California Gov. Moves to Align Medical and Recreational Marijuana Regulation

California Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO, CA — Late Tuesday afternoon, Governor Jerry Brown released his proposal to align medical marijuana regulations passed by the Legislature in 2015 and the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act, both of which call for commercial licensing and regulation to begin in January 2018.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Proposition 64, was passed by California voters in 2016 with more than 57 percent of the vote, legalizing marijuana for adults 21…

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New Market: California awaits regulations before unleashing huge industry

california marijauna

This is the seventh article in a series looking at the potential cannabis market in each of the eight states that approved recreational or medical marijuana initiatives in the 2016 election. Check back each week through mid-January for new entries. Click here for previous installments.

By Bart Schaneman

California’s recreational marijuana market has the potential to dwarf all others as long as workable statewide regulations are ironed out, municipalities allow adult use and legal businesses can supplant the state’s thriving black…

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Week in Review: San Diego crackdown, WA eyes organic MJ & Britain says yes to CBD

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By Bart Schaneman and John Schroyer

San Diego targets illegal dispensaries while educating consumers about legit operations, Washington State has an eye toward organic certification, and Britain gives CBD the medicinal green light.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

San Diego: First of many crackdowns?

San Diego has teamed with a coalition of licensed medical cannabis businesses to crack down on illegal MMJ storefronts and, perhaps more important, to educate consumers about which…

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California: Medical Dispensary Sales Top $844 Million

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SACRAMENTO, CA — Medical marijuana dispensaries in California sold over $844 million worth of cannabis-related products between April 2015 and March 2016, according to an analysis of sales tax receipts obtained exclusively by Marijuana Business Daily.

Their analysis reports that there were 2,756 dispensaries operating during this time period, producing $844,482,174 in retail sales. This revenue total is greater than that of all other medical cannabis states combined.

Because…

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California Governor Signs Standards, Protections for Medical Marijuana Manufacturers

California Governor Signs Standards, Protections for Medical Marijuana Manufacturers

SACRAMENTO, CA — California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2679, which will establish key standards for medical cannabis manufacturers, help implement the landmark Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), and end misguided raids on manufacturers.

“Last year, California took a historic step by regulating medical cannabis to protect patients, businesses, our communities, and the environment. But across the state, locally authorized medical cannabis manufacturers continue to be targeted by municipal law…

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Week in Review: IL Expanding Medical Cannabis, OR Milestone & CA MMJ Revamp

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By Omar Sacirbey and John Schroyer

Illinois moves to give its medical marijuana industry a boost, Oregon marks a milestone in its adult-use cannabis industry, and California lawmakers embark on a revamp of the state’s MMJ market.

Here’s a closer look at several notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

A Shot in the Arm

Illinois is expanding the list of approved conditions for MMJ use – and making it easier for docs to help patients get access to medical…

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Los Angeles County Extends Medical Marijuana Growing Ban

Los Angeles County supervisors voted to extend a temporary ban on medical marijuana cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county by one month.

At the same time, however, supervisors this week postponed a proposed 10-month ban on medical marijuana growing in unincorporated areas, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The issue dates to February, when county supervisors voted for a temporary ban on growing medical marijuana. They also voted to study a permanent ban, citing concerns about…

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Feds Give Up on Effort to Seize Nation’s Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

OAKLAND, CA — In a stunning victory for California’s marijuana industry, federal prosecutors have agreed to end their years-long effort to close and seize Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest dispensary with more than 100,000 patients.

Harborside broke the news with a press release Tuesday, followed up by a press conference attended by Oakland officials who have stood by the dispensary since then-US Attorney Melinda Haag went after in 2012.

The effort to shut down Harborside was part of a broader offensive against…

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Victory! Feds Drop Another Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

Victory! Feds Drop Another Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dropped its civil forfeiture action against Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA.

The case was brought by the DOJ back in 2011 as part of a federal crackdown against legal state medical cannabis dispensaries. The dropping of the case was at least in part the result of a Congressional amendment which prevents the DOJ from interfering with those abiding by their state medical cannabis law.

This marks the second time in recent weeks that the feds have dropped a case as a result of the Congressional…

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Feds Drop Lawsuit Against Harborside Health Center

Feds Drop Lawsuit Against Harborside Health Center

A five year old asset forfeiture lawsuit against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the country’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, has finally been dropped by federal prosecutors, city and state officials announced Tuesday.

