Pages tagged "California"


Medical cannabis news, events, and more from all over the state

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Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • October 14, 2015 – Halloween Costume Contest at the Sacramento NORML Meeting (Sacramento)
  • October 15, 2015 – Live Google Hangout: What’s Next for Medical Cannabis… Regulation, Legalization, and More (Online)
  • October 17, 2015 - Ventura ASA at Ojai Day (Ojai)
  • October 17, 2015 – Know Your Rights, Citizen Advocate Trainings, & More  (Arcata)
  • March 18-22, 2016 –National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • October 15, 2015 - Court Support for Rick Gromel and LaPrill O’Brien (Pomona)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Pardon the Kettle Falls Five (National)
  • Like Our New FaceBook Page (California)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Local Access Project
  • California Campaign for Safe Access

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • October 14, 2015 – Sacramento NORML (Sacramento)
Read more

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act will license and regulate commercial medical cannabis activity in California

CA Gov. Jerry BrownCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown signed three historic bills today that will finally license and regulate commercial medical cannabis activity in the state. Known collectively as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), the bills create a legal framework for medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, sales, and testing. ASA has been working on state regulations since 2012, because our research and experience show that sensible regulations are good for legal patients and communities. AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643 are a big step forward for patients, industry, other medical cannabis stakeholders, and community members.

So now what? Please join ASA California Director Don Duncan on a live Google Hangout on Thursday, October 15, at 8:00 PM PT for a broadcast entitled What’s Next for Medical Cannabis… Regulation, Legalization, and More.” You can participate in the broadcast using Google+ (you must install free software) or watch without the interactive features on YouTube (no software to install). 

Read more

Medical cannabis news, events, and more from all over the state

CA Weekly Roundup

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • October 5, 2015 – Los Angeles Budget and Finance Committee Hearing (Los Angeles)
  • March 18-22, 2016 – National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • No court support requests this week

Take Action Now

  • Like Our New FaceBook Page (California)
  • Sign the Petition to Ask Your Representative and Senators to Sign on to the CARERS Act! (National)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • California Campaign for Safe Access
  • Video: Bonta, Americans for Safe Access Urge Governor to Sign Medical Marijuana Legislation

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • October 6, 2015 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • October 7, 2015 – Brownie Mary Democratic Club of Riverside County (Riverside)
  • October 8, 2015 – Brownie Mary Democratic Club of San Francisco (San Francisco)
Read more

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act will finally license and regulation commercial medical cannabis activity in California

During a news conference in Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Don Duncan with Americans for Safe Access were joined by Assemblymembers Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) and Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) and other local and state advocates to urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign a trio of medical marijuana bills that passed the Legislature. Assemblymember Bonta, lead author of Assembly Bill 266, told the media “With this legislation, the ‘wild west’ of the medical marijuana industry will be reined in and all of California will benefit.” Duncan says he feels the legislation will benefit patients, law enforcement and communities, “We know from our research and our experience that sensible regulations for medical cannabis preserves safe and legal access for patients and communities...and they reduce crime.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video. http://www.asmdc.org/bonta


Medical cannabis news, events, and more from all over the state

The California Weekly Roundup is an email that reaches more than 14,000 ASA members and friends each week - plus thousands more on our blog and social media sites. This is a great tool for keeping up on medical cannabis news and coming events in the state of California. It is also the spot to look for timely action alerts, court support requests, and local chapter meetings. Don't miss out. Get signed up today!

You will automatically be signed up for the California Weekly Roundup when you join ASA's email announcement list and indicate you live in California. 

You can find archived copies of the California Weekly Roundup on ASA's blog.

Have something to share? Send relevant news and important updates, action alerts, meetings and special events for the California Weekly Roundup to CARoundup@SafeAccessNow.org before 12:00 PM on Friday to be included in Monday's distribution.

 


Preparing for success in fundraising

There are a few logistics you should consider at the beginning of your fundraising effort. These will help you be a better fundraiser and avoid some common pitfalls. 

  1. Get some professional advice on what legal requirements there are for fundraisers and organizers, especially if you are creating a Political Action Committee (PAC) or other organization for your campaign. ASA can help local chapters manage these issues.
  2. Set up a bookkeeping system and diligently track all income and expenses. You probably need this information for state and federal reporting purposes at some point. It is also important that donors and potential donor are confident that your effort or organization is transparent and credible.
  3. Be sure to provide a receipt and a thank you note to every donor, no matter how much they give. This makes donors feel good about their contribution, which means they are more likely to give again!
  4. Prepare some printed materials for your campaign in advance. Potential donors may want to see a brochure, campaign plan, talking points, web site, language of your proposed ordinance or initiative, etc. Be sure you materials look professional and are accurate. This enhances your credibility. Be careful not to overwhelm donors with too much material. You do not want to give them more than they are going to read.

