The Little Old Lady from Pasadena at Sat. Dec. 5 MAPP meet

liz2.jpgLiz McDuffie - meet the new       Little Old Lady From Pasadena helping health care facilities mj_hospital_bedside-page-001-1.jpg provide cannabis to patients at 1 p.m. Sat. Dec. 5 virtual MAPP meet

Although Jan and Dean were not singing about Liz McDuffie when they recorded their classic song "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" in 1964, it is interesting to note that if they had known Liz, they certainlylittle_old_layd_jan_and_dean.jpg might have been referring to her. In 1967 Jan & Dean reworked the lyrics from "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" renaming the track "The Little Old Lady from Tijuana." Released as a single that same year, the lyrics now contained thinly-veiled references to marijuana use. (To read the lyrics CLICK HERE even better to hear Jan & Dean sing them CLICK HERE).

When it comes to marijuana Liz McDuffie is certainly the new "Little Old Lady from Pasadena." Liz is the founder and director of Medical Cannabis Caregivers, an organization dedicated to producing and distributing medical cannabis information and also the mcc-page-001.jpgfounder of the Landmark Research Collective, California’s first clinical teaching dispensary for Complementary and Alternative (CAM) Practitioners specializing in cannabis therapeutics. Both are located in Pasadena and have contributed significantly to the implementation of medical cannabis programs in California. In 2018 the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) approved her class on Senate Bill 94 “Licensing Exemption” for Licensees of Health Care Facilities which is currently being offered under the CDSS Continuing Education Program for Licensing Re-certification.

Liz's presentation at the Sat. Dec. 5 virtual MAPP meet will focus on new issues relating to cannabis for medicinal uses and how to use current California law to allow for the distribution of medical cannabis at health care facilities from hospitals to hospices.

Liz has worked to not just educate and advance medical cannabis programs, but was the operator of one of Pasadena's first medical cannabis dispensaries. She also operated a medical cannabis educational and doctor's recommendation facility in Las Vegas at the time the "sin city" first began to allow medical marijuana distribution.

Liz serves on the Advisory Board for the National Institute of Health (NIH) Study of Cannabis Use Among Adults in Los Angeles County.  Additionally she serves as a Software Producer for HIPAA Compliant electronic Medical Record Platforms for physicians and dispensary operators.

Liz is currently working on the development of programs for Health Care Facilities to provide cannabis based medicines to their clients as provided for under SB 94. willow_creek.jpgWorking with hemp-based health care product manufacturer, Willow Creek Springs, they are collaborating on a pilot study on the safety and efficacy of using hemp-based medications to treat pressure wounds (bed sores) in residential care facilities.

At the virtual MAPP meeting we will also celebrate the passage of the MORE Act by the House of Representatives today with a virtual 420 celebration and discuss what happens next.

liz_teleconference_card2-page-001.jpgThe Sat. Dec. 5 virtual MAPP meeting begins at 1 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend. It is not an internet based virtual meeting, but strictly done on the telephone via freeconferencecall.com. No cameras so you can truly attend just as you are. To join the virtual meeting and meet with the new Little Old Lady from Pasadena and get the latest updates on the MORE Act, call 701-802-5390 and enter access code 2545046#.

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After 50 Years, It's Finally Happening plus MAPP meet

 

more_act.pngCongress to vote to make cannabis LEGAL!!!

make_it_happen.jpgThe most important piece of cannabis legislation since the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) made cannabis illegal in 1970 is coming up for a vote this Wednesday, Dec. 2 in the House of Representatives. It is the MORE (Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement) Act and it is important because it removes cannabis from the CSA which will end federal cannabis prohibition and turns regulation over to the states just like alcohol and tobacco.

The MORE Act does even more:

  • permits physicians affiliated with the Veterans Administration for the first time to make medical cannabis recommendations to qualifying veterans who reside in legal states,
  • it incentivizes states to move ahead with expungement policies that will end the stigma and lost opportunities suffered by those with past, low-level cannabis convictions,
  • allows the Small Business Administration to support entrepreneurs and businesses as they seek to gain a foothold in this emerging industry.