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan made the announcement in a press release Tuesday, which was quickly followed by a statement from Harborside and from California Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) praising the decision.

“As of today, Harborside Health Center is in the clear and will no longer have…

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MedMen Inks $15M in Financing for California Expansion

MedMen, a cannabis management consultancy in Los Angeles, said it raised $15 million in venture financing and will announce a “series of deals” in coming weeks as it expands its operations in California.

It marks one of the largest venture capital deals in the industry to date.

“With California being a central focus for us and a critical market in the U.S., we will continue to actively pursue management deals in California and expand our portfolio of facilities in the state,” a MedMen…

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Cannabis Pioneer Asks Public for Money After Raid

A cannabis industry pioneer is asking the public to help raise $150,00 for a legal defense fund, saying law enforcement authorities raided his San Diego medical marijuana company and froze bank accounts as well as seized money, raw materials and computers.

James Slatic, CEO of MedWest and a board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association, is making his pitch via the crowfunding site Indiegogo. The posting on the Indiegogo website includes video footage and a detailed description…

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Court Shuts Down L.A. Marijuana Delivery App ‘Nestdrop’

Court Shuts Down L.A. Marijuana Delivery App ‘Nestdrop’

California Court Ruling Could Halt Medical Marijuana Deliveries in LA

LOS ANGELES, CA — App developers behind a medical marijuana delivery service for Los Angeles cannot overturn an injunction, an appeals court ruled Monday.

When Joseph Pycher and Roddy Radnia started Nestdrop LLC in 2013, their mobile app of the same name was focused on arranging deliveries of alcohol within one hour customers placing an order.

They branched out and partnered with Los Angeles medical-marijuana dispensaries in late 2014, providing users with menus of local…

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ASA Releases New Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs

ASA Releases New Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs

With the release last year of the first detailed analysis and comparison of state medical marijuana laws, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) created a patient-focused tool to identify effective programs and problem areas. That groundbreaking report was followed by the release of ASA’s new, far more detailed report on state programs, which reflects the many new states that have added programs as well as others that have improved their existing programs.

Like the original report, this latest white paper enables advocates, policy makers and…

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ASA Report Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nationwide

ASA Report Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nationwide

Patient Advocates Hope Report will Help State Legislators “Make the Grade” in 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” on Tuesday. The annual report evaluates the array of differing state medical cannabis programs across the country from a perspective often overlooked in policy debates: the patients’ and provides policy makers with model legislation and regulations. With dozens of states already seeing legislative…

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CA: Judge Tosses Claims of a Berkeley Marijuana Monopoly

CA: Judge Tosses Claims of a Berkeley Marijuana Monopoly

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A federal judge has thrown out claims that the city of Berkeley and three dispensaries conspired to corner the market on medical marijuana.

Private dispenser Christopher Smith sued Berkeley, its city council and Medical Cannabis Commission, and dispensers Berkeley Patients Group, Berkeley Patients Care Collective and Cannabis Buyers Club of Berkeley under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act, known as RICO.

Smith said in a September 2015 complaint that the city imposed a three-dispensary cap and has…

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ASA Urges California Cities and Counties to License Cannabis Cultivation

ASA Urges California Cities and Counties to License Cannabis Cultivation

The California Local Access Project provides resources and training for medical marijuana advocates

SACRAMENTO, CA — A national medical marijuana advocacy organization published a memo and model ordinance on Monday for California cities and counties recommending that they regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana instead of banning it.

The memo and model ordinance are part of project by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to support patients and advocates fighting bans on cultivation and pushing for local licensing and regulation of medical…

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Constitutionality of California’s New Medical Marijuana Law Challenged in Court

Constitutionality of California’s New Medical Marijuana Law Challenged in Court

SAN JOSE, CA — California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, signed into law this month to regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry, violates the state’s constitution, a medical marijuana collective operator claims in court.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the law on Oct. 9, to establish a comprehensive legislative framework for the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana in California.

The bipartisan group of legislators who drafted the laws says they will provide a licensing structure for the…

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Gov. Brown Signs Historic California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bills

Gov. Brown Signs Historic California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bills

Under the new laws, businesses will be licensed to produce, test, and distribute medical marijuana, and a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation will be established to develop and enforce uniform state regulations

SACRAMENTO, CA — Gov. Jerry Brown signed three bills into law Friday that establish a statewide regulatory framework for California businesses that produce and distribute medical marijuana in the state. AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643 create standards for licensing businesses as well as testing, packaging, labeling, and tracking marijuana products, among other things.  

