Pages tagged "Regulations"


California Lawmakers Should Tax and Regulate Cannabis Like Medicine

CA Capitol

Last year’s trio of bills comprising The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) bring overdue clarity to California’s 20-year-old program, but many legislative decisions that affect legal medical cannabis patients remain.

In considering those decisions, is important that lawmakers and regulators treat medical cannabis like real medicine. We tax and regulate vices, such as alcohol and tobacco, in a fundamentally different way than we do medicine. We would never erect barriers to obtaining heart medication, but we do take steps to discourage tobacco use.  Likewise, we would not tolerate a sin tax on insulin or chemotherapy, even if the revenue was dedicated to a laudable goal. Lawmakers must resist the temptation to lump medical and non-medical cannabis use together when making policy choices.

Some Californians, including members of the legislature, claim most medical cannabis patients are not really ill. One lawmaker recently testified that as few as 30% of patients are legitimate but provided no evidence to support the allegation. Some anecdotes of abuse of the state’s medical cannabis law may be true, but lawmakers should reject the cynical position that most medical cannabis patients are recreational users. Research and experience show otherwise.  

A study published in 2014 shows that of the 1.4 million Californians who have used medical cannabis, almost all (92%) report cannabis helped treat the symptoms of a serious medical condition. The study challenges the commonly held perception that medical cannabis is being overused by healthy people and demonstrates that the state’s medical cannabis laws are providing real relief to many Californians (“Prevalence of medical marijuana use in California, 2012”, Drug and Alcohol Review (2014), DOI 10.111/dar. 12207).

This groundbreaking report is the first based on a large dataset representative of the state’s population. The California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is an ongoing cross-sectional telephone survey, interviewed more than 7,500 Californians in English and Spanish, making this the most comprehensive scientific study of cannabis use in California ever conducted.

The analysis shows that one in twenty Californians have used medical cannabis. More than 30% used medical cannabis to treat chronic pain; 11% used it for arthritis, 8% for migraines, and 7% for cancer. Participants also reported using medical cannabis to treat the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, muscle spasms, nausea, stress, and depression. These are not trivial or minor ailments. These are serious medical conditions for which conventional treatments are often ineffective or unavailable.

The results refute smaller studies that suggest most users are young white males. Researchers found that medical cannabis was used at similar rates by men and women, the young and the old, patients with high and low levels of education, and in various regions of the state.

This rigorous evidence that medical cannabis is commonly used throughout the state by a diverse population, and that it is highly effective in treating serious conditions, matters right now. Lawmakers are considering new legislation this year regarding taxation, commercial licensing, patients’ rights, and more. Those important decisions will affect medical cannabis patients and other stakeholders and need to be informed by facts, not anecdotes, misperceptions, or bias. 

Voters are likely to decide in November if cannabis should be legal for non-medical use. There should be a separate conversation about what posture lawmakers and regulators take towards cannabis used for non-medical purposes. Those taxes and regulations might reasonably differ from those related to legal medical use. 

In the meantime, we need everyone who is going to make a decision about medical cannabis this year to understand that medical cannabis is medicine for real. That is important because decisions made about genuine medicine will be fundamentally different than those we make about regulating alcohol, tobacco, or non-medical cannabis. The idea that most medical cannabis users are not really sick or that their use is not medical is misinformation. The research says otherwise, and our local and state policies should reflect the critical role medical cannabis plays in the treatment of California patients.

Click here to download this page as a .pdf file. 

 


Sample Local Ordinance Licensing Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation in Cities and Counties

Click here to download a .pdf copy of this sample ordinance.

This simple draft ordinance authorizes commercial medical cannabis cultivation using the existing city or county business license process and sets some basic security standards for indoor and outdoor cultivation. The ordinance protects staff, operators, and landlords at licensed grows; allows cultivation in commercial and agricultural zones; and exempts individual patients and caregivers from licensing requirements. 

 

_____ Purposes.

The purposes and intents of this Chapter are to:

a)    Regulate commercial medical cannabis cultivation in a manner that is consistent with State law and which promotes the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents and businesses in <name of local jurisdiction>;

b)   Provide clear guidance to law enforcement, regulators, license holders, and the community at large as to what is legally permitted in <name of local jurisdiction> in relation to commercial medical cannabis cultivation; and

c)    Protect the rights and welfare of Qualified Patients or their designated Primary Caregivers who cultivate medical cannabis for the personal medical use of the Qualified Patient in accordance with the Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program Act.

Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to allow:

a)    Persons to engage in conduct that endangers others or causes a public nuisance;

b)   The use or diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes; or

c)    Any activity relating to the cultivation, distribution or consumption of marijuana that is otherwise illegal under State law.