There have been some objections raised to the MORE Act by a few cannabis aficionados as it allows states to regulate cannabis like tobacco and they feel cannabis is not tobacco and should not be regulated in the same way.

The MORE act doesn’t mandate that cannabis be treated like tobacco but it does allow states to regulate cannabis any way they like and if they want to treat it like tobacco they can.price_tobacco_vs_cannabis-page-001.jpg This is not necessarily a bad thing considering that you can get a pack of 20 tobacco cigarettes for under $10 including taxes. Also you can buy them just about everywhere including the ubiquitous convenience stores in which in 2019 there were 152,790 of which over 120,000 were operated by mom and pop and not by Circle K and 7-11.  If only cannabis were so cheaply and widely available - it would be a boon for medical patients and recreational users and even more of a boon for mom and pop.

Passage of the MORE Act by the House will move the fight to the Senate which is still run by Republican Mitch McConnel. Notwithstanding our newly elected Vice-President Kamala Harris is the MORE Act’s lead sponsor in the Senate, if Democrats fail in their Quixotic quest to secure the two Georgia Senate seats up for election in January, the MORE Act may never see the light of day on the Senate floor, as McConnel is no friend of cannabis reform.

With one out of every three Americans now living in states that allow for the use of cannabis by adults for any reason and states struggling to make up for COVID19 related lost revenue, its passage in the House will still be very important symbolically and could give state legislators the green light they need to pass cannabis legalization legislation.

cal_and_write.pngTaking 60 seconds to contact your Congressional representative is not an act of spinning your wheels, - it is the essence of citizen lobbying and is an important component of moving the needle significantly forward toward totally ending cannabis prohibition. Take that 60 seconds right now and contact your Congress person and tell them to Vote Yes on the More Act.

The absolutely best and easiest way is to call their office – it's so simple, you don’t even need to know the name of your Congressional Representative. Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 (you can call anytime as the Congressional switchboard operates 24/7) tell the real live person who answers the phone either the name of your Congressional Representative or the zip code in which you live and they will connect you to their office.  When you are connected tell the receptionist who answers the phone (or leave a voice-message if the office is closed and no one answers) that you want your Congress person to vote YES on the MORE Act. You can add a few more words if you want, but just telling them to vote YES on the MORE Act gets the point across succinctly and forcefully.

The next best way is to send your Congress person an email. The Marijuana Policy Project has made it super simple to send your Congressional Representative an email. Whether you know who they are or not, the website produces a letter that will go to their office and it also allows you to add your two cents worth to the letter if you want. To send your Congressional Representative an email letter, CLICK HERE.

liz_teleconference_card-page-001.jpgLITTLE OLD LADY FROM PASADENA featured speaker at  the 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 Virtual MAPP meeting

Liz McDuffie may not be “the terror of Colorado Boulevard,” but she is an extraordinary cannabis activist who strikes fear into the hearts of those who stand in the way of making cannabis mainstream and easily available to medical patients - especially in Pasadena where she lives and does her work for cannabis patients.

She will be the featured speaker at the virtual MAPP meeting on Sat. Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. where she will be speaking on her myriad activities in the cannabis community from serving on the Advisory Board for the National Institute of Health (NIH) Study of Cannabis Use Among Adults to her role as Director of the Medical Cannabis Caregivers Institute and founder of the Landmark Research Collective, California’s first clinical teaching dispensary for Complementary and Alternative (CAM) Practitioners specializing in cannabis therapeutics.

Watch for email newsletter later this week specifically on Liz McDuffie – the real little old lady from Pasadena.

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The fabulous Cannabis Cheri at Sat. Nov. 7 MAPP meet

Stress and Anxiety Free MAPP meeting Sat. Nov. 7 at 1 p.m.

