’

Murphy says he’s asking state government to focus on expanding the medical marijuana program and proposing new rules or repealing those that hamper the program.

The advocacy group NJ Marijuana Reform posted this video of the governor at this morning’s ceremony:

Krystal Knapp, reporting for PlanetPrinceton, noted that:

Due to administrative barriers instituted by the Christie administration, Murphy said New Jersey’s highly stringent rules have means countless residents who could benefit from medical marijuana are left out of the program. More than 15,000 people currently enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program have access to only five dispensaries in operation in the state.

To combat lack of access, the executive order mandates that the New Jersey Department of Health and Board of Medical Examiners complete the review of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program within 60 days. The order also requires that the review’s findings are submitted along with recommendations for new rules and regulations – or for the elimination of existing ones.

Murphy himself tweeted that he’s “turning the page” on MMJ access in the Garden State:

Full Text of Murphy’s Executive Order

Executive Order 6:

WHEREAS, it is beyond dispute that patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions deserve to live in dignity with as little suffering as possible; and

WHEREAS, medical decisions must be based on science and health, not ideology or social policy; and

WHEREAS, scientific studies demonstrate that the medical use of marijuana has proven to be an effective treatment for patients suffering from painful, debilitating, and often chronic medical conditions; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey amended its state law to allow for the authorized medical use of marijuana with the passage of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act in 2010; and

WHEREAS, 29 states have recently allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes; and

WHEREAS, even a Republican-controlled Congress has repeatedly renewed the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, prohibiting the U.S. Department of Justice from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws; and

WHEREAS, implementation of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was a lengthy process marked by significant delays, resulting in far fewer patients being served by the program than anticipated when the law was enacted; and

WHEREAS, there are currently five medical marijuana alternative treatment centers (ATCs) in operation in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, only one additional ATC has been able to obtain a permit and is scheduled to begin operations in the foreseeable future; and

WHEREAS, of New Jersey’s nine million residents, only approximately 15,000 are able to participate in the State’s medical marijuana program; and

WHEREAS, in contrast, the medical marijuana program in Michigan, a state with a similar population to New Jersey, currently serves over 218,000 patients, and the program in Arizona, a state with a smaller population than New Jersey, serves over 136,000 patients; and

WHEREAS, the need for medical marijuana in New Jersey currently far exceeds the supply that the existing licensed ATCs in operation are able to provide; and

WHEREAS, giving patients a greater opportunity to obtain medical marijuana in accordance with State law will ensure that they are receiving a product tailored to their medical needs, and make them less likely to turn to potentially more harmful and less medically appropriate drugs such as opioids, the use of which was declared a public health crisis in Executive Order No. 219 (2017); and

WHEREAS, one study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center found that the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower in states where medical marijuana is legal than in states where it is illegal; and

WHEREAS, my administration is committed to fulfilling the intent, promise, and potential of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act by providing patients in New Jersey with a well-functioning and effectively administered medical marijuana program that best serves their medical needs;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1.         The Department of Health (“Department”) and the Board of Medical Examiners (“Board”) shall undertake a review of all aspects of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, with a focus on ways to expand access to marijuana for medical purposes.  This review should include, but not be limited to:

a.          An evaluation of the current rules regulating the operations and siting of dispensaries and cultivation facilities, particularly focusing on whether the rules should be revised to remove unwarranted obstructions to expansion;

b.         A review of the current process for obtaining a license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary, including recommendations to expedite that process;

c.          An examination of conditions for participating physicians in the program to ensure that any such requirements are not needlessly onerous;

d.         An analysis of the current list of debilitating medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be authorized pursuant to N.J.S.A. 24:61-3, and a recommendation as to whether doctors should be given flexibility to make these determinations on their own;

e.          An assessment of the methods through which patients or their primary caregivers are obtaining medical marijuana and a recommendation of whether rules should be amended to approve additional methods that could facilitate patient access;

f.          A review of regulations that govern the forms in which medical marijuana can be ingested, taking into consideration the needs for different methods for different patients; and

g.         Any other aspect of the program within the Department or the Board’s discretion that hinders or fails to effectively achieve the statutory objective of ensuring safe access to medical marijuana for patients in need.

2.         This review shall conclude within 60 days of this Order, at which time the Department and Board shall initiate the rule making process for appropriate regulatory reforms consistent with this Order.

3.         This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 23rd day of January, Two Thousand and Eighteen and of the Independence of the United States the Two Hundred and Forty-Second.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Ontario: Want Licensed Cannabis Lounges? Weigh in Now!

The Ontario government last week released a list of proposed modifications to the province’s cannabis regulations, and is now seeking citizen input.

The new proposals could potentially legalize everything from cannabis use in boats and RVs to licensed cannabis consumption lounges.

The key theme among the new proposals: expanding where recreational and medical cannabis can legally be consumed. The existing draft of Ontario’s Cannabis Plan forbids cannabis consumption in all public places—essentially restricting legal use to private residences—but the new proposals could open things up considerably, potentially legalizing everything from cannabis use in boats and RVs to allowing for licensed cannabis consumption lounges.

