Hitching 215 & 64 Together - Better than Same-Sex Marriage?

welcome_to_CA_sign.jpgcalifornia-marijuana-flag.jpegCALIFORNIA POISED TO DO

A billion here and a billion there – before long you are talking real money. In California alone it is estimated to reach $7 billion and that’s just the first year. It will go up from there – way up as hopefully more people reduce their use of alcohol and substitute marijuana for a safer, healthier and more enjoyable experience.


How the industry is fleshing out and how it will affect consumers and producers is coming into focus with the introduction and consideration by the state legislature of Governor Brown’s trailer bill that reconciles the differences between Prop. 64 and California’s 20+ year old medical marijuana law.


Prop. 215, thanks to the ferocious hostility of law enforcement, the timidity of most local government to oppose them and the ineffectiveness of medical marijuana patients to do much about it, failed in almost every respect to provide safe, reliable, local and affordable access to the majority of medical marijuana consumers.


Where 215 failed on its own, it looks like a combination of Prop. 215 and Prop. 64 is going to make sensible access to marijuana finally happen and it is looking way better than many thought possible. Take a gander at this:

Marijuana will be treated, for the most part, like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow six marijuana plants at home. Medical marijuana patients can still grow as much as medically necessary.

Businesses would be able to legally grow, distribute and sell their own product.

Farmers could form agricultural cooperatives without violating antitrust laws.

Creates microbusinesses and small artisanal/craft businesses similar to small wineries and microbreweries.

mj_delivery.gifSellers with no public storefronts would be able to deliver marijuana directly to customers.

Allows for businesses to permit on-site consumption

mj_festival.jpgBusinesses would be allowed to sell marijuana and provide samples at county fairs, regional agricultural associations and CANNABIS FESTIVALS.

All marijuana sold commercially will have to be tested for content and certified pesticide and residue free by businesses independent of and with no financial ties to growers or retailers.

Dont-Panic-Its-Organic.jpgRequires state regulators to devise rules for marijuana producers to label their product as organic. Since marijuana is a schedule one substance, it cannot be labeled organic under federal rules, so it is important for California to create its own system for designating organically grown marijuana.

Provides for the creation of standards for official marijuana varietals and growing regions, known as appellations, that can be published so craft and artisanal producers can differentiate their products based on their unique strain and growing conditions like winemakers do.

An open container of marijuana in a vehicle would be illegal like it is for alcohol. PEOPLE WITH A MEDICAL MARIJUANA RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE EXEMPT FROM THIS REGULATION.

collecting_taxes.jpgDue to the problem that banks will not provide services to marijuana businesses and that California lawmakers expect to take in hundreds of millions in taxes, the state will open a tax office in the remote region north of San Francisco so marijuana businesses can pay their taxes in cash without having to drive long distances with thousands of dollars.


fly-in-ointment.jpegThe major fly-in-the-ointment is that the California Supreme Court has ruled that Prop. 215 gives cities and counties total control over whether to allow medical marijuana cultivation and distribution whether it is for personal or commercial use. Except for preventing local governments from banning indoor cultivation, Prop. 64 follows the same pattern so although the combined 215 and 64 bill is very good, the ability to access what it provides is totally dependent on whether local government will permit it.

I don’t mean to imply that local control is the only problem - there are most definitely others. David Goldman, chairperson of the San Francisco chapter of the Brownie Mary Democrats and
Michael Koehn sent a letter to the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation outlining what these problems are and offering suggestions for improvement. Their letter is exceedingly excellent in its review and notations - to read it CLICK HERE.


md_presecribes_rx.jpgLike a medical doctor determining if the benefits of a medicine outweigh the negative consequences before prescribing it to her or his patient, the benefits of what appears to be coming out of the state legislature far outweigh the negatives.

Many of the problems cited by David and Michael to the BMCR can be dealt with on the regulatory level and do not have to go through the complex and unwieldy legislative process.

Those negatives that cannot be addressed through the regulatory process, can be addressed legislatively as Prop. 64 provides that the legislature can amend the initiative if the proposed amendments further the intent of the initiative, which is:

to establish a comprehensive system to legalize, control and regulate the cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of nonmedical marijuana, including marijuana products, for use by adults 21 years and older, and to tax the commercial growth and retail sale of marijuana.


Making the legislative route favorable is that Prop. 64 requires that a measure to make the initiative less restrictive requires only a majority vote where as a measure to restrict requires a 2/3 vote making it far easier to undo the negatives than it is to undo the positives.

join_bmdc.jpgThis is why it is necessary to support groups, like ASA, CaNORML, MAPP, BMD and others. They have the expertise to interact effectively with state regulatory agencies, but just like lobbyists for businesses and other interest groups, in order to develop effective political clout on the local, state and national level, they need your time and financial support in order to carry out that mission.

brown_sign_bill.jpgEven though Gov. Brown’s reconciliation bill has the approval of the Democratic legislative leadership, it is still up for up for grabs and changes to be made while being debated and manipulated by the 120 state legislators.