Celebrate and feast with Cannabis Cheri

Covid19. Economic & Racial Injustice. Polarized Politics. Election Conundrum.

Take a break from it all with Cannabis Cheri, gourmet chief and prolific author as she tells the fascinating story of cannabis cooking and provides recipes and ideas to make the upcoming holidays a true celebration of cannabis.

cheri_article-page-001.jpgCheri is our featured speaker at the 1 p.m. Sat. Nov. 7 virtual MAPP meeting.  It’s strictly a teleconference – no cams, no internet - simply a phone call to 701-802-5390 and access code 2545046#.

Come as you are and meet Cheri for new ideas on using and celebrating our favorite plant - cannabis.

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Smoke Your Vote at MAPP teleconference Sat. Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.

 

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Oct_teleconference__-page-001-1.jpgMany consider the 2020 November election to be one of the most consequential elections since like forever. Certainly the direction of this country and even the world will be profoundly affected by who wins the Presidency, keeps or takes control of the U.S. Senate and you will be affected by who is elected to your state legislature and local county boards and city councils. This applies to a multitude of issues from the COVID19 health care crisis, the teetering economy, racial justice, climate change and a host of other issues including cannabis law reform affecting your ability to access cannabis on the local level.

Although cannabis legalization is on the ballot in New Jersey, South Dakota and Arizona, it is almost a side issue although it will definitely affect state and local races in those states. Our votes count and at the MAPP virtual telemeeting on Sat. Oct. 3 at 1 p.m., cannabis will be front and center.

ellen_komp.jpgEllen Komp, associate director of CalNORML will give an overview of NORML’s “Smoke the Vote” guide, covering federal, state and local candidates and local cannabis ballot measures. NORML's guide is the quintessential analysis of candidate's views on not just the legalization of cannabis, but everything from medical use to allowing cannabis businesses to operate in their district. Ellen will take a look at all levels of government, but will place special focus on those running for office in California.

Join in the meeting on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. where you can hear Ellen and also ask questions. The meeting is strictly a teleconference - just on your telephone. No need to connect up your computer or get dolled up to be on cam - just come as you are. On Sat. Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. become an educated cannabis voter by calling 701-802-5390 and enter access code 2545046#.

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Pot Power Couple Tell All - Prop. 64, Kamala Harris and more on free teleconference

 

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You may not have heard of Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris, but we’ve all been affected by their work. The Power Couple of Pot have traveled the world working for justice, created organizations, books, museums and exhibits and were instrumental in California’s legalization of both medicinal and adult use cannabis.

chris_and_mikki_1996.jpgFrom Prop. 215 to Prop. 64, they have worked side by side with every major cannabis reform organization such as the Drug Policy Alliance, NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project. Their efforts and those of the many cannabis legalization activists have been critical in the success of brining cannabis out of the shadow of prohibition and into the light of safe, reliable, local and affordable legal access.

teleconference_number-page-001.jpgChris and Mikki will be the featured speakers at the teleconference at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 5 of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project speaking on Prop. 64, Kamala Harris and the ancient and once again burgeoning movement for the spiritual uses of cannabis.

sfmmjtf-page-001-1.jpgTheir historical perspective on cannabis legalization in California is legendary. Not only involved in the creation and passage of. Prop. 215, the first medical marijuana initiative in the nation, they were committed to making it work after passage. In 2004 Chris became a member of San Francisco’s Medical Marijuana Task Force where he worked with then SF District Attorney Kamala Harris.

A great deal of controversy surrounds Ms. Harris’s tenure as DA and Chris will present a first-person perspective on whether she helped or hindered implementation of Prop. 215 in SF. He will also present a nuanced and reasoned look at her position and actions on medical marijuana and legalization as California’s Attorney General and U.S. Senator as well as what her role would be as Vice-President in advancing legalization if Biden wins the presidency.