“Ontario’s proposed regulations would also relax consumption rules in other areas,” writes Jacquie Miller in the Ottawa Citizen. “Tourists would find it easier to check out Ontario’s legal pot, for instance. People would be allowed to smoke or vape in any hotel room where cigarette smoking is allowed.”

RELATED STORY

Canadian Edibles Get a Green Light, Licensed Producers Rejoice

Legal cannabis consumption in parked RVs and hotels is nice, but the main point of excitement around Ontario’s proposed modifications is the prospect of licensed cannabis consumption lounges, the importance of which was recently underscored by cannabis activist (and grey-market cannabis lounge proprietor) Abi Roach.

By outlawing lounges, ‘You’re creating an unwelcoming environment for tourists and an uncomfortable home situation for families,’ says Abi Roach.

By outlawing cannabis lounges, Roach told Leafly, “You’re pushing people out into the streets and alleys, and their cars. You’re pushing people into more dangerous situations. You’re creating an unwelcoming environment for tourists and an uncomfortable home situation for families.”

Trina Fraser, an Ottawa lawyer specializing in cannabis law, agrees.

“If you’re not creating venues for people to consume cannabis, you are basically driving it into the very places you don’t want,” Fraser told the Citizen. “If somebody doesn’t want to get evicted from their (no-smoking) apartment, they might smoke in their car, and you don’t want them smoking in their car. But they are going to feel like, ‘I’ve got no choice. I’ve got no other place to go where I can use cannabis.’ That’s an issue.”

RELATED STORY

Cannabis Strain Recommendations for Beginners and Low-Tolerance Consumers

The Ontario government is seeking citizen input on the proposed modifications through March 5. Read the full text of the proposed modifications and submit comments here.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Can Landlords Ban Legal Cannabis? Here’s What the Law Says

Adult-use recreational cannabis is scheduled to be made legal across Canada this summer. But not everyone’s celebrating. As legalization looms nearer, some apartment-dwellers are prepping for legal battles over tenant rights to follow. Not all tenants are looking forward to legalization and are not welcoming to the idea of legalized cannabis being smoked indoors.

With the Cannabis Act, the right to smoke cannabis, will be protected in a tenant’s right to reasonable enjoyment. But that doesn’t mean that landlords can’t impose restrictions.

Steven Lebow is one such tenant. A renter in Toronto, he’s tangled with cannabis-smoking neighbours in his building, who used heavily enough for Lebow to be able to smell the smoke from inside his apartment. (He even complained about getting a secondhand high.)

“It got to point that the cleaning help refused to clean the hallway as the smell was so strong,” Lebow told Leafly, noting that his complaints didn’t bring the results he hoped for.

“I tried with six different property managers over the course of several years,” he said. “Finally a strangely worded notice went out saying that there have been complaints about the odor of marijuana permeating the halls and units and asking if anyone has a medical reason for using it.”

RELATED STORY

This Canadian Staffing Agency Will Help You Find a Job in the Cannabis Industry

He never got an answer, and it wasn’t until his neighbours moved that the problem was resolved.

If Lebow’s neighbour’s were using cannabis medicinally, that would trump his right to take action. In a situation like Lebow’s, if smoke from an adjacent apartment caused damage or health concerns, he could argue about the reasonable enjoyment of his apartment.

So long as the method of consumption doesn’t present a risk to other tenants or to the building, the landlord’s right to restrict tenant behaviours is limited.

“Your right to do something in your unit even if it’s otherwise lawful extends only as far as it doesn’t have a substantial impact, or to use the legal term, doesn’t substantially interfere with the rights, privileges of the other tenants,” said Tom Halinski, a partner of the Municipal and Land Use Planning Group at Aird Berlis.By “substantial interference,” Halinski means any harm to other tenants or damage to the unit itself.

However, things get trickier when health is involved.

“You could theoretically have the cannabis user who is doing it for medical reasons and a person next door who perhaps has a medical condition that’s being made worse by the [smoke] and that’s tough,” Halinski said. “It would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.”

RELATED STORY

Indigenous Cannabis: Revitalizing First-Nation Economies Through Legalization

Such clashes of rights seem to be a growing concern, as studies have shown that cannabis allergies not only exist but are on the rise. Beyond these are breathing concerns from smoke inhalation, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.

When the Cannabis Act passes, the right to smoke cannabis, whether recreationally or medicinally, will be protected in a tenant’s right to reasonable enjoyment. But that doesn’t mean that landlords can’t impose restrictions or recommend ways to adapt the apartment.

If there’s concern about smoke damage or harm to other tenants, landlords could suggest tenants use concentrates or other smokeless methods.

“We might suggest, and have suggested, that weather stripping be installed under the door and, if need be, around the door of the complainant so that nothing’s coming in,” said Lesley Larion, a superintendent for a Toronto apartment building. “We accommodate the same requests for people who are offended by cigarette smoke, so I know what way it’s treated.”

Landlords could also restrict the ways in which cannabis can be consumed inside the apartment. If there’s concern about smoke damage or harm to other tenants, landlords could suggest tenants use concentrates or other smokeless methods.

RELATED STORY

Ex-Cops Are Cashing in on Cannabis. Is That Okay?