Other fundraising tips:

  1. Do not be intimidated to ask for money to support your campaign. You are giving donors a chance to participate in and support a cause in which they believe. That is a great service to provide!
  2. Do not be put off if a donor says he or she cannot afford to contribute. People have different ideas about what is affordable or appropriate to donate. If a donor cannot or will not give the amount you request, ask him or her what they can do and let them decide an amount.
  3. Focus on opportunity instead of needs. Let the donor know that supporting your campaign is an opportunity to accomplish something – help patients, build an industry, protect the community, etc. Some donors do not respond well to a pitch based on the campaign’s needs – i.e. the rent is due, we are short on funds, etc.
  4. Ask for money face to face whenever possible. It is easier to say no to an email, letter, or phone call.
  5. Ask larger donors to consider a matching funds arrangement. This is a scenario where a larger donor will match the contributions of smaller donors up to a certain point. Many large donors like matching funds arrangements, because they feel good about encouraging others to join them in supporting the cause. Smaller donors like matching funds efforts because they feel good about doubling the impact of their gift. 

Motives for and objections to making donations

Donors have numerous motives for giving, and just as many reasons why they do not. You may not know every donor’s motives or objections, but it pays to be aware of the most common reasons people do and do not give. As you gain more experience in fundraising, you will be better at speaking to motives and overcoming objections.

Why Donors Give

  • They believe in the cause for which you are raising money. Never forget or under estimate someone’s belief in what you are doing. It should be at the forefront of any request for funding.
  • They have confidence that you can achieve to goals of the campaign. A successful fundraiser can convince donors that he or she can actually accomplish the goals of the campaign. Your credibly matters. That is one reason that a good campaign plan is necessary.
  • They believe their support makes a difference in the campaign. No one wants to donate if it does make a difference. You must assure donors that every contribution helps get you to the final goal.
  • They have a personal loyalty to you or your organization. Your friends and loved ones may give because they want to support you personally. That is a 100% legitimate motive for support.
  • They expect to receive some personal benefit from the success of your efforts. Some business donors will support an effort to adopt an ordinance or pass a voter initiative because they expect to benefit financially from the industry that is allowed. That is OK, so long is everyone is transparent and up front. However, it is not OK to cater your campaign to the financial interests of donors. Remember that money should follow the campaign. The campaign should not follow money.
  • They take pride in being seen as someone who supports your campaign. Some donors give because they want to be recognized. Be sure those donors get some public acknowledgment for helping. Many campaigns list donors online or elsewhere.

Why Donors Do Not Give

  • They do not support the goals of the campaign. No one is going to give money to support a campaign if they are opposed to its goals. Do not waste time and energy trying to convert opponents. Move on to more fertile ground.
  • They perceive that they cannot afford to donate. Everyone have a different idea of how rich or poor they are. All you can do is ask for support and let them decide. If someone objects to an amount for which you ask, try asking them for an amount that works for them.
  • They do not believe their support actually matters to the campaign. Donors do not like to give money unless it matters. If they think their support will not make a real difference, they may not give.
  • They do not think the campaign plan will work. Donors usually will not give if they do not think the campaign will succeed. Your campaign plan should address this issue. Do not let donors see you as a lost cause.
  • The do not trust or like the fundraiser or the organization. Your credibility matters. If someone doesn’t like or trust you, you are unlikely to get their financial support. In some cases, you might be able to correct a misperception with a personal phone call or visit. However, do not spend a lot of time and energy trying to settle misunderstandings. Unless there is a significant amount of money on the line, you are better off looking for other donors.
  • They have conflicting loyalties. Some donors already support other causes and organizations. They might see your campaign as one that conflicts with those causes or organizations, or they might see you as competing for scare funds with efforts to which they are committed. Try to explain to these donors how your effort compliments other campaigns or organization, if that is the case. You may also want to explain why your effort should be a priority right now. Never denigrate the cause or organization to which a donor is committed. This will only burn bridges.
  • They do not believe that the campaign will meet their expectations of personal benefit. Some donors will not support an effort unless they can benefit from it. This is an unfortunate reality in fundraising. You might be able to identify a tangible or intangible benefit for these donors, but it is probably wise not to waste too much time trying to persuade them.
  • They have certain criteria or requirements for donation, which the campaign does not meet. Institutional donors usually have specific criteria for making grants or contributions. These might include tax-exempt status, organizational structure/leadership, areas of interests, and more. It is unlikely that you will persuade an institutional donor to change their policies on making grants – although it cannot hurt to ask! 