YesOn64logo.pngThe point people specifically working with the medical marijuana community for the passage of Prop. 64, Chris and Mikki will reveal the much heralded and derided story behind the story of the passage of California’s legalization initiative.

Mikki has become extensively involved in the spiritual uses of cannabis and is working to create a welcoming environment for the many different types of spirit-centered cannabis ingestion. She will review the legal landscape surrounding the increasing use of cannabis for spiritual enlightenment and what needs to be done to make it as acceptable as any other sacramental plant.

Join Chris and Mikki on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. for the free MAPPteleconference for the stories of the plant that have shaped your life. There will be plenty of time for questions following the presentations.

teleconference_number-page-001.jpgThis is not a Zoom or Webex conference – it is a true teleconference done on your telephone. No need to have a computer or dress up for the camera – you can truly come as you are. The telephone number to call to meet, hear and chat with Chris and Mikki is 701-802-5390 and the access code is 2545046#.

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YES!!! SuperMajor Fed Legalization Bill Passes

 

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House Passes Major Federal Legalization Bill

The House of Representatives passed the Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment to the annual federal appropriations bills which prevents the Dept. of Justice from spending any money to enforce federal marijuana prohibition laws in states that have legal medical AND adult-use.

With almost one in every four Americans now living in states that allow for the adult-use of marijuana, the importance of this legislation cannot be underestimated as it will stop almost all federal enforcement action against legal licensed cannabis businesses.

Since 2014, Congress has passed annual spending bills that have included language protecting those who engage in the state licensed use, production, and dispensing of MEDICAL cannabisHAPPY_WEED_flip.jpg from most prosecutions by the Department of Justice. The Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment expands these protections to also include activities specific to the production and sale of cannabis to adults in the eleven states that have LEGALIZED the plant for anyone age 21 or older.

Passing with a very respectable 254 to 163, cannabis has been touted as a bipartisan issue. Maybe, but if it really is a bipartisan it has to be one of the most lopsided bipartisan issues passed in 2020 with 97% of the Democratic caucus (222 of 228) voting yes and only16% of the Republican caucus (31 of 188) voting yes.

An almost identical amendment was passed by the House last year, but failed to be included in the Senate’s appropriation bill. With Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) still in control of the Senate, the same fate probably awaits it. But who knows? Senators like Cory Garnder (R-CO), who is in a tight re-election campaign and is probably a bigger booster of legalized cannabis then his Democratic opponent,gradner_hickenlooper.jpg former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, would definitely get a boost if the Senate passed it. With the Republicans in danger of losing the Senate, maybe they will pass it to help him get re-elected but I would advise against holding your breath.

There was also a major success at the California Democratic Party's Executive Board meeting last weekend where a resolution was passed in favor of allowing cannabis lounges to operate independently with a licensing system similar to obtaining one to sell beer and wine at restaurants and taverns. For those who understand the licensing for alcohol, a licensing system similarcannabis_lounge.jpg to beer and wine for cannabis lounges would be a tremendous step in the right direction in making cannabis far more available then it currently is under the byzantine system currently in operation.

 

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Telemeet: Oregon's Drug Decrim & Psilocybin Initiatives + More

 

masthead4-page-001-1.jpgOregon’s cannabis legalization program has witnessed the price of cannabis plummet while the state rakes in more tax money than it ever imagined. Now Oregon may be going where no state has ever gone before with two initiatives which qualified for the November ballot that will decriminalize just about every drug under the sun plus allow the therapeutic use of psilocybin.

portland_military.jpgOne might think the feds are just practicing what they are doing in Portland right now for what they might do throughout Oregon if these two ballot initiatives pass – which is a very real possibility in this very progressive state.