“In principle, that’s not really that different from saying, ‘Yes you can have a dog in your unit, but it has to be walked on a leash,” said Halinski.

But so long as the method of consumption doesn’t present a risk to other tenants or to the building, the landlord’s right to restrict tenant behaviours is limited.

The federal government will be leaving legislation for cannabis and housing to provincial governments to regulate through their own landlord and tenant boards.

Currently the Residential Tenancies Act does not contain specific legislation regarding cannabis or cannabis smoking. However, once the Cannabis Act passes, that could mean that the Landlord Tenant Board could develop new and different rules.

The federal government has not indicated they will be developing any legislation for cannabis and housing, and will be leaving it up to provincial and territorial governments to regulate through their own landlord and tenant boards.

Hamilton is already preparing for these concerns, promising to look at options such as an all-encompassing smoking ban for social housing through CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) by this spring. However, director of operations Ivan Murgic told the CBC that their solution could be as simple as asking any offending tenants to moderate their usage or to avoid smoking on balconies near neighboring windows.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Saskatchewan to Sell Cannabis Through Private Retailers With ‘Good Character’

Breaking with precedents set by Ontario and Quebec, the Saskatchewan government will not have a monopoly on legalized cannabis, choosing instead to sell the drug through the private sector. The prairie province is the latest region to announce its approach to cannabis distribution, as Canada’s vague summer deadline for legalizations approaches. Here’s what we know about how things will be done in Saskatchewan when it comes to legally selling cannabis.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will issue up to 60 cannabis retail permits to private retail outlets in as many as 40 municipalities and First Nation communities.

* The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) will issue up to 60 cannabis retail permits to private retail outlets in as many as 40 municipalities and First Nation communities across the province. The permits will be given to communities of at least 2,500 people, with larger districts given additional permits. CBC reports that the province’s largest city, Saskatoon, will be given the option of having seven licences, while Regina will receive six and cities with smaller populations—such as Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, and Lloydminster—will receive two. Eligible First Nations communities and municipalities will be given the chance to opt out from having a cannabis retailer in their community. The number of retail permits will depend on how many community leaders choose to opt out.

RELATED STORY

Random Testing, Million-Dollar Fines: Canada’s Cannabis Pesticide Crackdown

* Retail cannabis stores in the province will follow a similar model as private liquor stores. The private sector will be responsible for wholesaling and retailing cannabis, which will be regulated by the SLGA. Stores selling cannabis must do so from a standalone storefront, with the option of also having an online store. Stores are limited to only selling cannabis and related accessories. They also must be able to track and report cannabis inventory to help assure that customers have access to safe, legal product from regulated wholesalers.

Liscencees will be expected to meet ‘good character’ criteria as part of the permitting process.

* The SLGA will work with an independent third party to choose retail operators through a two-phase process. The first phase will screen candidates for financial capacity and the ability to track and report inventory. Phase two will see qualified applicants selected at random through a lottery. Those chosen will be expected to meet ‘good character’ criteria as part of the permitting process. Makowsky told the CBC that stores already selling cannabis might lose their means to the market under a lottery system. The province has not stated whether retailers will be able to buy supply from wholesalers outside Saskatchewan.

RELATED STORY

Ex-Cops Are Cashing in on Cannabis. Is That Okay?

* The CBC reports that an online survey set up by the province showed 45% of respondents wanted to see the stores run by SLGA. However, Gene Makowsky, the minister responsible for the SLGA, said the government didn’t want to spend millions of dollars establishing the infrastructure needed to sell cannabis. “It de-risks the taxpayer, certainly,” he said. “It’s an ill-defined market right now. We’re not sure what the future of that is going to be.” He added that the province would gain revenue from taxation and licensing fees, although those details have not been finalized.

* Details about application criteria and timelines, along with permit licensing fees and other related matters, will be finalized in the coming weeks. The province, which has a legal drinking age of 18, is expected to announce its minimum age for cannabis consumption by spring.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

‘Whatever They Throw at Me, I’ll Figure It Out’: Abi Roach, Grey-Market Cannapreneur, Preps for the Legal Future

Abi Roach lives her life on the edge of the law. As the founder of Toronto’s popular cannabis lounge the Hot Box Café (tagline: “Serving potheads since ah…we forgot”), she’s become exceptionally familiar with the grey zones of current marijuana legislation.

“That’s the highlight of my life, to have the freedom to be me and make my customers happy by giving them what I love.”

“I’ve lived my life and operated this business by the white-grey line of the law,” Roach tells Leafly. “Whatever they throw at me, I’ll figure it out. Nothing I’ve ever done has been legal and nothing I’ve ever done has been illegal. Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

The cannabis advocate and business owner spends a lot of time talking to local politicians and lobbying for the rights of cannabis users. It’s a role she stepped into out of necessity nearly two decades ago when she opened her first head shop.

Now, Roach runs a mini empire that includes Hot Box, a hydroponic store she co-runs next door, Spliff magazine, and a bud-and-breakfast and tour company in Jamaica. Unsurprisingly, she’s also a member of the Cannabis Friendly Business Association. And as Canada moves towards the legalization of cannabis, Roach suspects her overflowing plate will only get fuller.