The bills establish a new agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, which will oversee the system and work with other agencies that will be involved in licensing…

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California Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Regulation Bills

California Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Regulation Bills

Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Will Establish State-Level Regulation in California

SACRAMENTO, CA — On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the trio of bills known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that will establish regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and transportation, as well as create a state-level licensing system in California for the first time since the medical cannabis program was enacted in 1996.

The California legislature passed Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 on September 11th, 2015, with overwhelming support in both the Assembly and the Senate.

“Governor Brown’s approval of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act ushers in a new era in California,’” said…

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California Lawmakers Urge Gov. Brown to Sign Marijuana Bills

California Lawmakers Urge Gov. Brown to Sign Marijuana Bills

OAKLAND, CA – A bipartisan front of California legislators urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign their bills regulating the medical marijuana industry at a news conference on Thursday.

The bills are Assembly Bill 266, Assembly Bill 243 and Senate Bill 643, known together as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.

Should Brown sign them, the bills would provide a licensing structure for the industry, establish security, worker and safety standards and protect patients and their access – all under a hybrid of state and local control.

The…

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California: Legislative Package Seeking to Clarify, Regulate Medical Cannabis Sent to Governor

California: Legislative Package Seeking to Clarify, Regulate Medical Cannabis Sent to Governor

California lawmakers approved a series of bills in the final hours of the 2015 legislative session that seek to establish statewide rules and oversight governing the distribution of medicinal cannabis. The three bills — Assembly Bill 266, Senate Bill 643, and Assembly Bill 243 — now await final approval from Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown.

Much of the measures’ finalized language was amended and approved by lawmakers at the close of the session and was not subject to public testimony or significant floor debate.

Specifically, the legislative…

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California Will Regulate Medical Marijuana

California Will Regulate Medical Marijuana

SACRAMENTO, CA — After nearly 20 years of wrangling over what is and is not legal under California’s 1996 Proposition 215 medical marijuana law, the state legislature has passed a set of bills designed to bring order to the chaos.

If, as expected, Gov. Brown signs the bills into law, the medical marijuana status quo, rife with ambiguities, contradictions, and grey areas, will be transformed into a robust, strictly regulated medical marijuana industry. It won’t always be painless, and there will be winners and losers.

For starters, the…

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California Legislature Agrees to Last-Minute Medical Marijuana Bills

California Legislature Agrees to Last-Minute Medical Marijuana Bills

SACRAMENTO, CA — California’s state assembly reached a bipartisan agreement on a “historic framework” to regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry, lawmakers announced Friday.

The bill, AB 266, will “ensure patient access, as well as protect the environment, public safety, and public health,” according to a press release.

It marks the first time in state history that framework for medical marijuana regulation has been agreed to by the state assembly, the state senate and the governor’s office.

California was the first…

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Google Boots Medical Marijuana Delivery App from Play Store

Google Boots Medical Marijuana Delivery App from Play Store

Loud Cannabis Awarded Top New Marijuana App, then Booted off Google Play; Users can still access popular farm-to-table marijuana delivery service through mobile-compatible website

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The Green Exchange, Inc., the developers of “Loud Cannabis” (www.tryloud.com), the world’s first HIPAA compliant mobile app that connects marijuana growers directly to patients, announced today that their app was removed from Google Play – the tech giant’s app download center.

The expulsion from Google came just days after Loud Cannabis received an award for “Best New Marijuana App” from CannaNews.

The app had a flurry of new downloads after the award was announced, and company executives believe that the increased activity may have stimulated Google’s scrutiny. The app was…

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Entering the Home Stretch for Medical Marijuana in California

Entering the Home Stretch for Medical Marijuana in California

The California legislature has a full plate this year when it comes to medical cannabis

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California State Legislature will adjourn for their summer recess Friday, following a flurry of activity surrounding medical cannabis.

Legislative policy committees have approved at least eight bills that touch on almost every aspect of the issue. These bills are both good and bad for patients, providers, and others. However, they all share one common trait: they are moving easily through the process. After failing to adopt a significant medical cannabis bill since the Medical Marijuana Program Act in 2003 (SB 420), lawmakers are determined to pass bills this year.