To find out what is happening in this bellwether state, our first guest is legendary cannabis activist Paul Stanford.

stanford_side-page-001-2.jpgPaul will take a knowledgeable and jaundiced look at how well Oregon’s legalization program, passed in 2014, has met the goals its proponents put forth. The program, which went through some very rough spots in its first few years, appears to be operating fairly well resulting in tax revenues to the state and local governments exceeding original expectations.  The wholesale price of cannabis had dropped to as low as $500 a pound a couple years ago, but has gone back up somewhat. Paul will discuss how this came about and whether the reduction in the cost of cannabis is a result of the program or just a coincidence.

Of great interest is the two ballot initiatives that will appear on Oregon’s November ballot.

IP 44, known as the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, would remove criminal penalties for illicit drug possession and expand substance misuse treatment in the state. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission concluded it would reduce convictions for drug possession by about 91 percent statewide and also reduce racial disparities in arrests for illicit substances.

rethink_drugs.jpgAlthough IP44 would decriminalize psilocybin, IP34 takes it a significant step further by creating a program for administering psilocybin services under the Oregon Health Authority. The program would permit licensed service providers to administer a psilocybin product to individuals 21 years of age or older.

This Saturday, Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. call 701-802-5390 and enter access code 2545046# to hear from Paul Stanford about Oregon’s successful legalization program, how the state is on the threshold of decriminalizing drugs, gain a few insider tips on growing quality cannabisstanford_nelson.jpg and why Willie Nelson really likes Paul’s award-winning cannabis. There will be plenty of time for questions, so don't miss a presentation that is sure to be eclectically edifying and educational.

sheriff.jpgRiverside Sheriff’s Anza Monday Marijuana Madness Escalates

In a two-day reefer madness operation beginning on July 20, Riverside County Sheriff officers seized more than 84,000 marijuana plants found on over 1,000 acres of public and private lands in unincorporated areas of the Anza Valley.

Never mind that no one is getting hurt from the marijuana grows, these egregious actions come from a Sheriff who told Riverside County Board of Supervisors that he won’t enforce regulations on mask wearing which affects the health and safety of the County that is experiencing the 2nd highest rate of COVID19 infections in the state.

edison2.jpgAt the Sat. Aug. 1 teleconference at 1 p.m., Edison Gomez-Kraus, a founding member of the Anza Valley’s High Country Grower’s Association will provide an up-to-the-minute report on what is going on in Anza, how it is effecting the community and the responses that local growers are taking to protect themselves from this mask-avoiding tyrannical menace.

call-page-001-1.jpgThe MAPP Teleconference is FREE. On Saturday, August 1 at 1 p.m., Call 701-802–5390 and Enter access code 2545046#. There will be plenty of time for questions, so mark your calendar now. It's not a ZOOM conference, just you and your phone - no cams so you truly can come as you are.

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FREE Marijuana Compassion Program With A Twist

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These are tumultuous times so much so that the oft quote opening sentence of a Dicken’s celebrated A Tale of Two Cities – It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – seems lackluster to describe the agonies the world is undergoing in the face of the COVID19 virus – a form of life so simple that it is unable to replicate without a host cell.

liquor_store_sales.jpgThese are stressful times so it is no surprise that alcohol sales have exploded. According to the famed Nielsen polling company, spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails are up 75%, wine sales are up 66% and beer sales up 42%. WOW - online sales skyrocketed - a mind-boggling 243%.

alcohol_vs_pot.pngFortunately for the readers of my newsletter, we have safe and enjoyable cannabis to provide the stress and anxiety relief we need without the inherent dangers of alcohol. Cannabis is so important for the health, safety and welfare of our communities, especially in this most excruciating period. We are lucky that if we can’t find criminals willing to sell us whatever cannabis they can get their hands on, we now have licensed dispensaries selling lab tested and certified cannabis from primo bud to mind-shattering waxes and delectable edibles.

