Cannabis Seeds

california legislature

California: LA County Democrats Endorse AUMA Marijuana Legalization

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Largest Democratic County Committee in California says ballot measure will “protect children” and “provide critical funding for public health”

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) on Wednesday announced the official endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP), the largest Democratic county committee in California and the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation.

The LACDP represents more than 2.4 million registered Democrats and a population larger than 42 other states in the 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

“Los Angeles County Democrats support the Adult Use of Marijuana Act because it will end the failed policies of prohibition which have disproportionately harmed communities of color, it will protect California’s children and it will provide critical funding for public health and public safety programs,” said Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair and California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman.

Supporters of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act say the measure includes strong safeguards for children, businesses and local governments, strict anti-monopoly provisions and the toughest warning label and marketing-to-kids laws in the nation.

California: One In 10 People Say Police Took Cash, Property Without A Conviction

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Two new surveys find overwhelming public opposition in California to laws allowing law enforcement to seize and keep a person’s cash and property without a conviction

California Legislature considers reform to rein in abuse

In a recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, a startling 10 percent of adults living in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties said that they had had their property taken by a police officer without being convicted of a crime. Nearly one in five (19 percent) of those living in these three counties also stated that they know someone who had experienced the same.

One of the ways in which law enforcement can legally take property or money from people in the absence of a conviction is through civil asset forfeiture, a highly controversial policy that allows law enforcement officers to seize cash or property that they suspect has been involved in criminal activity, such as drug sales.

While California law offers greater protections, federal forfeiture laws do not require that police arrest or charge a person with a crime, or convict them. If the owner does not file a claim in civil court and prevail in the case, the property is permanently lost, and the majority of the funds go to the same law enforcement agency that seized the cash or property in the first place.

California: Militarized Cops Seize Assets of Legal Medical Marijuana Company

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Police High Five Each Other as Cannabis Industry Leader’s Assets Frozen, $324,000 in Cash Taken, Family Bank Accounts Frozen

Med-West CEO Speaks Out for First Time Since Raid

“It was like a scene from a bad movie.”

That’s what James Slatic, the CEO of Med-West Distribution, LLC and a leader in the national effort to legalize medical cannabis products, remembers thinking when he first viewed the footage from his security cameras.

For the first time, Slatic is speaking out about the raid mounted by local law enforcement against his company, a legal medical cannabis company, on January 28, at 7:30 a.m.

His comments, contained in a video on the Indiegogo account he is using to raise money for his legal defense, raise serious issues about the role of local law enforcement in California, a state where a new law just went into effect regulating the medical cannabis industry and where a statewide ballot initiative will be held this November to legalize the adult use of recreational cannabis.

In the video, Slatic offers disturbing details from the raid: “Our two employees were put on the floor with guns to their heads. All of our assets were frozen, all of our bank accounts, all of my wife’s accounts, all of our daughters’ accounts have been frozen.”

California Medical Association Announces Support For Adult Use of Marijuana Act

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The California Medical Association (CMA) – representing more than 41,000 physician members statewide -- on Monday announced its formal endorsement of the ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Consistent with the organization’s historic White Paper of 2011 urging legalization and regulation of cannabis to allow for greater clinical research, oversight, accountability and quality control, CMA has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act so:

· First, the impacts of marijuana in California can be monitored, researched, tightly regulated and, where necessary, mitigated to protect the public health and

· Second, improper diversion by non-symptomatic patients into California’s medical marijuana system can be reduced.

"In addition, CMA does not as a matter of policy encourage the use of marijuana and discourages smoking," the group announced. "But, ultimately, its members believe that the most effective way to protect the public health is to tightly control, track and regulate marijuana and to comprehensively research and educate the public on its health impacts, not through ineffective prohibition."

California: Governor Brown Signs Medical Cannabis Regulation Bill

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Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Will Establish State-Level Regulation in California

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Governor Jerry Brown on Friday signed the trio of bills known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that will establish regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and transportation, as well as create a state-level licensing system in California for the first time since the medical cannabis program was enacted in 1996.

The bills establish a new agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, which will oversee the system and work with other agencies that will be involved in licensing key areas of activity, such as cultivation and testing. The bureau will develop detailed rules by January 2017, and businesses will begin to apply for state licenses in January 2018, at which point the current system of collectives and cooperatives will be phased out. Medical marijuana businesses will need to obtain local approval to continue operating.

The California Legislature passed Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 on September 11th, with overwhelming support in both the Assembly and the Senate.

“Governor Brown’s approval of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act ushers in a new era in California,’” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta, the lead sponsor of AB 266. “Patients will have more assurances that their products are safe.

California: Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Regulations; Governor Expected To Sign

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The California Legislature on Friday passed a series of bills that would establish comprehensive regulation and licensing of medical cannabis, in a multi-tiered licensing system being praised by some organizations, while other activists are calling the proposed rules "convoluted" and even "treacherous."

Assembly Bills 243 and 266 as well as Senate Bill 643 were all approved and will delegate regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution to various state agencies as well as create a state-level licensing system for the first time in the history of the state’s medical cannabis program. Governor Jerry Brown is widely expected to sign all three pieces of legislation.

"I am pleased that the California legislature has taken an important step by passing a comprehensive regulatory framework to improve patient care, provide greater certainty for the industry and protect our environment," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland). "In Congress, I intend to continue working toward federal government policies that respect state marijuana laws.

