Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Sep 022015

ASA Program to Provide Training For MD Medical Cannabis Compliance Inspectors - Americans for Safe Access

PFC logoAmericans for Safe Access (ASA) has been selected to provide training for compliance inspectors operating under the authority of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The auditors are charged with ensuring members of the state’s new medical cannabis industry comply with all applicable regulations, which were finalized by the Commission in August. 

In addition to developing its own rigorous compliance protocols, Maryland has adopted the American Herbal Product Association’s (AHPA) Recommendations to Regulators in the areas of: cultivation, distribution and manufacturing. AHPA’s guidelines offer seed-to-consumption product safety and quality control measures that will ensure rigid oversight of the state’s medical cannabis industry.

Auditor training will be offered through the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program, a project of ASA with extensive experience training members of the cannabis industry to meet strict regulatory compliance guidelines. PFC has trained thousands of employees of the medical cannabis industry and is currently under contract with the District of Columbia to train all medical cannabis staff to achieve comprehensive regulatory compliance.

Aug 312015

California Weekly Roundup: August 31, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • March 18-22, 2016 – Early Bird Registration: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • September 2, 2015 – Court Support for Heather Blackwood (Riverside)
  • September 2, 2015 – Court Support for Jeffery and Andrea Sarbak (Pleasanton)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Oppose AB 243 in the California Senate (California)
  • Medical Marijuana: A Patient Survey (California)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2016
  • ASA-CCSA Email Discussion List

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • September 1, 2015 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • September 2, 2015 – Brownie Mary Democratic Club of Riverside County (Riverside)
  • September 3, 2015 - Sonoma ASA (Santa Rosa)
Aug 282015

The Truth About Medical Marijuana Part 1 - Americans for Safe Access

Real_Talk_About_Real_Medicine.jpgLast month Americans for Safe Access launched The Truth About Medical Marijuana educational series. When we started to put together the series we had to ask ourselves what was the most important topics we could cover. Trying to pick a logical first conversation we made the science of medical marijuana the subject of the first workshop.

Most people support medical marijuana and but few seem to understand the underlying science. This is a real problem for the medical marijuana movement and it undermines our support even among people that are generally supportive of reforming drug laws. Part of the problem is likely that virtually everyone agrees that more research needs to be done on the medical uses of marijuana. which would imply that marijuana hasn’t been studied or we don’t understand how it interacts with the human body. In fact marijuana has been extensively studied and a remarkable amount of information exists about how it interacts with the human body.

Aug 282015

Registration is Now Open for the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference! - Americans for Safe Access

ASA is excited to announce that early-bird registration for the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference and Citizen Lobby Day 2016 is now open!

The theme this year is “Our Medicine, Our Safety, Our Rights.” Our goal is to connect advocates, industry workers and leaders, researchers, doctors and others to effect real change for medical cannabis. Get signed up today so that you can be a part of it all at the Lowes Madison Hotel in Washington, DC, March 18-22, 2016.

The National Medical Unity Conference is the premier national medical cannabis event in the country. There will be lectures, panels, and classes on the most timely and important topics in the field of medical cannabis. The conference is a great way to learn, network, and be a part of the national movement. 

Aug 252015

Remembering Larry Harvey - Americans for Safe Access

Larry_and_Rhonda.pngLate last week, Larry Harvey, ASA’s 2015 Patient Lobbyist of the Year, passed away. When we got word at ASA of his death from cancer, I reflected on the few days I got to spend with Larry as we roamed the halls of Congress in support of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.

Larry became the public face of the federal government’s current crackdown on state medical marijuana patients a year ago, when the Kettle Falls Five case in Washington State came to national attention. After seven decades of relative anonymity working as a long-haul trucker and commercial fisherman, Larry’s courageous activism in his last years resulted in coverage from CNN, USA Today, and Reason Magazine of his family’s trial, and his passing last week was noted in the national media, including U.S. News and World Reports, Newsweek, to the Huffington Post.

The first time I heard about Larry was in April of 2014. A coworker called me, describing what was “easily the most egregious example of the federal government going directly after medical marijuana patients.” This was what came to be called the Kettle Falls Five case, and ASA began to work with Washington State patient advocate Kari Boiter and the legal team representing Larry and his family. 