Most of bills have passed easily through committee votes so far – some with no opposition at all.

Lawmakers will…

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California Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Bill

California Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Bill

California Law Will End Discrimination Against Medical Cannabis Patients in the Organ Transplant Process

SACRAMENTO, CA — Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, on Monday.

AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process.

Medical cannabis patients in California have been routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis.  AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

“AB 258’s passage is the result of ASA’s…

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California Gov. Signs Law Expanding Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights

California Gov. Signs Law Expanding Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights

SACRAMENTO, CA — On Monday, Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation, Assembly Bill 258, to allow medical marijuana patients to receive organ transplants.

Hospitals in California and elsewhere have denied patients from receiving organ transplants solely based on their status as medicinal marijuana consumers.

Assembly Bill 258 reads:

“A hospital, physician and surgeon, procurement organization, or other person shall not determine the ultimate recipient of an anatomical gift based solely upon a potential recipient’s status as a qualified patient, as defined in Section 711362.7, or based solely upon a positive test for the use of medical marijuana by a potential recipient who is a qualified patient.”

Passage of AB 258 ends these discriminatory practices in California.

The new law…

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California: Medical Marijuana Patients Fight Fresno County

California: Medical Marijuana Patients Fight Fresno County

FRESNO, CA — Fresno County uses an unconstitutional ordinance to uproot medical marijuana patients’ legal plants and fine them $1,000 per plant without judicial process, patients claim in court.

One plaintiff, who has muscular dystrophy and is on disability, faces a fine of $87,000 and sheriff’s deputies took all of his plants.

The county is using the ordinance as a cash cow, having imposed $2 million in fines already, with another $8 million in the works, according to the June 19 complaint in Superior Court.

Dwayne Alvares, Richard Hickingbottom and John Doe seek writ of mandate and an injunction against Fresno County and Sheriff Margaret Mims. They say the county’s enforcement of its medical marijuana ordinance violates equal protection and due process rights under the state…

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California Senate Votes to End Transplant Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients

California Senate Votes to End Transplant Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients

Bill Headed To Governor Jerry Brown’s Desk for Final Approval

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Senate approved Assembly Bill 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, on Monday by a margin of 33-1.

AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process.

Medical cannabis patients in California are routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis.

AB 258 was introduced by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).  The bill was approved by the Assembly in April.

“AB 258 is about…

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Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act Continues to Advance in California

Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act Continues to Advance in California

AB 258 by CA Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael)

SACRAMENTO, CA — Legislation to protect medical cannabis patients from discrimination in the organ transplant process entered the home stretch on Wednesday when the California Senate Health Committee approved the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act.

Introduced by Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), Assembly Bill 258 must now be approved by the full Senate and signed by the Governor.  The bill was approved by the Assembly in April.   A final vote in the Senate is expected next week.

Patients in California who test positive for cannabis use are routinely denied a place on the organ transplant waiting list – even if they are using legal medical cannabis. This widespread policy at hospitals and transplant centers is…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

California: Yucca Valley Voters Defeat Measure X; Uphold Marijuana Dispensary Ban

California: Yucca Valley Voters Defeat Measure X; Uphold Marijuana Dispensary Ban

YUCCA VALLEY , CA —  Voters in Yucca Valley, California have defeated Measure X, which sought to allow exemptions to the town’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, in a special election held Tuesday.

According to unofficial election results posted by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters, Measure X was defeated 56.73% to 43.27%.  The final election results will be certified next week.

Measure X was aimed at allowing a limited number of exemptions to the town’s ban of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Had Measure X passed, one…

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Judge Halts Federal Seizure of California Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Judge Halts Federal Seizure of California Medical Marijuana Dispensary

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A federal judge stayed a forfeiture action by the United States against a licensed Berkeley medical marijuana dispensary, pending Berkeley’s appeal to the 9th Circuit.

The government sought to shut down Berkeley Patients Group in May 2013. The dispensary, its landlord Nahla Droubi and the city of Berkeley challenged the forfeiture.

In March 2014 the court struck Berkeley from the action for lack of standing, but the city appealed to the 9th Circuit, asserting that its interest in dispensary-generated tax revenue and its ability to regulate dispensaries within its jurisdiction gave it a stake in the case.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar on Feb. 6 granted Berkeley’s motion to stay the forfeiture until the 9th Circuit resolves the appeal.

The case is similar to an…

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