California Marijuana Legalization 2015: New Medical Marijuana Law Rankles Top Cannabis Industry Investor

CALIFORNIA: California lawmakers quietly passed Friday the state’s most significant medical-marijuana legislation in almost two decades, but some leaders in the space worry that the law’s good intentions could get lost in the weeds. Paving the way for what supporters say is a much-needed regulatory framework for the state’s multibillion-dollar medical-cannabis industry, the California Senate and Assembly voted to approve the historic Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which will require licenses for cannabis dispensaries and create a new state agency to oversee the industry.

Although California residents voted to approve medical marijuana back in 1996, a regulatory plan has until now eluded policymakers, who could not seem to agree on specifics. Legislators finally reached a compromise on three bills, which have been sent for final approval to Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign them into law. The legislation was approved as part of a comprehensive package pushed through on the final day of the 2015 session.

Despite the historic achievement, some leaders in the field expressed concerns about the implications of regulating an industry that has been unregulated for so long. Steve DeAngelo, co-founder of the ArcView Group, mammoth marijuana-investment firm, and the Harborside Health Center, a nonprofit dispensary in the state, said in a statement Saturday that the time pressures made it impossible for state legislators to adequately consider the impact the new law will have on patients who depend on medical cannabis.

California Wildfires Burning Part Of Medical Marijuana Industry

CALIFORNIA:  It’s a different kind of smoke than they’re used to. Several Bay Area medical marijuana dispensaries say wildfires around California are hurting their industry. They claim cannabis plants are growing around some of state’s fires, especially the Rocky Fire near Clear Lake.

By Wednesday night, the Rocky Fire burned 69,600 acres and destroyed 43 homes.

Timothy Anderson is the purchasing manager at Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland. He says one of the burned homes belonged to a cannabis grower who provided them with product.

 

Members Of Congress Stand Up For California Medical Marijuana Dispensary

CALIFORNIA:  Three congressional lawmakers from California are accusing the U.S. Department of Justice of overreach in an ongoing crackdown against Harborside Health Center, widely considered to be the largest and one of the most well-respected medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation.

“We believe DOJ has overstepped its bounds in the Harborside case,” Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R), Sam Farr (D) and Barbara Lee (D) wrote in a letter last week about U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag‘s effort to shut down the Oakland, California-based Harborside. “We believe DOJ is not acting within the spirit or the letter of the law nor in the best interests of the people who depend on Harborside for reliable, safe medical marijuana.”

The letter notes that public acceptance of medical marijuana has grown nationally, even as federal policy on the substance “stagnates.” To highlight his support, Rohrabacher posed with Harborside’s co-founder and executive director, Steve DeAngelo, at the dispensary.

 

Going Rogue: U.S. Attorneys In California Defy Obama On Medical Marijuana

CALIFORNIA: Last week, the Alameda County (CA) Board of Supervisors passed a resolution asking the Federal government to, “end Federal interference on the municipal and state laws allowing medical marijuana, and… requests that President Obama begin a discussion about the potential benefits of reforming federal laws on marijuana use in all forms, including medicinal and recreational uses.”

Their desire for clarification and support on this issue is understandable. Two of the oldest and most respected dispensaries in California, Harborside Health Center and Berkeley Patients Group, both in Alameda County, have been targeted by the Feds on numerous occasions, even in light of strict regulations imposed by their localities, and a squeaky clean track record of providing both a crucial public health service and a large amount of tax revenue. [Read more…]

Marijuana Investors Commit More Than $1 Million After Denver Meeting

COLORADO:  Denver meeting of a marijuana industry investment group resulted in more than $1 million in new money being pumped into cannabis businesses, the group announced Wednesday. [Read more…]

Marijuana Investors Commit More Than $1 Million After Denver Meeting

COLORADO:  Denver meeting of a marijuana industry investment group resulted in more than $1 million in new money being pumped into cannabis businesses, the group announced Wednesday. [Read more…]

Marijuana Entrepreneurs Line Up to Cash In

WASHINGTON: Jim Willett has never smoked pot. His teenage sons think he’s a square. A former Navy pilot, Willett spent a year flying drug interdiction patrols along the Washington coast, checking for ships carrying bales of marijuana. For the graying retiree, voting against the state’s legalization of recreational weed last fall was pretty much a given. [Read more…]

Marijuana Entrepreneurs Line Up to Cash In

WASHINGTON: Jim Willett has never smoked pot. His teenage sons think he’s a square. A former Navy pilot, Willett spent a year flying drug interdiction patrols along the Washington coast, checking for ships carrying bales of marijuana. For the graying retiree, voting against the state’s legalization of recreational weed last fall was pretty much a given. [Read more…]

Medical Marijuana Advocate Slams Eric Holder's Speech: 'How Dare He'

CALIFORNIA: Attorney General Eric Holder’s call for “sweeping” changes to the way the Justice Department handles drug offenses Monday drew praise from lawmakers and civil rights activists.

But not all advocates were satisfied. [Read more…]

Good News For World’s Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Harborside Health Center won a significant victory earlier this week in their battle against the feds. As the world’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, everyone should be closely following the Harborside/feds case, as the process and decisions that come out of it will no doubt be used in other cases. Below is a press release that I received a couple of days ago describing the recent victory:

Oakland, California ~  This morning U.S. District Court Judge Maria-Elena James granted the City of Oakland’s motion to stay the civil forfeiture proceeding against Harborside Health Center Oakland until the City of Oakland’s pending appeal is heard in the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Judge James also ruled that the stay in the commercial forfeiture proceeding should be extended to the Harborside San Jose location. [Read more…]