RELATED STORY

Indigenous Cannabis: Revitalizing First-Nation Economies Through Legalization

From Street Fairs to a Kensington Storefront

Roach’s introduction to the world of cannabis started with hemp jewelry. Originally from Israel, Roach moved to Canada with her family as a tween, after her dad was offered a job in computer engineering. While attempting to assimilate to Canadian culture, she changed her name to Abi, which rhymed with her real name, and was partially inspired by the Beatles’ album Abbey Road. (The Roach part, also not her real name, came later.) Though she knew little English upon arriving in her new country, Roach says she picked it up in a matter of months, and now has no trace of an accent.

After regularly getting busted by the cops for illegally hawking her wares, Roach became a roaming kiosk.

As a teenager, she grew bored of her remote neighbourhood, so on weekends she’d head to Queen Street, which was a hub of stylish independent boutiques and popular bistros. There, she met a group of rogue vendors who’d illegally sell their wares on the corner of Queen and Soho. It didn’t take long for Roach to discover her entrepreneurial spirit, setting up a blanket on the street corner and hawking handmade jewelry. She soon learned about hemp, through other vendors who used the material to macramé necklaces and bracelets. Roach quickly cottoned on to the fiber’s other uses, thanks to a vendor named Robin Ellins, who now owns the Friendly Stranger head shop.

“I used to vend beside him and learned from him all about the informational side of cannabis,” she says.

RELATED STORY

How a Visionary Cannabis Producer Became This Canadian Town’s Biggest Employer

After regularly getting busted by the cops for illegally hawking her wares, Roach became a roaming kiosk. She’d show up at concerts, raves, and events with her jewelry, and often cannabis, to sell or barter. Sometimes, she’d swap her goods for an interesting story.

“It helped me perfect my retailing art over the years,” she says.

After years of unconventional hustle, Roach eventually went to art school, followed by a stint studying audio engineering. As the only women in her class, Roach felt isolated and decided it wasn’t the path she wanted to follow.

Roach now runs a mini empire that includes Hot Box, a hydroponic store she co-runs next door, Spliff magazine, and a bud-and-breakfast and tour company in Jamaica.

When she learned about a subsidized business program through Jewish Vocational Services, she applied and got accepted. Her pitch was for a music promotions company, but Roach mainly wanted to learn how to write a business plan.

After she completed the program, she took out a university fund her parents had set up in Israel and used it, along with her business plan, to apply to a bank for a government co-sign loan to start a business. She decided that business would be a head shop, since there weren’t many in the city at the time. To her surprise, the bank approved her pitch.

“I was totally open about what I was going to do, which was sell bongs and pipes and rolling papers,” she says. “They gave me the loan.”

In 2000, Roach-A-Rama was born. The head shop was located on a sleepy street in Kensington Market. After a discouragingly slow year, Roach was ready to close and find a new path, but a storeowner around the corner on Baldwin Street asked if she would be interested in sharing his space. She decided to give it another shot.

RELATED STORY

‘I Just Love Getting People High’: In the Kitchen With a Black-Market Edibles Maker

The new location proved to be blessing, with a spike in sales and customers. In the two years she worked out of the Baldwin location, she visited Jamaica and Vancouver, regions that had a more relaxed attitude towards smoking cannabis in public spaces.

“I went to [Vancouver cannabis lounge] Blunt Brothers and I was so impressed you could just show up, bring your weed, and smoke it,” she says.

When her retail-space partners announced they’d be pulling out of the lease with two weeks’ notice, Roach sprung into action. She applied for a food license, renamed her business The Hot Box, and turned the space into a lounge, which would eventually move to its current location on Augusta.

Fighting for Space to Safely Smoke

These days, Roach spends a lot of time meeting with local politicians about how Ontario’s cannabis legislation will affect businesses in the city. As it currently stands, the Ontario government will have a monopoly over cannabis sales, with all privately owned dispensaries and cannabis lounges deemed illegal.

“By eliminating lounges, you’re pushing people into more dangerous situations. You need us to stay open.”

Roach is working hard to get the message out that cities need private spaces for people to smoke their cannabis. She says the government isn’t keeping the streets safer by removing cannabis lounges, since they’re much more than places to hang out and consume weed.

“We also provide education, and by eliminating lounges, you’re losing that aspect of it,” she says. “You’re pushing people out into the streets and alleys, and their cars. You’re pushing people into more dangerous situations. You’re creating an unwelcoming environment for tourists and an uncomfortable home situation for families. You need us to stay open.”

Ontario recently passed its Cannabis Act with no amendments—any dispensaries operating illegally can face fines up to $1 million. As for cannabis lounges, the topic remains in bureaucratic limbo. The province has generally addressed cannabis in Bill 175, all-encompassing legislation that includes a prohibition on smoking in public places. Since lounges fall under that category, smoking cannabis inside one will technically be breaking a by-law.

Roach says the City of Toronto moved a motion that would give the Board of Health time to examine the impact cannabis lounges have on public safety.  Until that happens, nothing will change, and Roach appears unbothered when talking about how these impending changes will affect her business.

