Last Updated Projects in Cannabis Regulations
Weedmaps Takes Leadership Role Supporting Minorities in Cannabis and Encouraging Legal Marketplaces
For too long, unjust laws and regulations have crippled small-business owners who want to make an honest living and provide safe, legal cannabis products to medical patients and adult use consumers. The cannabis industry has come a long way in just a few short years, but there is still so much to be done.
Fixing San Bernardino's Cannabis Ordinance
I represent the prospective local applicants ECS Labs, Med Products Group, KP Investments, and 4th Street Dispensary. All were denied licenses despite satisfying every requirement, and all were denied based on an extremely questionable application “score”. All except 4th Street Dispensary and Med Products Group are currently parties to the pending lawsuit against the city, accusing it, inter alia, of invalid licensing and other unlawful acts. While my clients’ situations vary, they nevertheless are united in their frustrations with the current legal process. While such litigation is all too common in the emerging area of cannabis law, there is no reason why it must be this way. Ordinance MC-1464 borrows the vast majority of its language from previously-enacted municipal ordinances in other cities. Crucially, most of these ordinances were enacted prior to the establishment of comprehensive statewide law and regulations applicable to medical cannabis (let alone adult-use cannabis). As reflected in the purposes and findings of these ordinances, the policies were primarily an artifact of the absence of state enforcement - and with the passage of Proposition 64, codified by MAUCRSA, - have now been rendered largely irrelevant. By continuing these outdated policies, the city unintentionally doubles down on the barriers to entry into the emerging legal marketplace - with negligible corresponding public safety benefit. The most salient (and infamous) feature of Ordinance MC-1464 is its capping the number of businesses in the city to 1 permit per 12,500 residents, and requiring the city to enact a scoring and selection procedure to deal with the artificial supply limitation. It is important to note that no other business in the City of San Bernardino is subject to such an inflexible limitation. Not even liquor stores or adult businesses are capped in this manner, but rather are subject to specifically-tailored application requirements to ensure compliance and minimize public safety risks.
Intoxicant Equality Score Project
Even while many states and local jurisdictions have authorized adult-use cannabis sales, and regulations requiring treatment "similar to alcohol", the reality is far from equal. Supply shortages around the country only exacerbate the black market and cause the failure of regulatory efforts.
How to Make Legal Pot Work in Michigan
Michigan’s policy leaders must lay the groundwork for a safe and legal market in which consumers can gain access to marijuana products that have been tested to ensure they contain no dangerous chemicals or impurities. Implementing a state-run regulatory structure and market for marijuana is a difficult and arduous task. There are dozens of important facets to consider, including what substances to test for, whether to allow for deliveries, how the program will overlap with the state’s still-developing medical marijuana program, collaborating with local governments, and more. The state now has one year to adopt regulations that will help it carry out the new law. A year might sound like a long time, but marijuana regulations in other states often stretch hundreds of pages and Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will likely need to host dozens of meetings to collect public feedback before proceeding. The initiative provides only cursory guidance on some key policy issues. Many elements of these regulations are highly technical and can range from the software integration requirements for businesses seeking licensees with the state to the specific forms of mold or bacteria for which marijuana must be tested.
The Absurdity of Marijuana and Firearm Laws
While the federal government has been generally tolerant of state experimentation with cannabis legalization, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has made it clear it will not tolerate mixing cannabis and guns. Thus, firearms dealers will have to abide by the ATF’s rules by denying medical cannabis card holders and anyone convicted of illegal cannabis possession the right to purchase guns. The enforcement of this law creates an absurd policy issue as states must register medical cannabis patient data but not recreational marijuana consumer data. As a result, medical cannabis patients are denied gun rights because the state keeps a registry that shows up when firearm background checks are conducted. Recreational users, however, are not required to register to purchase retail cannabis and are therefore untracked. The contradiction is blatant and damaging to medical patients, especially for those using the non-psychoactive CBD compound found in cannabis products that are commonly used to mitigate epileptic seizures.
A Conceptual Framework for State Efforts to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis
When drafting, evaluating and implementing cannabis reform policies, policymakers face a myriad of detailed choices, from specific agency authority to issues like tracking and testing. While these details are often overlooked by many advocates and media, they can actually mean the difference between policy implementation success or failure. Most states have stumbled and seen early hiccups in their regulated marijuana markets. Nevada, for instance, suffered a dearth of licensed distributors who could legally transport marijuana products from commercial cultivation facilities to dispensaries within the first few months of its program, resulting in sharp price increases and lack of availability. Both Colorado and Washington experienced delays, inefficiencies, cost overruns and revenues falling short of projections, resulting in a rollback of some of their more onerous initial mandates.
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