Whom to Ask

Whom should you ask for money to support your campaign? The simplest answer is everyone. You never know who will and will not donate, so cast a wide net. In the “Why People Give” section of this website, we discuss motives for giving and reasons why people do not give. It is a good idea to consider how those motives and objections might apply to each of the potential donors listed below.

There are many different ways to ask for money. You can send emails, write letters, make phone calls, or use social media. Each of these will reach a certain segment of the potential donors. The most effective way to raise money, however, is face to face. Be sure to include individual and group meetings with potential donors in your fundraising effort. These face-to-face meetings happen in homes, offices, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. Remember that is usually easier for a donor to say yes in person!

Some potential donors include:

  • Yourself – Individual community organizers are usually the first to give money to their efforts. You will probably spend some of your own money on materials and transportation costs when you start a fundraising effort. However, you should also be willing to contribute the largest amount of money you can afford to the effort. It matters to donors if you put your money where your mouth is. It is always easier to ask others to join you in supporting the campaign.
  • Friends and Family – You already know your initial donors. Your friends and family who support the effort to adopt an ordinance or initiative should be the first people you ask. They trust you and want to help you succeed. Do not feel awkward about this. Just like other donors, you are offering them an opportunity to support work they cannot or will not do themselves.
  • Other Supporters – You probably know other community members who share your desire to create safe and legal access in your community. Get them involved by asking for their support and participation. Look for organizations that work on medical cannabis issues to find new supporters in your area.
  • Your Broader Social Network – After friends, loved ones, and other supporters, it is time to tap into your broader social network. Co-workers, friends of friends, church members, and social clubs are all good place to look for prospects. You may also have an online network of “friends” from whom you can seek support. Don’t be afraid to network and ask. Finding new support is part of fundraising.
  • “Angel Donors” – An Angel Donor is someone who provides a very large contribution to support your campaign. This could be a wealthy individual, business, or organization. If you have access to a potential Angel Donor, be sure to ask for support. Remember that most Angel Donors will want to see a good campaign plan, budget, and other materials. It is great to have one donor who provides most of your support, but do not put off other fundraising while you purse and Angel Donor. Most campaigns never find one.
  • Related Businesses – Medical cannabis businesses (existing and proposed) and other business that serve them have a direct financial interest in expanding local licensing. They should be natural candidates for supporting local ordinances and voter initiatives. There is no reason a campaign fundraiser cannot take money from industry. Just be transparent a clear about your goals. Remember that business donors can support your campaign. They should not control it.
  • Grantors – There are organizations that make grants for local advocacy work. You will need to do some digging to find grant making organizations that support ordinances and initiatives and have appropriate donor criteria for you. It might take a long time and a lot of writing to get grant money, so plan ahead.

There are also some other strategies you can use to raise money for your campaign:

  • Crowd Funding – There are numerous online platforms where you can raise money for a campaign by soliciting donations online. Crowd funding can be a useful tool for expanding your fundraising reach. As a general rule, crowd funding is best for soliciting small contributions from a large number of donors. Of course, you will have to promote your crowd funding effort to someone. Donors won’t automatically flock to your website.
  • Merchandise – In some cases, you can raise money by selling merchandise. This usually works best with promotional merchandise that is related to the campaign – i.e. t-shirts, stickers, buttons, etc. Some donors like to get something tangible in exchange for their contribution. In most cases, you will have invest money up front to buy the merchandise. You will also have to collect and pay sales tax. That means that you must apply for a Seller’s Permit from the California Board of Equalization.
  • Fundraising Events – You can host fundraising event to support your campaign. Concerts, athletic events, and house parties are all commonly used. Be careful about overhead costs, permitting requirements (especially if you are selling alcohol), and insurance if you are going to host fundraising events.
  • Raffles and Auctions – You can always hold a raffle or auction to raise money. Ideally, the merchandise would be donated by a supporter. The key to raising money with raffles and auctions is to widely promote them. The more participants you have, the more money you will raise.
  • Social Media – Many social media site now have fundraising options. You can use sites like FaceBook, Twiiter, Instrgram, SnapChat, Linkedin, and others to build your base of support and potential donors. Be careful to follow the Terms of Service and avoid “spamming” other users with unwanted or excessive solicitations. 