RELATED STORY

This Canadian Staffing Agency Will Help You Find a Job in the Cannabis Industry

“Everything takes time,” she says. “Even for them to come and hand out fines, that will take time. And there are loopholes we can use to get around—but I’m not going to reveal anything like that.”

As for the future, Roach plans to continue fighting for the rights of cannabis users while expanding her brand. Although she describes her business as “one of these stupid companies that never took anyone’s money and has built everything from nothing,” she suspects that will change over time.

“Now we’re on a different level and I’m ready to find the right person who wants to invest in this brand,” she says. “Our next mission is to find that perfect union.”

If she had to do it all over, there’s nothing Roach would do differently. When asked about career highlights, she says everyday is a highlight because she simply loves what she does.

“I can do whatever crazy things I want to do,” she says. “There is no board, or boss to tell me what to do. That’s the highlight of my life, to have the freedom to be me and make my customers happy by giving them what I love.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Alaska Authorities Vow to Fight Feds on Legal Cannabis

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said he wants to prevent federal overreach after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended an Obama-era policy Thursday that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states like Alaska.

Walker said in a statement that he’s committed to upholding the will of Alaska voters, who legalized recreational cannabis use in 2014. He said he would work with the Justice Department and the state’s Republican congressional delegation—which has cast cannabis as a states’ rights issue—to prevent federal overreach.

Alaska’s senior U.S. senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, called Sessions’ announcement ‘disruptive’ and ‘regrettable.’

Spokesman Jonathon Taylor said Walker and state Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth were evaluating possible options for doing that. Lindemuth said her office has a duty to uphold and implement state law.

Alaska’s senior U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, said she had asked Sessions to work with states and Congress if he thought changes were needed. The Republican called his announcement “disruptive” and “regrettable.”

The state, in setting up its marijuana industry, drew guidance from a memo from President Barack Obama’s administration that limited federal enforcement of the drug, as long as states prevented it from getting to places it was still outlawed and kept it from gangs and children. Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

RELATED STORY

Sessions Rescinds Cole Memo, Which Protected State-Legal Cannabis From Feds

Sessions said the previous guidance “undermines the rule of law” and said U.S. prosecutors in the states where cannabis is legal could decide which marijuana activities to prosecute.

Alaska’s Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth said her office has a duty to uphold and implement state law.

It was not immediately clear how Alaska U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder would respond. His office referred questions to the Department of Justice press office.

Marijuana industry advocates said Sessions’ decision creates confusion and flies in the face of a growing legalization movement.

Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel with the Marijuana Policy Project, said prosecutors previously had discretion. But there is a new attorney general, “who I guess wants to reverse the course of history or something,” he said.

Jane Stinson, a part owner of the retail marijuana shop Enlighten Alaska in Anchorage, worries about the potential effect on her business, which had been looking to grow and is negotiating a lease for another building.

Sessions’ decision feels vindictive and unreasonable, she said.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Washington State Vows to Defend Cannabis From Federal Crackdown

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee was quick to defend his state’s legal cannabis industry in the wake of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision Thursday morning to rescind the Cole memo, an Obama-era Justice Department guideline that set a policy of federal noninterference with legal-cannabis states.

“As we have told the Department of Justice ever since I-502 was passed in 2012, we will vigorously defend our state’s laws against undue federal infringement.”

WA Governor Jay Inslee

“In Washington state we have put a system in place that adheres to what we pledged to the people of Washington and the federal government,” Inslee said in a statement. “We are going to keep doing that and overseeing the well-regulated market that Washington voters approved.”

“Make no mistake,” Inslee added. “As we have told the Department of Justice ever since I-502 was passed in 2012, we will vigorously defend our state’s laws against undue federal infringement.”

Bob Ferguson, Washington state’s attorney general and a frequent courtroom opponent of the Trump administration, joined Inslee in that promise, pledging “to vigorously defend the will of the voters in Washington state.”

In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan, a former US attorney, said she would instruct the Seattle Police Department not to cooperate with federal cannabis enforcement.

“Federal law enforcement will find no partner with Seattle to enforce the rollback of these provisions.”

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

“Let’s be clear: Our Seattle Police Department will not participate in any enforcement action related to legal businesses or small personal possession of marijuana by adults,” she said in a statement. “Federal law enforcement will find no partner with Seattle to enforce the rollback of these provisions.”

It would be difficult for federal agencies to pursue action against legal cannabis businesses without the aid of local law enforcement, as they depend heavily on joint task forces, but even without local cooperation, federal prosecutors could easily target individual businesses. However, some members of Washington’s legal cannabis industry say they’re more concerned about what this means for banking.

RELATED STORY

Sessions Rescinds Cole Memo, Which Protected State-Legal Cannabis From Feds

Ian Eisenberg, owner of well-known Seattle cannabis retailer Uncle Ike’s, said of course he was worried about criminal prosecution but was “most worried about how Salal will react.”

Salal Credit Union, one of the first financial institutions to work with the cannabis industry, now holds close to $40 million in cannabis assets, including those of Uncle Ike’s. Jeremy Moberg, president of CannaSol Farms, a state-licensed cannabis grower in Eastern Washington, echoed those concerns.

