2016 Accomplishments

We are closer than ever to finally reaching our goal of safe and legal access to medical cannabis for everyone who needs it. We will need all hands on deck to preserve what we have fought for and keep moving forward in 2017. 

ASA members made 2016 the most historic year for medical cannabis policy yet: 

ASA's State Efforts

  • ASA worked with local advocates and provided legislative analysis and suggestions that improved legislation and created new medical cannabis programs in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

  • ASA lobbied to improve several existing programs.  We helped to create a system for regulated cultivation and dispensing of CBD and THCA extracts in Virginia and served on a state regulatory advisory panel. We helped pass a bill in the District of Columbia to eliminate the single dispensary designation, while adding lab testing reciprocity and increasing the possession limit. ASA offered pesticide guidance and helped accelerate licensing to create safe access for patients in Maryland.

  • ASA improved relationships with lawmakers and stakeholders by supporting efforts to improve CBD laws in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

  • ASA supported successful voter initiatives to legalize medical cannabis in Arkansas, North Dakota, Florida and Montana.

  • ASA hosted its 5th annual California Citizen Lobby Day, with more than 200 meetings at legislative offices. Participants helped stop new taxes on patients and legislation that would have criminalized patients who drive.

  • The State of Maryland contracted with ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program to train the officials tasked with watching over the state’s emerging medical cannabis program.

  • ASA worked with regulators in dozens of states to pass product safety protocols based on AHPA guidelines

ASA's Federal Efforts

  • ASA filed a petition under the Information Quality Act, which will force the Drug Enforcement Administration to change its unscientific position on medical cannabis or face a lawsuit that may be heard by the United States Supreme Court.

  • ASA successfully lobbied Congress to extend the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, , which prohibits the US Department Justice from spending money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs – including prosecutions, civil asset forfeiture and more.  

  • ASA delivered a letter on behalf of thirteen patient-based organizations urging ranking members of committees in the House and Senate to allow a vote on the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S.683, H.R. 1583), which will finally harmonize federal and state medical cannabis laws.

  • ASA’s federal lobbying efforts resulted in bipartisan passage of the Veterans Equal Access Amendment on the House Floor (233-189) and Senate Appropriations Committee (21-9), although the amendment was surreptitiously removed from the bill in a closed door conference committee session.

  • ASA presented a Senate briefing in June with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) on the bipartisan Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act she introduced in 2015. The briefing featured CARERS Act co-sponsor Sen. Cory Booker (D, NJ), as well as policy experts and medical cannabis stakeholders who would be protected by the bill, including patients. 

  • ASA worked with constituents and Congressional offices to secure Co-Sponsors on the CARERS act including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-NC).

ASA's International Efforts 

  • ASA continued to work with leaders in industry and research to develop a new research center in the Czech Republic, the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI), which will apply a scientific approach to exploring the therapeutic uses of cannabis-based medicines. 

  • ASA was a participant in the United Nations High Level Stakeholder Consultation meeting in support of the preparatory process for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session(UNGASS).

  • We added 26 countries to IMCPC coalition now at 42 countries.

  • We certified the first International PFC lab in Prague.

  • ASA successfully campaigned to get the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) to  create pre-critical review document to be presented at next year's annual meeting in Geneva, the first step in rescheduling cannabis under the UN Single Treaty

ASA Reports

ASA Certification Programs

  • ASA launched the Cannabis Care Certification (CCC) program to better educate medical cannabis patients, caregivers, doctors and industry workers.

  • ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program certified 50 medical cannabis businesses and organizations as compliant with legal standards and industry best practices developed by ASA, the American Herbal product Association, and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

  • PFC  launched a live remote access training program option so that stakeholders can participate in certification courses from anywhere.

And More

  • ASA and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, a global legal powerhouse based in San Francisco, announced a new partnership to provide no-cost legal support to medical cannabis patients through ASA’s Patients’ Rights Project.

  • ASA and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) a new cannabis-specific laboratory accreditation program to assure patients and regulators that testing facilities are meeting established standards for accurately assessing cannabis products. 

  • ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference brought over 200 patients, doctors, researchers and advocates from over 40 states to Washington, DC in March. The fourth annual conference featured three days of talks, trainings and networking, followed by a lobby day that saw advocates hold more than 400 meetings on Capitol Hill with their elected representatives and staffs.

Please become an ASA member today.