The watchword, however, is affordable. For too many people the need for cannabis borders on being a life-and-death issue. Obtaining the amount of cannabis needed to effectively treat their ailments is financially challenging if not downright impossible. This is especially true for veterans as almost 1.5 million veterans live in poverty with vets between 18 and 34 years old having a higher poverty rate than all other age groups.

mj___.jpgWith over 25% of disabled people living below the poverty line, the ability to obtain cannabis to provide safe and effective relief from their physical and mental conditions is literally beyond reach. Many AIDS and cancer patients whose drug costs for their prescribed medicines consumes a significant amount of their income, come up short when it comes to purchasing the quantities of cannabis needed to provide the therapeutic relief they need from both the debilitating effects of their ailments and the negative effects of many of the medicines taken to control and limit the ravages of their diseases.

Bloom-Netwok-Logo-with-Text---2000-x-1257-1.pngMany of the compassion programs that provide cannabis to those in need do not provide the quantity they need. Bloom Network, a licensed cannabis manufacturer and distributor is william.jpgseeking to do it right as the company’s Executive Director, William Sump, is working with cultivators and other cannabis businesses to provide truly meaningful quantities of cannabis to those in need.

califweed.jpgThe program has a northern California and southern California component. I have been tasked with operating the southern California division. As I am located in the Inland Empire, the first part of the program will be seeking to provide cannabis to 25 people in the IE. Those who qualify will be provided with quality bud, oil cartridges, waxes and/or edibles sufficient to meet their needs.

By the beginning of August, the initial group of 25 people will be selected. It is the intention that each month the number of people being served will be increased with the eventual goal of providing cannabis to 250 every month.

tomh.jpgI am especially pleased that Tom Hernandez, director of the Coachella Valley chapter of Veterans for Peace, who has long known of the many benefits that cannabis provides to veterans, will be helping us select veterans to be enrolled in this program.

We will be contacting other organizations that provide services to AIDs and cancer patients as well as to the disability community. If you are part of an organization that would like to participate in this program please let me know by writing to [email protected] or calling me at 760-799-2055.

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Which Doc Gave Rodney Dangerfield His MMJ Rec?

dr_bearman.jpgMAPP_Logo.jpgMeet and Chat with Dr. David Bearman

MAPP telemeet at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6

Holding the MAPP meetings via teleconference has worked out well. Attendance is up and most importantly I am able to get noted cannabis folks to be our featured guests.

One of the most notable is Dr. David Bearm who will be the featured guest speaker at the Saturday, June 6 telemeet at 1 p.m.

story-page-001.jpg Of course Dr. Bearman will regale us about Rodney Dangerfield, but if you want to know the story behind how and why Dr. Bearman came to write Dangerfield a medical marijuana recommendation, click the yellow box on the right. Hearing about Dangerfield will be fun, but most importantly you will want to hear him because Dr. Bearman is one of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medicinal marijuana. Having served four decades working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs, Dr. Bearman is a pioneer in the free and community clinic movement with a distinguished career in public health, administrative medicine, provision of primary care, pain management and cannabinology.

AACM.pngAlong with being the vice-president of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, he has served as the Co-Director of the Haight-Ashbury Drug Treatment Program, was a member of Governor Reagan’s Inter Agency Task Force on Drug Abuse and is the author of Drugs Are NOT the Devil’s Tools: How Discrimination and Greed Created a Dysfunctional Drug Policy and How It Can Be Fixed.

Dr. Bearman's presentation will include a look at the past and current state of medical marijuana, explain the newest developments in not only the use of cannabis for therapeutic relief, but also as a curative including a brief discussion of cannabinoids and terpenes and new research on how to address treating euphoria or dysphoria.

questions.jpgOf course, there will be plenty of time for you to ask questions and get the answers you want to know.

conference_call-page-001.jpgJoining the teleconference with Dr. Bearman is exceptionally easy. It is not a zoom conference with cams and associated paraphernalia, so you can really come as you are as it is done entirely on the phone – no computer needed. This Saturday, June 6 at 1 p.m. call 701-802-5390 and when the voice prompts you, enter the access code 2545046# and you will be whisked into the MAPP teleconference with Dr. Bearman. Although not mandatory, smoking and the consumption of other forms of cannabis during the teleconference is not only allowed, it is encouraged.