“I’ve kind of moved off cash and I’m all in the bank now. I’m kind of worried,” he said, “that my accounts could be frozen.”

Enforcement of federal cannabis laws in the absence of the Cole memo could vary greatly depending on policy priorities of individual US attorneys.

Sheryl Kirchmeier, Salal’s senior vice president of marketing, said there was no reason to worry just yet. “At this time, it’s business as usual. We’re really just waiting to see what potential impacts this may have, if any,” she said. “We’re still fully supportive of our members and wanting to the best for them.”

At the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, it also appears to be business as usual. Many licensees are concerned that the Justice Department could compel the agency to release licensing records. The agency’s spokesperson, Brian Smith, said they were deferring to the governor’s office for an official statement, but he offered licensees a bit of assurance about day-to-day operations.

“Our director, Rick Garza, met with marijuana licensing staff earlier this morning,” he told Leafly. “He told them that if they hear questions from licensees, that they are to tell them that nothing has changed. [That] we will continue to adhere by the Cole memo, that we’ll keep processing their applications, that deadlines facing licensees still apply.”

RELATED STORY

The Cole Memo: What Is It and What Does It Mean?

As Leafly has reported, enforcement of federal cannabis laws in the absence of the Cole memo could vary greatly depending on policy priorities of individual US attorneys. The US attorney for the Western District of Washington, Annette L. Hayes, did not respond to a request for comment. An assistant for US Attorney Joseph H. Harrington, of the state’s Eastern District, said that her office had been instructed to direct all media inquiries to the DOJ’s national press office.

How federal enforcement would unfold in Washington is still anyone’s guess, although it’s worth noting that Harrington, in the Eastern District, was recently promoted to interim US attorney by Sessions himself, while Hayes is a holdover from the Obama era.

Despite being in Harrington’s district, which tends to be a more conservative area of the state, CannaSol’s Moberg isn’t ready to panic yet.

“Everybody’s freaking out. I’m not freaking out. Should I be? It’s hard to take the Trump administration very seriously. If it was Obama doing something like that, it would be like, ‘Holy shit, what changed?’—or any other president.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Politicians Outraged: Sessions Move ‘Trampled the Will of the Voters’

This morning brought news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Cole memo, the Obama-era policy that protected US states with legal cannabis from federal prosecution. In the wake of the news, numerous politicians, activists, and industry insiders weighed in via Twitter, interviews, and public statements. Here’s a collection of what’s been said.

Cory Gardner, US Senator from Colorado:

“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states. (President Donald Trump) had it right. This must be left up to the states.”

Gardner tears into Sessions move on Senate floor earlier today: 

[embedded content]

Keith Ellison, US Representative for Minnesota:

“The war on drugs didn’t stop drug usage; it just ruined a lot of lives. Jeff Sessions is reviving it because he believes in using the criminal justice system as an instrument of racial and economic control of poor people and brown people.”

Jay Inslee, Washington State Governor: 

“Today’s forthcoming announcement from Attorney General Sessions is the wrong direction for our state. It is also disrespects Washington voters who have chosen a different path for our state. I am especially frustrated that this announcement comes after Sessions has refused offers from Attorney General Ferguson and myself to meet with him to discuss these policies in person, after he has disregarded the input that we and other state leaders have provided to his department.”

Bob Ferguson, Attorney General for Washington State:

“I am disappointed and troubled by reports that AG Sessions plans to abandon the current federal policy on marijuana—a policy that respects states’ rights and focuses federal enforcement on key, shared areas of concern. Over the past year, Sessions has demonstrated a stunning lack of knowledge about our state’s marijuana laws. If reports are accurate, Sessions is changing policy after refusing multiple requests for a meeting from Governor Jay Inslee and myself. I pledge to vigorously defend the will of the voters in Washington State.”

Earl Blumenauer, US Congressman from Oregon:

“This is outrageous. Going against the majority of Americans—including a majority of Republican voters—who want the federal government to stay out of the way is perhaps one of the stupidest decisions the Attorney General has made. One wonders if Trump was consulted—it is Jeff Sessions after all—because this would violate his campaign promise not to interfere with state marijuana laws. It’s time for anyone who cares about this issue to mobilize and push back strongly against this decision.”

Ron Wyden, US Senator from Oregon:

“Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies. Now he’s breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states’ rights only when they believe the state is right. Opening the door to go after legal marijuana businesses ignores the will of the majority of Americans and marks yet another socially unjust and economically backward scheme from this administration. Any budget deal Congress considers in the coming days must build on current law to prevent the federal government from intruding in state-legal, voter-supported decisions.”

Michael Bennet, US Senator from Colorado:

“In rescinding the Cole memo, the Attorney General failed to listen to Colorado, and will create unnecessary chaos and confusion.”

Ted W. Lieu, member of US House of Representatives, from California: 

“AG Jeff Sessions apparently wants to take America back to the 1920s. Prohibition didn’t work then and it will not work now. Congress needs to pass sensible laws to prevent a monumental waste of precious federal resources chasing Americans who use.”