_____ Findings.

a)    There is a legitimate need for medical cannabis in California. A study published in 2014 shows that 1.4 million Californians have used medical cannabis and an overwhelming majority of those users (92%) believe cannabis helped treat the symptoms of a serious medical condition (“Prevalence of medical marijuana use in California, 2012”, Drug and Alcohol Review (2014), DOI 10.111/dar. 12207).

b)   According to that research, more than 30% used medical cannabis to treat chronic pain, 11% used it for arthritis, 8% for migraines, and 7% for cancer. Participants also reported using medical cannabis to treat the symptoms of AIDS, glaucoma, muscle spasms, nausea, stress, and depression. Researchers found that medical cannabis was used at similar rates by men and women, the young and the old, patients with high and low levels of education, and in various regions of the state.

c)    The voters of the State of California approved Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (codified as Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5), in 1996. That Act calls on “federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.”

d)   The State enacted the Medical Marijuana Program Act (codified as Health and Safety Code Section 11362.7 et seq.) in 2004 to clarify the scope of The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, facilitate the prompt identification of qualified patients and primary caregivers, avoid unnecessary arrest and prosecution of these individuals, provide needed guidance to law enforcement officers, promote uniform and consistent application of the Act, and to allow local governing bodies to adopt and enforce rules and regulations consistent with the Act.

e)    The State enacted three bills, which comprise the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), in 2015. AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643, create statewide licensing and regulations for the lawful cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, sales, and testing of medical cannabis in the state.

f)     The MMRSA requires local governments to license, permit, or approve commercial medical cannabis as a prerequisite for state licensing, including the commercial cultivation of medical cannabis. Therefore, local licensing of medical cannabis cultivation is an essential part of ensuring an adequate supply of safe and legal medicine for legitimate patients to use.

g)    Local governments retain broad discretion in regulating the time, place, and manner of commercial medical cannabis cultivation within their jurisdiction under the MMRSA.

h)   The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the leading voice in herbal products industry, published recommendations for regulators regarding medical cannabis cultivation and other activity in 2014. These recommendations show that the indoor and outdoor commercial cultivation of medical cannabis can be conducted in a manner that is safe, secure, and sustainable.

i)     Research conducted by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s leading medical cannabis patient advocacy organization, show that sensible regulations for medical cannabis preserve safe and legal access for legitimate patients, while reducing crime and complaints in neighborhoods.

_____ Definitions.

a)    “Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation” means any activity involving the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, or trimming of cannabis for medical use, including nurseries, that is intended to be transported, processed, manufactured, distributed, dispensed, delivered, or sold in accordance with the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) for use by medical cannabis patients in California pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5).

b)   “Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License” means a business license for Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation in <name of jurisdiction> issued pursuant to the Chapter.

c)    “Indoor Cultivation” means Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation inside a building using exclusively artificial light.

d)   “Mix Light Cultivation” means Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation indoors or outdoors using a combination of artificial and natural light.

e)    “Outdoor Cultivation” means Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation outdoors using exclusively sunlight.

f)     “Primary Caregiver” has the same definition as in Section 11362.7 of the California Health and Safety Code.

g)    “Qualified Patient” has the same definition as in Section 11362.5 of the California Health and Safety Code.

_____ Local Licenses and Approvals Required.

a)    Beginning <effective date of local licensing requirement>, no person shall engage in Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation in <name of jurisdiction> without first obtaining a Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License.

b)   A Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License shall be issued by the <name of city/county agency issuing license> pursuant to the provisions of <city/county code section specifying ordinary licensing process>.

c)    A Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License shall be valid for one year and renewable annually thereafter.

d)   The <name of city/county agency issuing license> may revoke a Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License for violations of state and local law, including the provisions of the Chapter, pursuant to the procedures in <city/county code section specifying ordinary process for suspending business licenses>.

e)    A Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License holder shall also obtain all ordinary building permits, licenses, clearances, and approvals required for manufacturing or agricultural use at the address or parcel where medical cannabis cultivation is lawfully permitted pursuant to this Chapter.

f)     The actions of a Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License holder, its employees, and its agents that are permitted pursuant to the Chapter and conducted in accordance with the requirements of this Chapter are not unlawful and shall not be an offense subject to arrest, prosecution, or other sanction.

g)    The actions of a person who, in good faith, allows his or her property to be used by a Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License holder, its employees, and its agents, as permitted pursuant to the Chapter, are not unlawful and shall not be an offense subject to arrest, prosecution, or other sanction under state law, or be subject to a civil fine.

_____ State License Required.

a)    A Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License holder shall obtain all state licenses and permits required under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), as amended from time to time, and any subsequent state licensing or regulations duly adopted and enacted by the State or an authorized regulatory body.

b)   Notwithstanding the provisions of Section (a), no state license or permit shall be required if state licenses are not yet available pursuant to the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act or the availability or validity of state licenses pursuant to the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act is interrupted, suspended, or revoked for any reason.