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Riverside Co. - MJ's new BIZ hotspot

 

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Wasn’t all that long ago that Riverside County was arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients for growing their own and now they are going full-tilt boogey on allowing commercial businesses to cultivate, process and sell cannabis to anyone over 21.

mj_-page-001.jpgThe original ordinance allowing cannabis businesses was passed last year. It was a convoluted maze of legal and regulatory hoops to jump through being only rivaled in complexity and cost for opening a nuclear power plant.

The original ordinance required a “Request for Proposal” (RFP), a byzantine process requiring multiple filings, cost buckets of money to complete and was a guaranteed full employment program for lawyers. Entailing a ranking system to judge applicants against each other, it created a veritable mountain of paperwork mountain_paperwork.jpgfor the County planning staff that resulted in 71 commercial cannabis operations being proposed. With the RFP process in place, only 24 went forward. As it stands the county has approved only one storefront operation. It has still not opened.

The new ordinance does away with the RFPs and substitutes a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process which is the same process that any other business needs to complete. CUPs have a 10-year life span and cost a much more reasonable $6,000. Not only is the cost significantly less, but there is considerably less paperwork reducing the workload on the County’s planning staff.

protest-page-001.jpgAlthough attorney’s might be upset in having their full-employment program reduced (not eliminated), the most upset people were those who had already gone through the process. Almost all testimony presented to the BOS in relation to the proposed new ordinance was in opposition by those who had gone through the expensive and time-consuming RFP process and emphatically stated it was unfair that potential competitors would not have to go through the same stress-inducing, anxiety-ridden process.

I was just about the only person who presented testimony in support of discontinuing the RFP process for opening cannabis businesses and replacing it with a CUP stating “Hopefully this will lead to more cannabis businesses which will produce competition and should result in lower prices,”

medical_mj_logo.pngI noted that lower prices are “good as people who use cannabis to treat pain, depression, insomnia and for cancer treatments should not have high costs as an impediment to being able to obtain the quantities needed to treat their ailments.”

I further got on my high horse as I informed the BOS that they should pass the new ordinance as “cannabis must be made more easily available for its most important use as a substitute for alcohol – studies show alcohol consumption goes down when cannabis consumption increases” –referencing the Montana study thatbeer_pot.jpg “found that when marijuana consumption increased after cannabis was legalized medically, alcohol consumption went down leading to a 9% decrease in traffic fatalities.” The next day I sent each member of the BOS a copy of that study which you can read if you CLICK HERE.

perez.jpgIn the discussion that followed by the BOS, Supervisor Manuel Perez noted that "The (ranking process) is a limiting factor. We can continue at a robust pace ... move as quickly as possible (and) make this as streamlined as possible, but still have the quality at the end."

hewitt.jpgSupervisor Jeff Hewitt specifically mentioned the need for the competition I spoke about and then intoned "Let the free market determine how many dispensaries people want. Let's allow the market to determine the winners and losers."

Considering all the opposition voiced at the hearing and the normal reticence the Riverside Co. BOS have expressed in the past regarding anything that makes cannabis more readily available, it was something of a surprise that the ordinance passed 5 – 0.

covid19_pig2.jpgOr was it really such a surprise considering that the County, like all local governments, are reeling from the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenues due to COVID-19 lockdown. I am sure that every BOS member was well aware that more cannabis businesses means more revenue for the now egregiously cash-strapped county.

What is interesting to note is that the original ordinance created a developer-agreement system of taxation which, instead of assessing a sales tax on cannabis, created a community benefit payment which varies from business to business depending on the needs of the community in which it is located. The new ordinance leaves the developer-agreement model in place.