Justin Strekal, NORML political director:

“If the Trump administration goes through with a crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana, they will be taking billions of dollars away from regulated, state-sanctioned businesses and putting that money back into the hands of drug cartels.” —to the Washington Post

Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont:

‏”No, Attorney General Sessions. Marijuana is not the same as heroin. No one who has seriously studied the issue believes that. Quite the contrary. We should allow states the right to move toward the decriminalization of marijuana, not reverse the progress that has been made.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Get a Pencil: California Cannabis-Tracking System Not Yet in Use

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s legal cannabis economy was supposed to operate under the umbrella of a vast computerized system to track marijuana from seed to storefronts, ensuring that plants are followed throughout the supply chain and don’t drift into the black market.

But sales began this week without the computer system in use for cannabis businesses. Instead, they are being asked to document sales and transfers manually, using paper invoices or shipping manifests. That raises the potential that an unknown amount of product will continue slipping into the illicit market, as it has for years.

RELATED STORY

As California Legalizes, Laws Collide at US Checkpoints

For the moment, “you are looking at pieces of paper and self-reporting. A lot of these regulations are not being enforced right now,” said Jerred Kiloh, a Los Angeles dispensary owner who heads the United Cannabis Business Association, an industry group.

Not since the end of Prohibition in 1933 has such an expansive illegal economy been reshaped into a legal one.

The state Department of Food and Agriculture, which is overseeing the tracking system, said in a statement it was “implemented” Tuesday. However, it conceded that growers and sellers are not required to use it yet and training on how to input data will be necessary before it becomes mandatory, apparently later in the year.

The slow rollout of the tracking system is just one sign of the daunting task facing the nation’s most populous state as it attempts to transform its long-standing medicinal and illegal marijuana markets into a multibillion-dollar regulated system. Not since the end of Prohibition in 1933 has such an expansive illegal economy been reshaped into a legal one.

So far, it’s been an unsteady start.

RELATED STORY

California’s Legal Cannabis Sales Begin: Leafly’s Full Coverage

Business licenses issued to growers, distributors and sellers are temporary and will need to be redone or extended later this year. Much of the state is blacked out from recreational sales because of the scarcity of licenses and because some local governments banned commercial cannabis activity.

“There are a lot of things inside the law that are transitional. I don’t think it’s as rigid as people want it to sound,” Kiloh said.

Another risk is that some consumers might stay in the black market to avoid sticker shock from hefty taxes. And there are concerns that a new distribution system will fail to get cannabis to shelves once current stockpiles run out, possibly in weeks.

RELATED STORY

California’s High Cannabis Tax Could Doom Legalization. Here’s a Fix

Cathy Bliss at Mankind Cooperative in San Diego said the store did not have as much product in stock as it would have liked.

Charles Boldwyn, chief compliance officer of ShowGrow in Santa Ana, which opened to customers Monday, said the relatively small number of licenses issued so far could create a bottleneck, cutting off pot from stores selling it.

“The biggest hurdle we see, right out of the gate, is that starting today our access to product is limited,” Boldwyn said.

RELATED STORY

California’s Limit on Big Growers Just Vanished. Here’s Why

The tracking system is part of the state’s maze of rules and regulations intended to govern the emerging $7 billion pot economy, the nation’s largest. They range from where cannabis can be grown and smoked to environmental safeguards for streams near marijuana fields.

According to state law, the tracking system will provide “data points for the different stages of commercial activity, including, but not limited to, cultivation, harvest, processing, distribution, inventory and sale.”

It’s also intended to help the state keep track of taxes.

According to the state, businesses holding annual licenses will be required use the tracking system, but those issued so far to growers and retailers have been temporary and they “are not required” to use the system.

RELATED STORY

California Unveils Temporary Licenses to Allow Early 2018 Retail Sales

The expanded legal sales could offer a rich payoff for the state treasury. California expects to pull in $1 billion annually in taxes within several years.

The move into an era of legalization was marked across the state Monday with ceremonial ribbon cuttings and door prizes at dispensaries.

The path to legalization began in 2016 when voters approved Proposition 64, which opened the way for legal sales to adults. Medical marijuana has been legal in California for about two decades.

RELATED STORY

California’s New Edibles Limits Will Ban Popular Products

With the 2016 vote, it became legal for adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use limited quantities of marijuana, but it was not legal to sell it for recreational purposes until Monday.

The state did not issue rules for the new marketplace until late last year, and cities and counties have struggled to fashion their own. Los Angeles and San Francisco are among those where recreational pot sales have been delayed.

California joined a growing list of states, and the nation’s capital, where recreational marijuana is permitted, even though the federal government continues to classify pot as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials said they would begin accepting applications Wednesday from medical marijuana shops to expand their sales to recreational pot. Temporary city licenses could go out as soon as Monday, which would then clear the way for the state to issue licenses for recreational sales.

Unlicensed medical marijuana shops in LA that continue to supply customers in the interim would technically be violating state law, but Los Angeles police won’t crack down on those operating in good faith, Assistant Chief Michel Moore said. He said police would focus on pot operations run by felons or that attract gang activity or violence.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Medley of Agencies Tasked to Enforce California Cannabis Law

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Licensed businesses around California can begin legally growing and selling marijuana for recreational use Monday, and a hodgepodge of enforcement agencies will be trying to make sure they adhere to a slew of new cannabis laws.