_____ Approved Zones.

a)    A Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License may be issued in any zoning district approved for manufacturing or agriculture.

b)   No Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License shall be issued for any property that is located within six hundred feet of a public or private school (K-12).

_____ Security.

a)    Licensed Indoor Cultivation shall be conducted in a secured facility that is monitored at all times. Security equipment shall include, but not necessarily be limited to:

1)   Locking doors and windows,

2)   A remotely monitored alarm system that is operational at any time that the structure is not occupied by authorized persons,

3)   Video recording equipment and lighting that is sufficient to recognize an individual’s face in the facility, and

4)   Video recording equipment that can store video recordings for up to seventy-two hours and download recordings onto a permanent storage device, as needed.

b)   Parcels on Outdoor Cultivation or Mixed Light Cultivation are conducted must be secure. Security equipment shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, a fence surrounding the plants of not less than six feet in height with a locking gate.

c)    No medical cannabis shall be cultivated in any structure or on any parcel if the medical cannabis plants are visible from any public place.

d)   A Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License holder shall maintain adequate security at all times to prevent burglary, robbery, diversion of medical cannabis for unlawful use, and nuisance activity in the immediate vicinity.

e)    Any security personnel employed by or contracted by at Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivators License holder shall, at a minimum, possess a valid Guard Card issued by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

_____ Qualified Patients and Primary Caregivers Exempted.

A Qualified Patient or Primary Caregiver cultivating medical cannabis for five or fewer Qualified Patients shall not be subject to the provisions of this Chapter, provided that (1) all of the medical cannabis cultivated is for the personal medical use of the patient for whom it is cultivated, and (2) the Primary Caregiver only receives compensation for actual expenses, including reasonable compensation for services provided to a Qualified Patient to enable that person to lawfully use medical cannabis pursuant to State law, or for payment for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in providing those services in full compliance with Section 11362.765 of the California Health and Safety Code.

_____ Severability.

The provisions of this Chapter are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.


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). 

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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

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

How will you make safe and legal access to medical cannabis a reality in your community

California law now requires that applicants for a state medical cannabis license also obtain a license, permit, or authorization from the city or county in which they operate or propose to operate. While some cities and counties already allow for medical cannabis activity, most have no rules or prohibit medical cannabis businesses outright. Patients and industry players who want to bring safe and legal access to communities where it is not already allowed will need a campaign plan.

A campaign plan is simply a plan to achieve a desired goal, including the steps you need to take, timelines, strategies, resources needed, and other details. Before you can make your campaign plan, you will need to know some basic information and choose one of several pathways to adopting (or repealing) a local ordinance. ASA recommends you gather the information you need to make a decision about the best pathway, and then discuss it with other local stakeholders before settling on a plan. This is important because you want other stakeholders to have input and buy into the plan. It is always best if all the stakeholders in a community are cooperating to create safe and legal access.

You cam learn many of the skills you need to do strategic planning, build coalitions, and organize public meetings in ASA’s online Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center. This comprehensive resource for community organizers is free.

Follow the links below or to the right to explore preliminary questions, choosing a pathway, and writing a campaign plan.


ASA has been working on state and local regulations for medical cannabis for years

California voters adopted the Compassionate Use Act (CUA), known as Proposition 215, in 1996. That landmark voter initiative removed criminal penalties for most cannabis crimes for patients with a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis use and their designated primary caregiver. The CUA protects patients and caregivers from criminal prosecution for growing and using medical cannabis, but the law did not answer many questions about medical cannabis in California.

How will law enforcement know who is legal? What makes someone a bona fide caregiver under the law? Is there any limit on how many plants a patient can grow or how much medicine a patient can possess? Where do patients who cannot or will not grow cannabis get the medicine they need? What exactly is legal under state law?

The CUA calls on lawmakers “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution” of medical cannabis. However, state lawmakers were initially reluctant to adopt statewide regulations for medical cannabis. In that vacuum, some cities and counties began to experiment with regulations for local access program to meet the needs of legal patients. ASA help create and adopt some of the earliest local medical cannabis ordinances in the San Francisco Bay Area and other places.

Most of the early local ordinances regulating medical cannabis focused on safety, preventing diversion of medicine, and land use issues around local access points (often called dispensaries). Local lawmakers did not address issues regarding cultivation, manufacturing, or laboratory testing in these early ordinances. Many cities and counties remained ambivalent about licensing or regulating medical cannabis activity in the absence of clear guidance from the state.