Although I had opposed a developer-agreement model in the original ordinance in favor of the standard tax and license system which is utilized in almost every other ordinance allowing cannabis businesses, I am not so opposed to it anymore. A developer-agreement seems to result in significantly less money being paid by a business to the government then a standard sales tax system would. This would result in significant savings to cannabis businesses. I would caution about holding one’s breath that dispensaries will lower their prices because their taxes are lower.

In any case, I think it is only a matter of time before the Countymoney_wins.jpg ends the developer-agreement model and switches to the tax and regulate model as it will produce significantly more revenue. When push comes to shove money always wins.

Speaking of money always winning, several cities in Riverside County that were always adamantly opposed to cannabis businesses, are following Riverside County's lead in coming around to the greener side. hemetseal.jpgHemet, whose City Council has been and still is composed of majority of retired cops, submitted an initiative in 2016 to deny cannabis businesses in their city when a couple growers collected enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot allowing them. The City Council’s measure passed, but now these ex-cops are starting the process to allow them.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the council directed the city manager to create an ordinance that would allow four sustainable retail cannabis outlets and no more than 10 wholesale outlets. It is interesting to note that the rest of the meeting almost entirely dealt with getting businesses to reopen – including it would seem eventually cannabis businesses.

wildomar_seal.pngThe other city was Wildomar, a small but growing town in southern Riverside County that back in 2012 had requested the Department of Justice take action against the one dispensary that had opened there. The DOJ took action against the dispensary resulting in its closure. Eight years later, Wildomar is considering an ordinance that would establish a regulatory framework for the licensure and operation of cannabis businesses in the city. Money wins again.

Along with the cannabis liberation zone in the Coachella Valley where Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert and Coachella have all allowed cannabis businesses to operate, two other cities in western Riverside County, Lake Elsinore and Perris, now permit cannabis businesses to operate. How much this has to do with the economic disaster caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is up for question, but the opening and normalcy of cannabis businesses is a green-lining that no one expected.

dr_bearman.jpgMeet and chat with medical marijuana pioneering MD          Dr. David Bearman

MAPP teleconference Saturday, June 6 at 1 p.m.

On Saturday, June 6 at 1 p.m., MAPP will hold its monthly teleconference meeting with famed medical marijuana practitioner, author and clinician Dr. David Bearman. Information on Dr. Bearman is below who will be discussing the past and current state of medical marijuana use and explain the newest developments in not only the use of cannabis for therapeutic relief, but also as a curative. Most importantly, there will be plenty of time for you to ask questions and get the answers you want to know.

story-page-001.jpgAlong with being one of the earliest medical doctors in California to furnish mmj recommendations (Dr. Bearman wrote the recommendation for celebrated comedian Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield) Dr. Bearman is the author of Drugs Are NOT the Devil’s Tools: How Discrimination and Greed Created a Dysfunctional Drug Policy and How It Can Be Fixed.

One of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medicinal marijuana, Dr. Bearman has spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs.  A pioneer in the free and community clinic movement, his career includes public health, administrative medicine, provision of primary care, pain management and cannabinology.

AACM.pngAlong with being the vice-president of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, his 40 year professional experience in the drug abuse treatment and prevention field includes being the Co-Director of the Haight-Ashbury Drug Treatment Program, being a member of Governor Reagan’s Inter Agency Task Force on Drug Abuse and a consultant to Hoffman-LaRoche, Santa Barbara County Schools and the National PTA. He has been recognized by the Santa Barbara Medical Society with the Humanitarian Recognition Award.

conference_call-page-001.jpgJoining the teleconference with Dr. Bearman is exceptionally easy. It is not a zoom conference with cams and associated paraphernalia, so you can really come as you are as it is done entirely on the phone – no computer needed. This Saturday, June 6 at 1 p.m. call 701-802-5390 and when the voice prompts you, enter the access code 2545046# and you will be whisked into the MAPP teleconference with Dr. Bearman. Although not mandatory, smoking and the consumption of other forms of cannabis during the teleconference is not only allowed, it is encouraged.

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