Medical cannabis news, events, and more from all over the state

CA Weekly Roundup bannerContents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • October 5, 2015 – Los Angeles Budget and Finance Committee Hearing (Los Angeles)
  • March 18-22, 2016 – National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • October 1, 2015 – Court Support for James Benno (Redding)
  • October 2, 2015 – Court Support for Fred Delmer (Placerville)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Sign the Petition to Ask Your Representative and Senators to Sign on to the CARERS Act! (National)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • The Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center
  • National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2016

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • October 1, 2015 - Sonoma ASA (Santa Rosa)
Read more

What to include in your medical cannabis ordinance plan

Now that you figured out the rules for medical cannabis in your community (if any) and decided on a pathway, it is time to make a campaign plan. Your plan can be detailed or simple. This will depend on your skills, available resources, and the size of your team. Purposes of the plan include: (1) clearly define your goal, (2) establish the steps you will take to get there, (3) identify the strategies and messages you will need to win, and (4) determine how much money and other resources you need. This information will be valuable to you and your team as the campaign unfolds. It will also be useful for potential donors, who want to know you have a solid plan before giving money.

Be sure to talk about your campaign plan with team members and other with experience in politics, if possible. You want to get as much information as possible to be sure you have the most effective plan. Do not be afraid to hear constructive criticism, differing viewpoints, etc. These can all help make you plan better. Be sure to check out the materials related to Strategic Planning, messaging, and being a spokesperson in the Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center before completing your plan.

There is no set format for your campaign plan. In general, you should describe how you will address these key areas: 

  1. Define the goals and boundaries. Be very clear on exactly what you hope to accomplish. You should also decide up front if there are campaign “boundaries.” Campaign boundaries are basic goals you will not give up or provisions you will not accept. For example, a boundary could be that whatever ordinance is adopted must protect the right of individual patients to grow there own medicine. If you are setting boundaries with a team, ASA suggests discussing values and large-scale goals before setting boundaries.
  2. Decide what concrete steps you must take and when. Adopting ordinances, voter initiatives, and referenda all involve specific legal steps and deadlines. Your city and county can provide you with this information. Get the deadlines on a calendar to make sure you file forms, send letters, submit petitions, etc. on time. Make a list of tasks that need to be accomplished, who is going to do each task, and by when. Some tasks include:
    1. Filing official paper work
    2. Writing letters to elected officials
    3. Writing op-eds for the news paper
    4. Retuning calls and opening mail
    5. Attending meetings
    6. Setting up a webpage
    7. And much more…
  3. Decide to whom you need to speak and make a plan to do it. If you are passing an ordinance, you need to get materials to elected officials and follow up with a meeting. If you working on a voter initiative, you need to be finding ways to talk with likely voters. Almost every campaign needs to talk to local media about what you are trying to do and why.
  4. Decide on winning “messaging” and stick to it. Messaging refers to the facts, sound bites, anecdotes, etc. that you will use to talk to elected officials, voters, the media, opponents, or others. Remember that your messaging should reinforce why the new ordinance should be adopted. Do not include opponents’ arguments in your messaging (but be prepared to respond to likely objections if they come up). A campaigns messaging is sometimes provided to supporters in the form of printed talking points or fact sheets. Keep these short and simple.
  5. Make a budget and a fundraising plan. Politics is not free, even at the grassroots level. A simple campaign will need a webpage, flyers, printing, telephones, and more. A more complicated campaign might need an office, staff, and professional help. Budgeting can be tedious, but it is important to know what you need. Do not forget to include goods or services donated to your campaign (“in-kind” donations) in the budget. This includes volunteer time. You will need to decide (and possibly show donors) where you plan to get the money and other resources you will need. Look at the Fundraising section of this website for more on that topic.
  6. Think about getting professional help. There are thousands of lobbyists, consultants, lawyers, and campaign managers in California who can help plan and execute your campaign. A few work for free, but most get paid. This can be a good option for campaigns launched by inexperienced organizers, assuming funds are available. If you decide to hire a professional to run your campaign, be sure it is clear whose vision is shaping the effort and who has final say. ASA recommends that campaign organizers take care in selecting a professional who is appropriate for the campaign. The right professional will probably have a proven track record in or near your community, verifiable references, and a clear and written scope of services (so you know exactly what you are paying for).

There may be other topics you need to include in your campaign plan. Take the time to sit down and develop this plan. Talk it over with others. Be flexible. A good plan will make you job easier and success more likely.