All posts tagged: Marijuana Legislation

Will Michigan be the Next State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana?

Marijuana would be legalized for recreational uses and taxed at a rate of 16% under a petition which was turned in to the Secretary of State on Friday.

In the event that the state Board of Canvassers approves the petition, the group driving the initiative — the Coalition to Regulate Marijuan Like Alcohol will have 180 days to gather 252,523 signatures from valid registered voters in Michigan. As a way to get a cushion to account for signatures which may be thrown out, the group is establishing a target of accumulating 350,000 signatures.

That’s a job which will require money, said Josh Hovey, a spokesman for the Coalition. The group hopes to raise between $8 million and $10 million as payment for people who will gather the signatures needed to get on the ballot and to wage a campaign to get the measure passed in November 2018.

“Prohibition is a failed big government program,” said former state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, who’s the political director of the coalition. “We have 20,000 individuals detained every year in Michigan. And we’re now going to be in a position to provide our citizens an option to stop that.”

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Arizona Marijuana Supporters Joined Million Marijuana March in Phoenix

The Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Political Action Committee joined groups around the country and marched as part of the Million Marijuana March last Saturday in Phoenix.

The Arizona group’s march is aiming to legalize, decriminalize and repeal prohibition of cannabis in Arizona for recreational use for those age 21 and older.

“In our perspective, it’s unfair, immoral and unethical that anybody goes to prison for a plant,” said Alex Gentry, chairman of the Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Political Action Committee.

Paperwork has been filed by the committee with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to start gathering signatures to get on the November 2018 ballot. It would have to accumulate 156,042 signatures from valid Arizona voters by July 5, 2018, to qualify.

It was proposed by the Safer Arizona Legalization Act to legalize “the possession, consumption, cultivation and sales of cannabis for adults” at least 21 years old, decriminalize cannabis-related violations and replace prison sentences with fines and misdemeanors.

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Alaska’s Legal Marijuana Reached a Pinnacle of Sales and Production

New figures from the Alaska Department of Revenue reveal Alaska’s legal marijuana industry has reached a pinnacle of sales and production.

Last March, 27 growers paid the state $220,229 in tax revenue. Alaskans purchased 225 pounds of weed or flower and 169 pounds of other plant parts commonly used as raw material for concentrates.

Every one of those numbers are the highest since the state’s first legal marijuana sales happened in the last days of October.

Tax figures trail real sales by one month; numbers for March are released at the end of April. April’s numbers will probably be released at the end of May.

$693,029 in marijuana tax revenue from cultivators has been collected by the state of Alaska. Flower is taxed at $50 per oz and other plant parts are taxed at $15 per oz.

The Alaska Department of Revenue has predicted the state will collect $2 million in the fiscal year that ends July 1. Sales would need to average $433,000 in April, May and June to reach that amount.

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Florida Marijuana Supporters Wants A Special Session For Legal Marijuana

Gov. Rick Scott is called upon by the supporters of legalized marijuana to order a special session after state lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have implemented a ballot measure approved by 71 percent of voters in November. In the constitutional amendment, it’s in the discretion of the Florida Department of Health to make rules that would let patients with ailments like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis access to marijuana.

However, a few patient advocates and some marijuana activists are afraid that the DOH won’t make suitable rules.

“DOH has an obligation to implement this,” said Ben Pollara, among the writers of Amendment 2 and executive director of Florida for Care. “That’s all the more reason that people really need implementing laws.”

Pollara joined a group of lawmakers and lobbyists who say that the Legislature has to play a part — even if it’s in the following legislative session, which commences in January.

Sen. Rob Bradley, who had driven a medical marijuana bill, said he isn’t assured that the DOH rules will be in line with bills the Legislature put forward, which had a wide-range agreement on many problems, even though they couldn’t achieve a final deal.

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Massachusetts Marijuana Regulatory Panel to be Patterned After the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission

House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday proposed a fresh approach state officials could do regarding how to regulate the new legal marijuana industry in Massachusetts.

The ballot law that legalized adult use of marijuana and set up a regulatory framework for the market calls for a Cannabis Control Commission within Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s office. The Legislature agreed to delay execution of the law and its new Marijuana Policy Committee has been considering alterations to it, including creating a more independent commission and possibly removing the panel from Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s purview.

DeLeo said he believes the state “can do a combination of both.”

“Our conversations today were attempting to get an amalgamation, in the event that you will, without coming to any final conclusion, to try to find out what can work in relation to marijuana,” DeLeo said.

Goldberg called the meeting “a great first conversation” and said discussion covered “a lot of the technical facets.”

“I think this was merely a first conversation, and there’s an acknowledgement that we will all be working collaboratively, and with the members of the committee since they have done a large amount of work to try and determine how to satisfy the needs of and the will of the people of Massachusetts and the way in which they voted,” Goldberg said.

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Austin’s Potential to be the Capital for Marijuana Start-ups

Anybody who has stood a little too close to Willie’s tour bus or has drifted through the vibrant wonderland that is Eeyore’s Birthday Party understands that pot use is big business in Austin. The city’s enormous student population, sprawling music scene and Dazed & Confused vibe allow it to be fertile soil for herbal treatments.

