San Francisco Supervisors Approve ‘Office Of Cannabis’

CALIFORNIA: San Francisco officials have approved a new Office of Cannabis in advance of recreational marijuana sales starting in California next year.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday also directed the new office to analyze disparities that keep certain minority groups out of the cannabis business.

Its other task is to make recommendations on how to keep medical marijuana affordable

Board President London Breed suggested San Francisco follow in the steps of Oakland, California, where lawmakers established a cannabis equity program this year.

The program sets aside half of business licenses to city residents who have been arrested on a cannabis crime or who live in neighborhoods with historically high numbers of marijuana arrests.

Colorado Set To Prohibit Marijuana Co-Op Growing Operations

By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press

COLORADO: Colorado was set Monday to outlaw marijuana growing co-ops soon after the state Senate unanimously approved a bill making it a crime for people to cultivate recreational pot for other people.

The bill supported by the office of Gov. John Hickenlooper passed 35-0 but it was unclear when he would sign it. There are no state estimates on how many collective recreational marijuana growing operations exist in Colorado, though they are popular among users who share the cost of electricity, water and fertilizer to grow their pot.

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, but it has a nagging black-market problem. Law enforcement and state lawmakers attribute the black-market problem in part to weak restrictions on who can grow pot.

The Colorado state constitution authorizes people over 21 to grow their own pot, or to assist someone else in growing pot. That language allows groups to designate a single “farmer” to care for their marijuana plants, allowing them to avoid pot taxes that approach 30 percent, depending on the jurisdiction.

But police groups and Hickenlooper, a Democrat, have called on lawmakers to curb the practice of assisting other recreational pot users.

The bill had already passed the House.  The governor plans to sign another bill this week in the state’s pot crackdown. It limits the number of marijuana plants that can be grown in a home to 12 plants, which would force medical marijuana users authorized to grow more than 12 plants to grow it in agricultural or commercial locations or to buy it from dispensaries that tax marijuana.

Hickenlooper plans to sign that bill this week, his office said.  The bill passed Monday also provides $6 million a year in marijuana tax revenues to give law enforcement agencies more money to investigate illegal pot growing operations.