Tag: Marijuana News

Proposition M and LA’s Growing Marijuana Industry

Last November, the wise and astute voters of California said “Yes” to Proposition 64 and the legalization of marijuana. With that critical vote now earmarked in the history books for all to contemplate, registered voters in Los Angeles have one more important ballot to cast.

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, a special election will be held for the people of the City of Los Angeles, allowing residents to vote on the replacement of LA’s chronically flawed Proposition D, which voters passed May 21, 2013. Under Prop D, the city restricted the number of legal medical marijuana dispensaries to 135 compliant shops, raised taxes on dispensaries from $50 to $60 for every $1,000 of gross earnings, and neglected to mandate the testing of marijuana for pesticides sold at dispensaries. Now, with the bad old days of prohibition in the Golden State’s collective rear view mirror … it’s time for LA’s voters to plant the seeds of equal opportunity and common sense regulations.

Replace Proposition D with Proposition M:

The passage of Proposition M, germinated and cultivated by the Southern California Coalition (SCC) in conjunction with the LA City Council, would repeal and replace Prop D and its defective sections. Nurtured by the SCC throughout the drafting process, the Southern California Coalition is the largest and most inclusive cannabis industry trade organization representing stakeholders from across the marijuana-licensing spectrum.

Strongly endorsed by the NAACP, Prop M is viewed as the most comprehensive, just, and all-encompassing marijuana regulatory framework to ever materialize on a citywide ballot. If passed, Proposition M would grant the Los Angeles City Council the proper tools to propagate greater diversity within LA’s newest economic powerhouse – the marijuana industry. Providing elevated health care opportunities and youth-based educational programs, M would also mandate greater diversity in the licensing process; ensuring these valuable licenses are not just issued to an isolated group of well-funded individuals.

Prop M Highlights:

  • New Green for LA City Services: Proposition M cultivates an equitable tax structure that pledges new revenue for the benefit of LA’s municipal services. Prop. M  would also reduce the local gross receipts tax from 6% to 5% for all medical marijuana sales. Additionally, M would create a new 10% tax on all recreational marijuana sales and a new 1% to 2% tax for all companies involved in the delivery/transportation, testing/research, and cultivation. 
  • Safe Access to Trustworthy Meds: Proposition M safeguards convenient and dependable access to medical marijuana for MMJ patients in the city of Los Angeles. Providing higher-quality meds for LA’s 700,000+ patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy.
  • Benefits Communities and Minorities: Proposition M creates greater opportunity for both financially strapped communities and their minorities. Reversing decades of bad marijuana policy that has predominantly affected people of color, who are targeted and incarnated at a vastly disproportionate rate than their white peers.
  • Potent Penalties: Proposition M would establish hard-hitting consequences for all criminal activities. Establishing strict civil penalties for any businesses that violate the new marijuana regulations, Prop M would authorize the DWP (Department of Water and Power) to turn off utilities in noncompliant marijuana shops.
  • Inhibits Illegal Marketplace: By effectively licensing and regulating California’s adult use marijuana market, M greatly restricts the majority of black-market activity while supporting local law enforcement and addressing public safety concerns.
  • Inclusive Licensing System: Proposition M creates an inclusive licensing system and eliminates unnecessarily lengthy, costly, or overly burdensome delays for those seeking legal licenses.
  • Youth Educational Programs: Proposition M dedicates funds to better educate Angeleno youth about the risks associated with early brain development and marijuana.

As California’s many cash-strapped municipalities scramble to plant their hybrid regulations and harvest their fair share of the projected $1 billion in new tax revenue, the passage of Proposition M will help LA’s new recreational marijuana industry establish their own set of strong regulatory guidelines – thereby establishing useful parameters that will produce prosperity, equality, and safety for all Angelenos in the new era of legalized marijuana.

And they said money (read: Opportunity) doesn’t grow on trees…

 

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What Can the New Bipartisan Cannabis Caucus Accomplish?

Since Inauguration Day, all of us in the cannabis world have been anxiously awaiting to hear some federal news on our nascent, fragile industry. Are we going to be shut down? Are we all going to jail? These are some of the questions I get asked by canna-business owners almost daily. This Thursday, lawmakers gathered […]

 

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Busted with 4 Ounces or Less, Not a Problem in Harris County, Texas

Houston: We have NO problem with sensible marijuana reform.

Potentially saving Harris County millions of dollars annually, a new policy set to begin March 1, 2017, will decriminalize the possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana in the City of Houston and its surrounding county.

Set to roll out the specifics of their plan this morning, the Harris County DA, along with Houston’s Mayor and Police Chief, will drill down on the details of their new plan to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession by early spring.

Elected chiefly on her marijuana reform platform, the new Harris County District Attorney, (D) Kim Ogg, trounced the Republican incumbent Devon Anderson last November, based on Ogg’s promise to rein in senseless arrests for low-level marijuana infractions in the greater Houston area.  

Rather than wasting valuable resources on personal possession cases, Ogg’s plan calls for misdemeanor offenders caught with less than 4 ounces of cannabis take a four-hour drug class in lieu of being arrested, ticketed or required to appear in court.

By diverting Harris County’s 12,000 annual marijuana infractions away from their costly judicial system, DA Ogg’s plan is anticipated to save the county “more than $10 million a year,” according to Chron.com.

“Since there is no arrest, there is no arrest record. Since there is no court date, there are no court documents connected to the encounter. The plan calls for officers to seize the marijuana and drop it off at a police station at the end of their shift, along with a record of the encounter in case the suspect does not take the class.”

According to Jason Miller, the Communication Director of Houston NORML, this progressive change will ultimately protect Harris County’s citizens and coffers from senseless and costly police activity. “What we’re seeing is misdemeanor possession cases are no longer going to involve jail time, a criminal record, or an arrest. This is great for the community, because people are no longer going to be clogging up the courts and law enforcement resources with small possession cases. These are people who haven’t done anything wrong.”

From the Harris County Sheriff’s perspective, the DA’s new policy will save roughly 120 hours of annual paperwork in the processing of these low-level marijuana infractions, according to officials. “We’re really encouraged by these swift actions by the district attorney and we are looking forward to working with Harris County’s criminal justice leadership identifying common-sense solutions to our broken criminal justice system.”

Congratulations to the residents of Harris County, Texas! Welcome to the new reality of law enforcement in the 21st century – where simple marijuana possession is no big deal.

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Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »