BEYOND / HELLO Wins 9 New Dispensary Permits For Phase II Of Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

First State-Approved Center City Philadelphia Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open In January 2019

PENNSYLVANIA:BEYOND / HELLO, a leading cannabis dispensary company focused on bringing the best personalized treatments and products to customers, has been issued nine new permits in the Phase II of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program, bringing its state-total to 12 dispensary permits. New state permits issued to BEYOND / HELLO include three additional permits in the southeast region and three new permits each in the northeast and southwest.

BEYOND / HELLO also announced it will open the first Center City Philadelphia medical marijuana dispensary approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1206 Sansom Street on Thursday, January 24, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. BEYOND / HELLO Philadelphia will serve patients and caregivers with valid Pennsylvania medical marijuana cards and offer a full array of lab certified and state-approved products, including dry leaf (flower), concentrates, oil cartridges, capsules, hard concentrates, tinctures, topicals, batteries, chargers and more. Medical professionals and a trained staff will be on site to dispense products, answer questions and provide personalized treatments and products to customers.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Commonwealth’s medical marijuana program and to be in a position to bring the best personalized treatments and products to patients, who are looking to improve their quality of life,” said BEYOND / HELLO President Blythe Huestis. “Our trained staff and medical professionals are also looking forward to opening BEYOND / HELLO Philadelphia in the New Year. We’re eager to begin serving patients and caregivers in the city and surrounding areas, so they no longer are forced to travel long distances to access these life-changing treatments. We will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth and City of Philadelphia — its leaders, advocates, patients and caregivers — as the state’s program matures and evolves.”

In addition, one week prior to its dispensary opening, BEYOND / HELLO will host the inaugural GO BEYOND Conference — a free-and-open-to-the-public event dedicated to promoting candid discussions about medical marijuana, community, education and culture — on Thursday, January 17, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at BEYOND / HELLO Philadelphia. The event will bring together community leaders, athletes, elected officials, media and healthcare and cannabis industry experts, including: former Philadelphia Flyers enforcer and an Athletes for Care Athlete Riley Cote; award-winning cartoonist and best-selling author Box BrownBernadine Hawes, American Cities Foundation Small Business Initiative DirectorDr. Lynn Bornfriend, MD, Psychiatrist, Cancer Treatment Centers of AmericaDr. Helena Yardley, PhD, Director of Research, the Franklin Group and Altus Labs, among others. Discussions will cover a variety of important topics such as:

  • cannabis industry career opportunities and tips to break into the sector;
  • what to know about medical marijuana and the state’s program;
  • what to know before heading to the dispensary;
  • available products to treat qualifying conditions;
  • information on the latest research;
  • culture, history of legalization and impact of racially biased laws; and
  • other useful information for patients, practitioners and the public.

Those interested in attending the GO BEYOND Conference must sign up to attend the conference by visiting: will be regularly updated with confirmed speakers and additional information on the conference’s schedule.

Activists To Celebrate 4 Years Of Philadelphia Marijuana Decriminalization At City Hall

PENNSYLVANIA: Cannabis consumers will gather at Philadelphia City Hall on Saturday, October 20, 2018 to participate in a Pop Up Weed Garden to celebrate a bit more liberty for the plant.

Four years ago, Philadelphia Police (PPD) began issuing civil fine tickets in lieu of a criminal arrest for small amounts of marijuana.  Jeanine Campbell with South Philly NORML said, “We’re celebrating because this day marked the beginning of a new era of cannabis reform in Philadelphia.”

The bill was championed by Jim Kenney, who at this time was the at-large City Councilor, and passed with a super-majority. Mayor Michael Nutter signed the bill on October 1, 2014,  and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey implemented the new procedure on October 20, 2014.

Instead of handcuffs and prosecution, those found in possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis or 8 grams of hash/concentrates are written a $25 Code Violation Notice (CVN). Smoking in public gets a $100 CVN fine.

Arrests of cannabis consumers immediately plummeted from more than 5,000 per year to less than 600. This means there have been nearly 20,000 fewer people bought into the criminal justice system over small amounts of weed. Budget savings are estimated at more than $16 million since the ordinance went into effect.

This year, newly elected District Attorney Larry Krasner announced his office would no longer charge anyone with a crime – even if they are still arrested – over a decriminalized amount of cannabis. Activists have marked the shift from the first day when U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran and legalization advocate Mike Whiter met with a PPD officer at City Hall to receive the first ticket.

Two years later, on October 20, 2016, a “Pop Up Weed Garden” was staged in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Eakins’ Oval. Hundreds of cannabis consumers celebrated the plant, and a hint of newfound freedom.

This year,  advocates who worked on the effort, including Chris Goldstein, will gather at City Hall on Saturday, October 20th to mark the occasion with local consumers at 4:20 PM. Goldstein said, “It’s time for Philadelphia to begin charting the path forward for full legalization. There are hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers here in Philly,” said Goldstein, “It’s time to begin offering safe marijuana products at a low price, and allowing home cultivation.”

Philadelphia’s 2014 decriminalization shift inspired other cities to downgrade possession fines and penalties. Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, York, Bethlehem, Allentown, Erie, State College, and Lancaster have passed ordinances. The PA House Judiciary recently approved HB928 to consider the move statewide.

Meanwhile, reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Newark Star-Ledger have shown a recent spike in marijuana possession arrests in communities that maintain criminal prohibition.

Advocates remain hopeful that a full legalization effort, spearheaded by Rep. Jake Wheatley (D- Allegheny), will gain momentum in 2019.

CONTACT: Chris Goldstein (267) 702 3731


DACO Conference To Introduce Cannabis Opportunities To Marginalized Communities

PENNSYLVANIA: The Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO) will host the 2018 Cannabis Opportunities Conference on the theme Seeking Higher Ground and Equity in the Industry at the Temple University Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA on October 19-20, 2018.

The purpose of the conference will be to demystify the profession and culture of the cannabis industry in minority and marginalized communities of the US and globally in the African diaspora, while recreating a narrative of opportunities and restorative justice for the growth of the community in light of the massive shifts and associated stigma of the cannabis industry. Presenters and legislators including PA State Senator Sharif Street, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, NJ Senator Cory Booker, and keynote speaker Dr Chanda Macias will participate at the conference on select panels and workshops to discuss current laws, opportunities, restorative justice and cannabis reform. The DACO conference will also feature an exhibition hall and job fair.

DACO Conference

“The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, expected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021 and if legalized for adult use a single US state such as Pennsylvania can stand to gain $581 million in tax revenue. The economic opportunities it creates will be limitless however many are unaware of its economic benefits especially African Americans and Latinos in the US who make up less than 20% of all business owners. African and Caribbean nations have been lagging behind Western nations with respect to cannabis legalization and regulation. With this forum, we aim to help reduce the stigma and introduce cannabis opportunities to marginalized communities throughout the African diaspora and open the dialogue for opportunities in education, wellness, social justice, policy, entrepreneurship, and workforce development,” explains Cherron Perry-Thomas, Director of Social Impact at The Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO), organizers of the conference.

The 2-day conference will be held in a “Ted Talk” Style where speakers including cannabis owners, entrepreneurs and advocates will share their experiences focusing on wellness, business development and legislative success. There will also be a panels and breakout sessions allowing for more discussion on various subjects from the history of the criminalization of cannabis to workforce education, simple investing and advocacy engagement.

“The Cannabis Opportunities conference is essentially a safe space where people can network, learn and exchange ideas. We want this to be a forum for the many who may feel shut out due to finances, stigmatization and lack of education on the cannabis industry and opportunities and how this information can empower them economically,” adds Perry-Thomas.

The DACO 2018 Cannabis Opportunities Conference will be a platform to bring global cannabis experts and community stakeholders together to learn about trends in the emerging cannabis industry with topics aimed to educate and empower marginalized communities. The conference will be free for attendees wand materials will be bilingual (English/Spanish).

Free with registration:

For more info, visit: Social Media @wearedaco

UPDATE: EVENT CANCELLED: The Politics of Pot, A Symposium On Cannabis Legislation And Regulation

UPDATE: Organizers have cancelled this event.

“Due to a number of scheduling conflicts around many of the intended political speakers with regards to other necessary obligations resulting from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, we at Emerald Live Events have decided to postpone  ‘The Politics of Pot’ symposium to a later date,” Jason Santos, Chairman and CEO of Burn Entertainment Corporation, one of the partners in the event told MJ News Network.

“The entire purpose and agenda of this event is to bring political leaders together to discuss the successes and challenges around legalization to help further those efforts at both State and Federal levels.  Unfortunately, many of the great political speakers who wanted to speak at the event were unable to confirm in time due to changing agendas around other political events and obligations with regard to the RNC and DNC.  So we felt identifying another time would best serve the purpose of the event and deliver the best possible symposium to our attending guests.”

PENNSYLVANIA:  Timed to coincide with the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, The Politics of Pot, A Symposium on Cannabis Legislation and Regulation will take place July 23rd at The University of the Arts Gershman Hall: The Elaine C. Levitt Auditorium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

According to organizers, the symposium is designed to provide a forum for legislators, delegates, regulators, and industry participants to share information on the realities of the legalization of medical cannabis, and to discuss the positives and the negatives of decriminalization and legalization of recreational cannabis in states such as Colorado, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon.