The state legislature adopted the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA), known as SB 420 (Vasconcellos), in 2003. This bill provided some clarity as to what was legal in California, but there was not sufficient political will to include comprehensive regulations for the medical cannabis industry that was already emerging in the state. Among other provisions, the MMPA required each county to issue voluntary medical cannabis identification cards, set numeric limits on cultivation and possession, authorized primary caregivers to receive compensation for providing medicine to patients, and recognized the right of patients and caregivers to “associate… collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.”

The California Attorney General published guidelines for interpreting the MMPA in 2008. ASA was deeply involved in the development of the document. The final version recognized that legally organized and operated cooperative or collective patients’ association could maintain a storefront for distributing the medical cannabis they cultivated to legal patient and caregiver members. The Attorney General’s guidelines and subsequent case law helped to solidify the definition of a member-supplied medical cannabis cooperative or collective association. Members grow and consume medicine in a cooperative or collective in a closed loop system, isolated from the illicit market in non-medical cannabis.

The California Supreme Court ruled in People v. Kelly (2010) that the numeric limits on cultivating cannabis plants and possessing medical cannabis in the MMPA were unconstitutional amendments to the voter-approved CUA. The California constitution prohibits the state legislature from amending voter initiatives. However, the restrictions on cultivation and possession still apply to individual patients and caregivers who choose to obtain a voluntary medical cannabis identification card authorized under the MMPA.

While the MMPA was step in the right direction, it offered little guidance to local lawmakers regarding commercial medical cannabis activity. ASA continued to work with lawmakers and organizers statewide to adopt local ordinances after the MMPA was adopted. We had many big wins. ASA was part of a coalition that overturned a ban on medical cannabis facilities in Los Angeles and subsequently adopted Measure D, a voter initiative that allowed for qualified patients' associations to remain open in that city.

Since the CUA was adopted, cities and counties in California have adopted a patchwork of local ordinances to regulate or ban medial cannabis activity. Cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Sebastopol, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Palm Springs, San Diego, and more give licenses to dispensaries. In Los Angeles, dispensaries that meet certain criteria have “limited immunity” from prosecution. Other cites and counties ban dispensaries outright, while many jurisdictions have simply done nothing about medical cannabis.

Inconsistency and uncertainty about the law have stymied further progress at the local level. City Councils and County Boards of Supervisors are often unwilling to move forward with local ordinances without direction form the state. In the meantime, patients and provides must cope with rules that change from one jurisdiction to another.  Worse still, some local governments have banned medical cannabis activity altogether. Efforts to stop local bans in the courts have been unsuccessful so far.

In response to growing political and public pressure, The California legislature adopted three bills, known collectively as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), to license and regulate commercial medical cannabis activity in 2015. When fully implemented, the bills will license and regulate the lawful cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, sales, and testing of medical cannabis in the state.

ASA supported this effort and worked closely with lawmakers and other stakeholders to make important improvements to the MMRSA. ASA successfully advocated to exempt medical cannabis patients’ personal cultivation rights from commercial regulatory rules and to move regulatory oversight from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the newly created Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, within the Department of Consumer Affairs.  ASA also successfully opposed a state-wide production tax on commercial cannabis cultivation.

ASA objected to the requirement in the MMRSA that applicants for a state medical cannabis license also obtain a license, permit, or authorization from the city or county in which they operate or propose to operate. We failed to remove that requirement in its entirety. However, we did persuade the Authors to make two important concessions: (1) lawmakers added the word “authorization” to expand the types of local approval beyond actual local licenses or permits, and (2) lawmakers agreed that the state could license cultivation in any city that does not ban or authorize cultivation before March 1, 2016.

ASA launched the Local Access Project to help support community organizers who want to adopt local licensing, permitting, or other authorization required for applicants seeking a state medical cannabis licensee under the MMRSA. Our goal is to help community organizers create opportunities for licensing in cities and counties where it is possible to adopt or amend medical cannabis laws or repeal local bans.


Medical cannabis news and events from around California

Banner_CA_Roundup.jpg

Happy Labor Day! Take action today to oppose unreasonable taxes on medical cannabis cultivation in California, and stay tuned for breaking news on legislation to license and regulate commercial medical cannabis activity this week. Be sure to check FaceBook and Twitter to stay up to date!

The California Legislature adjourns for the year this Friday. Join me for a live Google Hangout online at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, September 15, for the “California Legislative Roundup” to find out what bills made it and what comes next. See the links below.

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • September 9, 2015 - Medical Cannabis Industry Business Resource Seminar (Los Angeles)
  • September 15, 2015 – Live Google Hangout: California Legislative Roundup (Online)
  • March 18-22, 2016 – Early Bird Registration: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • September 24, 2015 - Court Support for Frank and Marthalina Huerta (Porterville)
  • 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 10, 2015 – Brownie Mary Democratic Club of San Francisco (San Francisco)

Read more

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

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)
Read more

Maryland Commission Approves Final Regulations

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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. 

Read more