Weekend News Recap
Here are some news articles you might have missed over the weekend. There is a lot going on in the cannabis-focused world. We need to look outside the state to ensure we stay ahead of the game to push legalization here in Connecticut. It would appear our legislators are not educating themselves.
Let’s normalize cannabis, it’s ok to talk about it. Cannabis does not make you a bad person.
Stay informed by checking out Dabbin Dad each week for all of your cannabis information.
March 12th, 2018
Sessions Targets Immigration Protections As States Consider Sanctuary Policies For Marijuana
Gov. Dannel Malloy… Where do you stand on sanctuary cities for cannabis? It’s your job to protect state rights. – Dabbin Dad
California Governor Jerry Brown is pushing back against Jeff Sessions, telling reporters that the attorney general acts “more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer.” The comments came after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state, challenging its sanctuary laws on immigration.
The lawsuit comes as an increasing number of states consider adopting sanctuary laws for their marijuana programs. Similar to sanctuary laws for immigration, declaring a city a cannabis sanctuary prohibits local law enforcement from cooperating with federal agencies on marijuana enforcement.
The city of Berkeley declared itself a sanctuary for medical marijuana patients in 2008. In February, the city declared itself a sanctuary for recreational consumers too – the first jurisdiction in the nation to do so.
“Federal enforcement could have serious negative impacts in local tax revenues,” read the proposal. “A regulated cannabis industry means cannabis cultivation will… contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environmental impact than an underground cannabis economy that will persist despite federal enforcement.” Read More.
Medical cannabis program bill does not pass, State Treasurer wary of industry funds
It’s sad to say the least, but this is also the state who was keeping kids out of school why they fought the Teachers’ Union. SMH. When will legislators around the country open their ears and listen, they are representatives of the population nothing more. – Dabbin Dad
As the legislative session ended Saturday night, time for the House to consider a bill to make adjustments to the state medical cannabis program ran out, leading to the bill’s death.
The bill, HB 4345, did not make it back to the House floor after the Senate heavily amended the version first passed Feb. 28. The Senate passed its version of the bill around 7 p.m. Saturday, and, despite efforts from some House democrats, the bill was not brought to the full House for consideration.
HB 4345 had a number of changes and additions to the medical cannabis program based on recommendations from the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, a group established by West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health.
The Senate Judiciary Committee amended the bill before it went to the full Senate for consideration. This version included a number of changes to the program, set to begin in the summer of 2019, including:
Decriminalizing the possession of marijuana
Allowing dispensaries to deliver marijuana to patients’ homes
Instructing the Bureau of Public Health to promote a rule allowing dispensing of smokable marijuana, which is not available in the current program
Requiring the bureau to issue permits to 100 dispensaries around the state.
Once the bill came before the full Senate, however, all of these except the permits were taken out and the number of permits was reduced by half.
The bill passed the Senate in a 26-7 vote, with one absence.
Some attribute the bill’s failure to flaws in the bill. House Communications Director Jared Hunt said that, though he did not have all the facts, the bill appeared flawed and there was not enough time to patch it.
With the failure of the bill, the future of the state’s medical cannabis program has become uncertain, particularly in the face of a letter released by West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue March 1. Read More.
Nevada Is Breaking Cannabis Sales Records, Including $30M In Taxes For The State
OK, this is impressive. Will 2018 end before Connecticut legislators decide to end the lies of prohibition, listen to state residents, correct past wrongs, and make some money to keep Connecticut a place where people want to stay and live. – Dabbin Dad
Nevada’s recreational marijuana market is blooming ahead of expectations with retailers there selling close to $200M of cannabis between July and December of 2017. That’s significantly quicker growth than Washington state and Colorado, which sold $67M and $114M respectively in their first six months of legal adult use cannabis sales.
The state of Nevada has collected more than $30M in taxes from the market in its first six months.
Eli McVey of Marijuana Business Daily says that three main factors contributed to the successful market launch. Nevada allowed retailers to begin sales while final details were hammered out. That got things up and running quickly and the influx of new customers were able to be served. Experienced companies with existing brands moved into the state quickly. This didn’t happen in Colorado or Washington because the market was less developed when those places legalized marijuana for recreational use. Nevada also has a large rotating new customer base because 40 million tourists visit Las Vegas each year.
Both the state and the industry have contributed to the successful roll-out in additional ways, according to Brenda Gunsallus, the owner of Sahara Wellness. Her shop is located at the cannabis-friendly address of 420 E. Sahara, near the Las Vegas strip. “The state has done a great job in terms of setting the standard for compliance,” she said, and those tight regulations have helped public acceptance. As for the industry, she says it is doing a good job “educating the general public on the medicinal benefits of cannabis.” Read More.
Let’s Not Forget!!!
With 71% of Nutmeggers backing legalization and strong support from the State House, we have the momentum. There’s just one key ingredient required in order to make legalizing marijuana a reality in Connecticut in 2018: YOU. (Thank you for the quote, Sam)
The hearing we’ve been waiting for is here! The General Law Committee will hold a public hearing Tuesday March 13th at 10am, in Room 2C at the LOB, and a legalization bill is on the agenda!!
Raised Bill No 5458 AN ACT CONCERNING THE REGULATION OF THE RETAIL SALE OF MARIJUANA
-Legalizes personal possession of up to 1oz of marijuana for individuals 21+
-Allows individuals the right to grow up to 6 plants on their own property for individual use, limit 12 plants per household
-Establishes a Marijuana Control Commission, which will issue a select number of licenses to marijuana lounges and retailers
Read the full bill here.
How to Submit Testimony
Please submit electronic testimony to: email@example.com
Subject line: Testimony re: HB 5458
Written testimony should be double spaced for easy reading. (Remember that text written all in capital letters is not easier to read.)
Here is a basic prompt to use when submitting testimony:
*State your name, any organization/affiliation you may have*
In regard to Raised H.B. No. 5458 AN ACT CONCERNING THE REGULATION OF THE RETAIL SALE OF MARIJUANA.
Co-Chairs and esteemed Members of the General Law Committee,
I am writing to you today in support of Raised Bill 5458.
*Write a few sentences explaining your position.*
*Summarize your statement.*
Thank you for taking the time to consider my testimony,
*State your name*
*State your town of residence, CT and area code*
(You may also add your address, phone number, and/or email, keep in mind it will be public record)
To testify at the hearing: There is a sign up sheet that will be available in the room of the hearing. Testimony will be given in order of bills on the agenda, then will follow the sign up sheet. Depending on the amount of bills on the agenda and the amount of people signed up, you may have to wait to give testimony. A legalization hearing last year continued to hear testimony until after 1am, hopefully that won’t be the case for this year. To ensure your testimony is heard, be sure to submit it electronically!
H/T: Forbes, WV News, CT Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, CT NORML