The public opinion and perception of cannabis is undergoing significant changes. Numerous legislative and regulatory changes have occurred in the last few years, and various initiatives are currently being considered in over half of the states. Faced with these changes, legislator must find a more nuanced and informed approach to cannabis than just con, or just pro. Therefore, it is critical for legislators understand the numerous issues involved with cannabis legislation and regulation — to define and refine their positions on these issues

Approximately 400-600 attendees expected to attend the event. The Symposium is priced right to provide the best value for each dollar spent, and Convention Delegates attend Free of Charge.

A full agenda is planned, including 6 featured panel discussions:


Panelists at the Symposium will discuss the myriad of issues that arise from regulation of Recreational Cannabis versus those issues related to the regulation of Medical Cannabis. We will learn from those closest to the issue and discover how the different states are currently tackling this difficult regulatory challenge.


The Symposium will explore the myths and realities of crime levels as they relate to legalized recreational and medical marijuana. Additionally, the issues related to current technologies and methodologies for testing cannabis blood levels will be analyzed, including implications for DUI and employment law.


The Symposium will delve into the complications and complexities both regulators and Cannabis industry professionals face defining and maintaining compliance with both state and federal regulatory regimes, including: taxation; licensing; and consumer protection, quality assurance, and product safety.


The Symposium will provide detailed insight into the current state of investment into the Cannabis industry. We will hear both from those currently investing and those on the sidelines, and gain an understanding what primarily drives the decision to invest.


The Symposium will analyze the issues, timing, and ramifications of reclassification of Cannabis from CSA 1. The implications of reclassification will have on the medicinal advancements of the industry will be broad and far reaching.


Banking in the Cannabis industry requires companies to navigate complicated and contradictory state and federal regulations. The Symposium will provide deep insight into current industry best practices and how baking regulation may evolve in the next year.


Philadelphia Decriminalizes Marijuana

PENNSYLVANIA: On Wednesday, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter signed legislation decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana in the city.

The law, which downgrades possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana to a civil offense, goes into effect Oct. 20. While the new legislation does not legalize pot in the City of Brotherly Love, it reduces penalties stemming from possession and public use to small fines and community service.

It makes Philadelphia the largest city in the United States to decriminalize marijuana.

Marijuana Decriminalization Coming To Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA: Philadelphia is a signature away from becoming the largest city in America to decriminalize marijuana possession, according to multiple published reports.

Mayor Michael Nutter said Monday he will sign a bill that essentially fines people $25 for the possession of marijuana under an ounce, CBS Philly reported.

A citation for possession would require an appearance before a Municipal Court judge, the news station said, but there would be no criminal record. A $100 fine will be handed to anyone caught smoking marijuana in public, reported.

Philadelphia’s current law at the bare minimum carries a $200 fine for marijuana possession, drug abuse courses and an arrest record, according to the Huffington Post.

Philadelphia Is About To Be America’s Largest City To Decriminalize Marijuana

PENNSYLVANIA:  Pretty soon, you won’t be considered a criminal for carrying around a little weed in Philadelphia.

Philly Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed Monday that he will sign a bill into law that will make his city the largest in America to decriminalize marijuana possession, Philly Mag reports. Essentially it softens the penalty for such an offense from possible jail time to a $25 fine.

Nutter wasn’t a fan of the bill in the past, but he told KYW Newsradio that he agreed to sign the bill — with a caveat — because he’s seen too many of his citizens slapped with charges for small amounts of pot.

“So I think the agreement ends up putting the city and our citizens in a much better place,” Nutter told CBS News, noting that signing the bill won’t be the same as condoning marijuana use.


Philadelphia Council Considers A Fine, Not Arrest For Pot

PENNSYLVANIA:  If a Philadelphia councilman gets his way, smoking a joint will cost you cash, but won’t land you in handcuffs.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday morning in Philadelphia City Council where testimony will be given about Councilman Jim Kenney’s proposed bill that changes city laws about marijuana so that anyone possessing a small amount wouldn’t be placed under arrest.

“An arrest is a very traumatic experience for people, especially if it’s the first time and you’re a kid,” Kenney told “There’s a lot of interactions that go wrong with an arrest — the person could get hurt, the officer could get hurt.”

Confrontational Pot Smoker Gets A Year Probation

PENNSYLVANIA: An organizer of a marijuana-legalization rally that drew more than 100 people and ended in scuffles with law-enforcement officers on Independence Mall in May was sentenced in federal court yesterday to one year of probation.

Richard Tamaccio, 34, a Philadelphian comedian who goes by the stage name N.a. Poe, was also ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Perkin during his probation to, among other things:

* Not use drugs.

* Undergo drug testing.

* Not enter within 100 feet of Independence National Historical Park if there is a demonstration promoting a criminal act, such as smoking pot. [Read more…]