As Mark Twain so notably wrote “No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” We will need to stay vigilant during this process.



trump_stay_out_CA.jpgIf we can keep Trump and Sessions out of California and out-of-our-state’s business, then we will have significantly shifted the paradigm on marijuana so far over that marijuana prohibition will never rear its ugly, cruel, malicious and racist head again.


I cannot help but feel that the extent that Democrats are moving to provide for the legalization and distribution of marijuana in California is not only animated by their respect for the overwhelming support of the voters for Prop. 64, but also as a way to stick a thumb in Trump’s eye and his minion Sessions.


Stay tuned to my email newsletters for updates on this most important piece of legislation and be prepared to send emails and even better to pick up your phone to make calls to your state legislators’ offices when it becomes necessary to do so.

Commercial Cannabis Town Hall
and it’s FREE


Don't want to pay the hundreds of dollars conference fees being charged by organizations sponsoring a cornucopia of commercial marijuana conferences? If you can make it into Los Angeles on Friday, June 30, you won't have to.

Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-L.A.), sponsor of AB 1578 which prevents local police from cooperating with the feds in enforcement of federal marijuana prohibition law against marijuana providers operating under California law, is hosting a Commercial Cannabis Town Hall featuring the actual people employed by the state to regulate the commercial cannabis industry. Click on flyer to enlarge.


Town Hall panelists include Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer, Lori Ajax, Chief, Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation and regulators from the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. These are the agencies that will be writing and enforcing the regulations that all commercial businesses, large and small, will operate under. There will also be representatives from Go-Biz – a kind of marijuana venture capital firm that will share information on money they have available for start-ups.

The Commercial Cannabis Town Hall on Friday, June 30th begins at 10:00am at the Los Angeles Expo Center’s Roy A. Anderson Recreation Center in the Community Room on the 2nd Floor located at 3980 Bill Robertson Lane, (formerly S. Menlo Ave.) Los Angeles, California 90037.

They are requesting RSVPs, so let them know you are coming and if you desire additional information call  them at (213) 744-2111.


Whether you are going into the marijuana business or not, if you have the time to attend this conference, you will find it of immense benefit to know what is going on and to have any of your questions answered and/or concerns addressed.


BTR_MCCS_Logo.jpginternet_radio_show.jpgGANJA GOES TO

Even with 29 states legalizing medical marijuana and eight states legalizing all use, marijuana has yet to be given the same deference and respect that laws surrounding any other product receive. As a multi-billion dollar business involving tens of millions of consumers, it is imperative that lawyers have the training and skills to not just defend a person from criminal charges, but to help businesses organize and comply with the complex and myriad laws regulating and controlling this burgeoning new industry.


robert_mikos.jpgThe newest episode of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense explores this issue with Robert Mikos, one of the nation’s leading experts on federalism and drug law. His soon-to-be published and first of its kind law school textbook Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority is written to be accessible to a broad audience -- not just lawyers and law students.


mjlaw_book.jpgOn the show, Mr. Mikos discusses his new book, how marijuana law made it to law school, how it differs from other product laws, discusses the evolution of marijuana law, how big the field is expected to become and how other attorneys and his peers view marijuana law as a legitimate legal field.


Mr. Mikos’s most recent scholarship analyzes the struggle among federal, state, and local governments for control of marijuana law and policy. In that vein, he has written, testified, and lectured on the states’ constitutional authority to legalize marijuana, federal preemption of state marijuana regulations, the political and budgetary considerations that limit enforcement of the federal marijuana ban, federal law’s influence on state regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry, and the desirability of marijuana localism.


Professor Mikos has taught at the University of California at Davis, where he was twice nominated for the school’s Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as at Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. He teaches courses in Federalism, Constitutional Law, Marijuana Law and Policy, Federal Criminal Law, and Drug Law and Policy.


Marijuana law may be obtuse, complex and at times seem even absurd, but after listening to Mr. Mikos, it begins to come together in a reasoned and rational way. To hear the interview with Mr. Mikos, CLICK HERE or go to www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews anytime that it is convenient to hear.


420_club_bldg.pngGive MAPP the financial support and tools to engage effectively with our elected officials so that all the provisions of Prop. 215 and Prop. 64 can happen in your community.
Contribute just $4.20/month (14¢/day) and become an official member of MAPP's 420 Club and hang out with us at our virtual 420 Clubhouse.



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