"The federal government should not come between patients and their medicine," Rep. Lee said. "That is why I have introduced the States Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 262) and am a proud cosponsor of other legislation including the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act (H.R. 1013), Respect State Marijuana Laws Act (H.R. 1940) and the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (H.R. 2076)."

California: Gov. Jerry Brown Says Little, Does Lots On Medical Marijuana Regulation

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California voters legalized medical marijuana via Prop 19 back in 1996, but in the almost two decades that have followed, state politicians have either criticized the state's cannabis trade or ignored it.

But with the Legislature now crafting rules to govern the medicinal cannabis industry, Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown looks to be the most powerful man in the state when it comes to that industry's future, reports Chris Roberts at SF Weekly.

Back when Gov. Brown was mayor of Oakland, that city became the first in the state (closely followed by San Francisco) to regulate the nascent medical marijuana trade. That city crafted its rules back in 2004, but the rule-making process had become deadlocked, with nobody able to agree on the number of dispensaries allowed in the city -- until Mayor Brown entered the room.

There would be four dispensaries, Brown said, and then rattled off what would become Oakland's precedent-setting dispensary ordinance, before abruptly exiting the meeting.

"He said, 'Here's what you need to do,' -- and then he left the room," said Dale Sky Jones, chairwoman of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, a group pushing to legalize recreational marijuana on California's 2016 ballot.

California: Gov. Brown Brokering Deal On Medical Marijuana Regulations

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Governor Jerry Brown's office is working on the framework for medical marijuana regulations in California in a session-closing move that could end nearly two decades of court battles in the Golden State.

With the Legislature scheduled to adjourn next week, the Governor's office is said to be emphasizing the details of a compromise measure on medicinal cannabis, report Christopher Cadelago and Jeremy B. White at The Sacramento Bee. The legislation could impact the push to put a recreational marijuana legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot.

Gov. Brown's office isn't commenting, but lawmakers and stakeholders have confirmed that his administration has stepped in to help develop a bill. Legislative leaders last week stripped the contents of several medical marijuana measures and linked them with boilerplate language, giving Brown's aides a chance to start all over.

"The Governor's Office has been very heavily involved," said Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), who wrote one of the medical marijuana bills. "They've brought forward some different views on how to structure it, which I think people are pretty comfortable with."

"I'm feeling like we're a week out and we have wide (support for acting) ... trying to bring this thing home," Cooley said.

California: Legislature Takes A Look At Medical Marijuana Ahead Of Recreational Legalization Vote

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The likelihood of a 2016 ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in California is prompting lawmakers in the Golden State to take a serious go at "regulating" the state's large medical marijuana industry, which has existed for 19 years.

Two bills in the California Legislature would create the first statewide regulations for medical cannabis growers, manufacturers of infused products, dispensaries, and delivery services, reports Lisa Leff at the Associated Press.

California voters approved medical marijuana with a 1996 ballot measure allowing doctors to authorize patients to use cannabis for any ailment, deliberately leaving out specifics to allow wider latitude. With advocates now working to qualify recreational adult use initiatives for the November 2016 ballot, the state's medical marijuana industry may soon be losing some of the latitude it has enjoyed for almost two decades.

Last month the Assembly approved a licensing scheme on an overwhelming 62-8 vote. a compromise measure to create a Governor's Office of Medical Cannabis Regulation, AB 266, is endorsed by both the California Cannabis Industry Association and the California Police Chiefs Association, which, as you might imagine, don't often find themselves agreeing.

California: Record-Breaking 13 Bills In Legislature Dealing With Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A record-breaking 13 bills are in the California Legislature this year dealing with marijuana, and most of them deal specifically with medicinal cannabis. Some of the bills would be quite damaging, including legislation that would criminalize some types of cultivation and concentrate manufacturing.

The bill with the most far-reaching consequences is AB 266, according to activist Lanny Swerdlow of the BlogTalkRadio.com show "Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense." According to Swerdlow, this bill is an attempt to put some state controls on California's patchwork of local regulations.

The bill would create a new Governor's Office of MMJ Regulation to oversee and coordinate three new MMJ regulatory divisions:
1) The Department of Food and Agriculture for cultivation;
2) Public Health for product safety and labeling; and
3) The Board of Equalization for licensing.

The major action, according to Swerdlow, would be by the Board of Equalization acting in coordination with other state agencies to write and enforce regulations for commercial medical marijuana distribution, and to issue provisional licenses for medicinal cannabis organizations, contingent on local licensing approval.

AB 266 also would prioritize enforcement against doctors accused of writing inappropriate medical marijuana recommendations, would create an apprenticeship program for the medicinal cannabis industry, would authorize additional local taxation, and more.

California: Legislator Introduces Bill To End Organ Transplant Denials For Medical Marijuana Patients

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Americans for Safe Access sponsors bill introduced by Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) to end discriminatory practice

California State Assembly member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) has introduced AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, a bill aimed at preventing medical marijuana patients from being unduly denied organ transplants.

The Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act is sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which has long advocated for patients seeking organ transplants, including Norman B. Smith, a medical marijuana patient who died in 2012 after being denied a liver transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Specifically, AB 258 states that, "A hospital, physician and surgeon, procurement organization, or other person shall not determine the ultimate recipient of an anatomical gift based solely upon a potential recipient's status as a qualified patient...or based solely on a positive test for the use of medical marijuana by a potential recipient who is a qualified patient." The bill simply establishes the same protections that currently exist for other transplant candidates with mental or physical disabilities.

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