Aug 252015

Deadline Approaching for Colorado Medical Marijuana Draft Regulation Comments - Americans for Safe Access

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The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) is currently soliciting public comments for proposed regulations on lab testing, product safety, production management, and other issues. The deadline to submit comments is Tuesday, September 1st. 

The day before the deadline, August 31st, the MED will hold a rule-making hearing in Denver at the Colorado State Capitol Building at 9 AM (MDT) on the draft regulations.

ASA is working on finalizing our public comments, which will be made available this Friday and we would like your input for our comments. If you have concerns about the proposed regulation, please sent them to policy@safeaccessnow.org by 6:00 PM ET on Wednesday, August 26th. 

Aug 242015

California Weekly Roundup: August 24, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • August 26, 2015 - Improving Analysis and Quality Control of Cannabis Products Using Complementary Analytical Techniques (Online)
  • August 26, 2015 – Assembly Appropriations Hearing on SB 643 (Sacramento)
  • August 27, 2015 – Senate Appropriations Hearing on AB 243 and AB 266 (Sacramento)
  • August 30, 2015 - 2nd Annual Sonoma Blossom Festival (Santa Rosa)
  • March 18-22, 2016 - National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • August 26, 2016 – Court Support for Levine (Oroville)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Sign the Petition to Ask Your Representative and Senators to Sign on to the CARERS Act!  (National)
  • 5 Things People Can Do to Help Create Safe Access (National)
  • Medical Marijuana: A Patient Survey (California)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • 2015 Legislation
  • ASA-CCSA Email Discussion List

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • August 25, 2015 - San Diego ASA (San Diego)
  • August 27, 2015 – Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)
Aug 192015

Maryland Commission Approves Final Regulations - Americans for Safe Access

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Image Courtesy of Medical Jane.

Note: (Aug. 26, 2015) Corrections have been to reflect the vote outcome and application availability dates.

Earlier today, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission voted to approve final regulations for Maryland's medical cannabis program. Today's vote was the culmination for 16 months worth of work since the Commission's inception in April 2014. Today's approval vote means that there were no substantive changes made to the regulations from the draft that was published in the June 26, 2015 edition of the Maryland Register (see page 812); however, several minor technical changes were made and will be available to the public shortly on the Commission website. The Commission vote to approve the regulations was near-unanimous with one vote against from the Maryland State's Attorney appointee. 

The Commission also announced today the timetable for implementation is still on schedule. Applications for those seeking to become growers, processors and dispensaries will be available in September. Physicians and patient application forms will be available later in the year. Under the Maryland law, physicians must register with the Commission and be approved for the conditions that they can recommend for. However, the Commission is strongly encouraged to approve most types of conditions that a physicians seeks to recommend, and the Commission can approve any condition if they feel it is appropriate. 

Aug 172015

Public Meetings Tonight & this Week to Determine New Hampishere Dispensary Locations - Americans for Safe Access

Public_Hearing_NH.jpgThere will be a series of meetings over the next several days to discuss locations for where the state's medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers will be licensed. The meetings will take place in the towns of Plymouth, Peterborough, Lebanon, and Merrimack. We encourage you to attend these meetings and show your support for safe and legal access. 

Medical marijuana businesses make good neighbors. Studies have shown that medical marijuana businesses do not cause an increase in crime. In fact, they have a minor impact in reducing crime by increasing foot traffic as well as the security cameras and other required safety features. You can learn more about dispensary safety in the community by reading ASA's dispensary reports for Massachusetts and California

Aug 172015

California Weekly Roundup: August 17, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • August 26, 2015 - Improving Analysis and Quality Control of Cannabis Products Using Complementary Analytical Techniques (Online)
  • August 30, 2015 - 2nd Annual Sonoma Blossom Festival (Santa Rosa)
  • March 18-22, 2016 - National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • August 21, 2015 – Court Support for Lynette Shaw (San Francisco)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Sign the Petition to Ask Your Representative and Senators to Sign on to the CARERS Act!  (National)
  • 5 Things People Can Do to Help Create Safe Access (National)
  • Medical Marijuana: A Patient Survey (California)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Vote Medical Marijuana
  • The Truth About Medical Marijuana

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • August 18, 2015 - Nevada County ASA (Grass Valley)
  • August 18, 2015 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • August 19, 2015 - East Bay ASA (Berkeley)
  • August 19, 2015 - Lake County ASA (Clearlake Oaks)
  • August 23, 2015 - Nevada County ASA (North San Juan)