Since no single agency has overarching responsibility, supporters and opponents of legalization worry how well the laws will be followed.

Three state agencies will issue a combined 19 types of permits to growers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors. Each agency has enforcement officers tasked with cracking down on unlicensed operators.

RELATED STORY

California Releases Emergency Cannabis Regulations

In addition, other state agencies such as Fish and Wildlife and the Narcotic Enforcement Bureau said they will rely on marijuana task forces already in place to continue eradicating illegal growers and sellers.

The newly created state Bureau of Cannabis Control, which licenses retail outlets, said it has hired several officers to help crack down on unlicensed shops and plans to hire more in the coming months. But much of the work of arresting illegal operators will still fall to sheriffs and police departments.

“We are a pretty small operation,” bureau spokesman Alex Traverso said.

He said about eight enforcement officers will be in place Jan. 1, though bureau chief Lori Ajax said enforcement won’t be a priority in the first months of the new year as the agency focuses on getting retailers licensed.

RELATED STORY

California Legalization Brings Host of Environmental Rules

The bureau has issued fewer than 200 temporary business licenses so far. That’s a fraction of what ultimately will be distributed once Los Angeles, San Francisco and other major local governments start issuing their own licenses, which are required to get a state permit.

A small number of retail shops from Berkeley to San Diego say the will open New Year’s Day.

While an increasing number of states have legalized marijuana in one form or another, all uses of the drug remain illegal under federal law. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said federal authorities still are contemplating how they will enforce cannabis laws in California.

Assemblyman Tom Lackey has introduced legislation that would make the California Highway Patrol the point agency for enforcing state marijuana laws, especially those seeking to stem the flow of cannabis out of state.

RELATED STORY

Jeff Sessions Leaves the Cole Memo Intact, For Now

“If we want to avoid intervention from the federal government, we need to do everything we can to crack down on illegal activity and prevent cannabis from being exported,” the Palmdale Republican said. “Without a central point for coordinating action statewide, accomplishing this will be a huge challenge.”

The bill will be considered when legislative sessions resume in January.

Ajax worked for 20 years in the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Department before Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to run the cannabis bureau. She said regulating marijuana is more complicated than policing alcohol because counties and cities have considerable authority over cannabis.

State laws include that consumers be at least 21, that businesses not be within 600 feet (183 meters) of schools and must close by 10 p.m. They’re also required to have 24-hour video surveillance.

RELATED STORY

As California Legalizes, Laws Collide at US Checkpoints

Counties and cities have similar requirements with a few twists. Oakland city officials, citing disparate marijuana arrest records, have given applicants convicted of cannabis-related felonies preference in obtaining permits in certain neighborhoods.

Several counties and cities used existing medical marijuana laws to adopt recreational use rules by striking the word “medical” from the ordinances, keeping in place existing local tax rates.

Marijuana businesses also will be required to pay state taxes. Some of the tax revenue is earmarked for enforcement, but sheriffs in several counties say they’re already pouring resources into marijuana enforcement.

RELATED STORY

California’s High Cannabis Tax Could Doom Legalization. Here’s a Fix

Siskiyou County leaders recently declared a state of emergency and called on the governor to assist the sheriff with eradicating an influx of illegal farms. The county banned commercial cultivation, but that hasn’t stopped a migration of marijuana farmers snapping up cheap land in remote Northern California.

“We are overwhelmed,” Sheriff Jon Lopey said.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman has similar concerns in a county that has legalized marijuana in the heart of the fabled cannabis growing region called the Emerald Triangle.

“Please do not continue to say that marijuana is a totally harmless herb that God put on this Earth, and we don’t know why we’re fighting over it,” he told county supervisors, who he said were overlooking the criminal aspects of growing marijuana.

RELATED STORY

The Great Cannabis Clash of Calaveras County

In Los Angeles County, sheriff’s officials are preparing to see a possible increase in marijuana dispensary robberies and drivers who are high behind the wheel.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell said he believes legalization will be “eye-opening for a lot of people.”

“The public’s perception is that weed is innocuous, that this is something they did 40 years ago and it is no big deal,” he said. “Well, today’s marijuana is not yesterday’s marijuana. The active ingredient, THC, is so much higher today than back 40 years ago.”

RELATED STORY

Is Cannabis a ‘Gateway Drug’?

In some cases, the farmers are planting on government lands hidden deep in forests patrolled by state wildlife wardens. So-called guerrilla farms illegally set up on public property or remote private property without the owners’ knowledge have troubled rural law enforcement officials and federal authorities for years.

California’s Fish and Wildlife Department created a marijuana enforcement team three years ago to stem illegal gardens in the state’s forests. The agency also created Watershed Enforcement Teams to crack down on marijuana farmers who illegally divert streams, used banned pesticides or otherwise harm the environment.

Fish and Game Capt. Paul Foy said the department has no plans to change its enforcement strategy after Jan. 1 and will continue to concentrate on environmental crimes and illegal farms on public lands.

An estimated 1,000 illegal farms controlled by organized crime operate on public property in California, he said.

“We’re going to keep on keeping on with enforcement,” Foy said. “We stay busy.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.