Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Jul 152016

Senators Grassley and Feinstein Introduce Bill to Exempt Some Medical Cannabis Patients From Federal Prosecution - Americans for Safe Access

Today, the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (S. 3269) was introduced in the United States Senate, which would ease research barriers and create exemptions from federal law for certain medical cannabis patients. The bill was introduced by four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee - Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Tom Tillis (R-NC). Much of the bill is focused on allowing for institutions of higher education or manufacturers to register with the federal government in order to conduct research on cannabis (marijuana) or cannabidiol (CBD), but it’s the “Safe Harbor” provision that is drawing the attention of medical cannabis patients.

Jul 072016

Limited Seats Available to Gain Cannabis Industry Certification - Americans for Safe Access

Flyer_Header.jpgBecome a certified cannabis professional and meet regulatory requirements with PFC Verified Professional (PFCVP) courses. Next week, July 11-15, PFC will be hosting an in-person certification training for individuals who are interested in gaining certifications in cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and laboratory operations. There are only 10 seats left, secure your spot today.

Governments are trending toward the creation of regulations that monitor and ensure product safety, include rigorous employee training and set standards for industry best practices. PFCVP ensures you and/or your employer, that you have the skills, expertise and training necessary to meet regulatory requirements.

The PFCVP professional credential was developed by industry practitioners and leading subject-matter experts with over 300 years of collective expertise in the realms of USDA food and product safety protocols, federal regulatory development, medical cannabis research, medical cannabis industry operations, pharmacology, and biochemistry.

Jul 062016

DC Raises Patient Possession Limit From 2 to 4 Ounces - Americans for Safe Access

On Tuesday, the Scientific Subcommittee of the DC Department of Health's (DOH) Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) held a public meeting to determine if there would be an increase to the 30-day possession limit for patients. By a unanimous vote, the Subcommittee voted to increase the limit from two (2) to four (4) ounces. The increase does not need to be approved by the DC Council, as the MMP statute allows the DOH to set the limit anywhere between two and four ounces per 30 days.

Today's vote is a major victory for District patient who need at least two grams of dried flower per day. While the DOH had issued an emergency rule last fall to allow patients to obtain amounts above two ounces per 30 days, the waiver required a significant amount of paperwork from the patient's physician and only allowed the patient to obtain above two ounces in oil form. While the details of today's increase are still forthcoming, it appears that the new four-ounce limit will apply to all forms of cannabis sold by dispensaries licensed under the MMP. 

Jun 302016

Patient Advocacy Group Releases Independent Analysis of Cannabis Scheduling - Americans for Safe Access

ASA reportcoverToday, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) disseminated copies of an independent 8-Factor Analysis conducted in support of current petitions requesting removal of cannabis (marijuana) from Schedule I status in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The document was sent to all members of Congress, as well as heads of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the DEA, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is about to make a very important decision regarding whether or not to reschedule cannabis from its Schedule I status. This decision will have substantial implications for the two million patients that currently have access to medical cannabis and cannabis products under state laws. Cannabis has been listed as a Schedule I substance - defined as a drug with high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use - along with heroin and LSD since the 1970’s. This Schedule I status makes it illegal to grow, possess, use, or distribute under federal law. While many other drugs have been rescheduled, cannabis has stayed in Schedule I for 46 years. 

Jun 292016

Cannabis Professional Certification Workshops July 11-15 - Americans for Safe Access

Patient Focused Certification (PFC) and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) will be hosting a PFC Verified Professional (PFCVP) training, July 11 - 15 at A2LA headquarters in Frederick, MD.  This weeklong set of courses will provide a professional credential for individuals working in the cannabis industry.

The PFCVP standards represent the consensus of the world’s leading experts on cannabis, hemp and botanical product regulations. Having met strict criteria established by the PFC program, individuals can use PFCVP to prove they have mastered core industry standards, state laws and regulations, and product safety protocols. PFCVP ensures you and/or employer, that you have the skills, expertise and training necessary to meet regulatory requirements. Individuals who successfully complete the PFCVP will also complete the 100 Level of the PFC Auditors Training Program.


  • Enhance professional credibility
  • Become expert on AHPA and AHP Guidelines
  • Show patients, health practitioners and regulators your investment in the well being of your patients and/consumers
  • Increase on the job confidence
  • Demonstrate your knowledge on industry best practices

Who should attend this training: Regulators, people interested in becoming auditors, companies applying for PFC certification needing to satisfy training requirements, cannabis business professionals, and businesses applying for state licenses.

Jun 262016

Citizen Advocates Kill Medical Cannabis Tax in California - Americans for Safe Access

Medical cannabis patients scored a huge victory in California last week, when the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee rejected SB 987. That bill by Assembly Member Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) would have imposed a statewide excise tax of 10% on medical cannabis. The tax would have been in addition to existing sales tax, any new or existing taxes imposed by cities and counties, and any other taxes adopted by the state legislature.


Americans for Safe Access (ASA) opposed SB 987 because it would have placed an unfair burden on legal medical cannabis patients. Thousands of ASA members sent emails, signed petitions, and made phone calls opposing the bill in response to our action alerts. Hundreds visited legislative offices in person to oppose the bill as part of our California Citizen Lobby Day in March. Those efforts paid off last Monday, when the committee voted 4 to 5 to kill SB 987.


Jun 242016

Comprehensive Medical Cannabis Act Gets Attention on the Hill - Americans for Safe Access

Tuesday, June 21st and Wednesday the 22nd were exciting days on the hill for Americans for Safe Access and Utah activists.  On Tuesday, Americans for Safe Access and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) held a briefing on the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S. 683/H.R. 1538). The briefing featured policy experts and medical cannabis stakeholders who would be protected by the bill. Lead CARERS Act sponsor Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke on behalf of the bill as well.