Of the four principal marijuana bills filed at the statehouse this year, only one has gotten a favorable committee vote — it’s yet to receive a full House vote. That proposed law would ease the law so no one with less than an ounce of grass would face arrest or jail time. Recreational marijuana like they have in Colorado appears to be a pipe dream in Texas.

Dallas city council members, in a way, have recently passed a law that decriminalizes possession. Those caught with less than four ounces get order to appear in court and a ticket instead of being booked and arrested in jail.

Texas lawmakers have brushed aside proposals to legalize marijuana fora long time. And, it was not until 2015 that the state passed a law allowing for a very limited use of cannabis oils for individuals who have epilepsy and suffer from seizures.

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Michigan’s New Centralized Medical Marijuana Agency

Michigan recently created the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to centralize all facets of medical marijuana regulation, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs reports.

The brand new agency, placed in LARA, combines the present supervision functions of the state’s patient and caregiver registry with the recently established statutory requirements for medical marijuana facility licensing.

“BMMR’s organizational structure places Michigan at the forefront of state medical marijuana regulation,” LARA Director Shelly Edgerton said. “Many other states have various licenses and patient programs spread throughout different departments and bureaus.”

Centralized services will improve patient protections and make regulations more efficient for business customers.

BMMR is in the procedure for executing the regulatory framework made by legislation signed by Gov. Snyder in September 2016. Regulatory functions comprise the investigation, licensing and enforcement of medical marijuana growers, processors, secure transporters, provisioning centers and security compliance facilities.

The law requires the agency to make licensing programs accessible by December 15, 2017.

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Alaska Lawmakers Delay Proposal On Onsite Marijuana Use

Alaska marijuana regulators have delayed discussions about onsite marijuana consumption until next month.

The state’s Marijuana Control Board was expected to consider whether to move forward with proposed rules for letting retail cannabis customers to consume their purchases on site

It’s something that no other state that has legalized the recreational use of marijuana has permitted.

The board used its two day meeting to go through a backlog of permit applications for retail stores and manufacturing facilities.

“They really wanted to concentrate on approved applications at this meeting so people could begin with their businesses as we move into summer,” said Erika McConnell, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board. “Onsite consumption was kind of the big time-consuming issue that they pushed until the end and then we ran out of time. ”

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Rhode Island Legislators Expects To Beat Massachusetts At Recreational Marijuana

Rhode Island state legislators say that they have sufficient support to pass a bill if it comes to a vote this spring in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. The law makers are expecting to legalize recreational marijuana soon and may beat Massachusetts on it.

Scott Slater, a Providence Democrat and legalization proponent, said taking actions this year would allow Rhode Island to have regulations and a new source of tax revenue in place before retail marijuana shops open over the border in Massachusetts. He said Rhode Island has already reinforced how they tax and regulate medical marijuana plants, so making a change to enable recreational use wouldn’t be tough.

“We’ll definitely be able to beat Massachusetts to the punch,” Slater said. He additionally said that Massachusetts appears to be delaying their recreational regulations.

Voters in Maine, Massachusetts, California and Nevada approved recreational marijuana last year, joining Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. But Massachusetts legislators have delayed the opening of marijuana stores until mid-2018 at the soonest.

In Rhode Island, legislators have debated marijuana legalization for years but haven’t voted on it yet. Having a vote would need the support of top legislative leaders, like Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. The year’s first legislative hearing on the proposal is already scheduled on Tuesday in the House Judiciary Committee.

“The speaker said he’s open-minded however, and he’s waiting for the hearing,” said Slater, who recently had a dialogue with with Mattiello. “He wants the bill to be vetted in committee and hear the various views.”

According to Slater, there are still concerns surrounding a few of the details of the bill, including how it would regulate edible marijuana products.

 

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Marijuana Home Delivery Service To Start In Massachusetts

The proprietor of the second dispensary to open in the legal marijuana market in Massachusetts will be the first to offer home delivery services throughout the whole state.

In Good Health, a medical marijuana dispensary which started in 2015, will begin offering marijuana home delivery in an attempt to expand accessibility to the elderly and those suffering from disabilities. David Noble, president of In Good Health, also wants to make medical marijuana more accessible to patients who don’t live in close proximity to any of the 10 dispensaries running in the state, reports The Boston Globe.

The service, which will start deliveries on Monday, was sanctioned by regulators from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Regulators formerly approved weed delivery for medical marijuana dispensary Patriot Care, but the company only runs in some of the towns.

“There’s a big population of patients who are disabled or don’t have access to a dispensary, whether they live too far away or can’t wait in a line for too long,” Noble told The Boston Globe. “There’s a real void for all these patients to get safe and reliable access to medical marijuana in a legal way.”

In Good Health expanded its growing space early this year and is intending to start two additional shop locations. The dispensary will offer next-day delivery for absolutely any registered medical marijuana patient. Noble said the company will use two uniformed drivers in unmarked vehicles with security cameras to prevent theft of the products. They’ll additionally use tamper-resistant packaging for the many marijuana products available for delivery.

 

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