Monday, December 03, 2018

Reform 64 - New Session In Sacramento Begins With Compassionate Care & Will Continue With More Reforms

California Senate Chamber
This week the California legislature re-introduced the Compassionate Care bill – SB 829, which will receive a new bill number next session.  This marks the legislature’s test of California’s newly elected governor, Gavin Newsom, who is predicted to be more reasonable that outgoing Jerry Brown who vetoed that Compassionate Care bill this past session.

There are many provisions and taxes within Prop. 64 that need to be amended.  PAN covers a story here that highlights everything our organization has been reporting regarding the problems with Prop. 64 and how it encourages a thriving unregulated market.  

Compassion Flower Report - Episode 15

Those most affected are patients that are overwhelmingly using the unregulated market because we can no longer afford the taxes at licensed shops.  

PAN is asking all patients and providers to list those provisions or issues you are having with accessing the regulated market or the barriers to becoming a legitimate cannabis business in California, and share them with PAN.  PAN is working with the legislature now to improve our laws.  California deserves to have the best cannabis laws in the country and we, collectively, are only ones that can make it happen.  We look forward to hearing from you.   

Monday, November 19, 2018

Give Thanks To The Patients That Made It Possible

This past election we saw two more states become medical: Utah and Missouri; and the first state in the mid-west to adopt recreational: Michigan.  

Thailand is eyeing being the first Asian country to approve medical cannabis laws. Canada is concerned about its dwindling medical cannabis supply since the implementation of adult use and is teaming up Jamaica for product.  

As we watch the industry take on challenges from city to city, state to state, and country to country, one thing remains the same, patients are concerned about cost and availability of medical cannabis in every regulated jurisdiction.

Over-regulation and hyper-taxation is putting a stranglehold on patients. Affordability and availability is an issue everywhere medical cannabis is approved.  Patient advocates hoped that adult recreational would help, not harm, access to medical, but it has made things worse for patients.

Unfortunately, licensed providers, or those hoping to become licensed are silent to the plight of patients for fear of losing authorized approval.  Defending patients often means advocating for affordability, lower-taxation, and compassion programs.  State and local governments don’t want to hear about programs that lower the potential revenue and therefore, providers don’t bring it up.  In some cases, license applicants that have solely wanted to serve patients have had their applications denied over those proposing large adult recreational outlets.  

As a result the basic greed by business owners and government officials has thrown patients under the bus.  Compassion was vetoed in California because the overall projected revenue is down and the governor would not approve a program that would eliminate some taxation, even for the poorest, sickest patients that aren’t even buying it retail anyway.  The revenue is down because the taxation and fees are too high and the underground market is thriving.  California’s legislature seems to be too blind to figure this out and/or too impotent to act.  The recent MJ Biz Conference didn’t even acknowledge medical cannabis or patients with any speakers or panels.  

So, hopefully, all of the profiteers in the industry this Thanksgiving will say ‘Thank You’ to all of the patients and advocates that took to the streets, took to city halls and statehouse chambers to expose themselves publicly as people that use cannabis, people that are regularly in possession of the cannabis, people that always have cannabis in their systems, people that may be cultivating cannabis, people with a disease that they may not have shared with others.  

This was the level of exposure that patients, providers and caregivers had to offer to get elected officials to listen and take action.  These were the people that experienced the DEA raids, had their bank accounts closed, lost jobs, had children taken away and lost housing for being a medical cannabis patient.  Some went on to federal prison for following state law.  

So, all of you CEO’s, COO’s, VP’s, and others of major cannabis companies, please thank poor, disabled patients brave enough to expose themselves to their governments, the media and law enforcement about some of the most private and sensitive parts of their lives during a very dangerous time to help pass laws long before you now get to exploit them for profit.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Recent Headlines

Medical Cannabis News Around California

Four Palm Springs area pot shops are among the first in California to get annual licenses

California needs more time to vet and license marijuana businesses

Palm Springs Airport clears up confusion for pot on planes

California Court Says Police Have to Give Back Marijuana They Seize During Arrests

Money laundering claims linked to illegal out-of-state marijuana sales

The Eruption Of Illegal Weed Dispensaries In L.A. Is A Problem Of The City's Own Making

Kern County voters reject all cannabis measures

Voters give thumbs up to cannabis taxes in Lake, Mendocino, Solano counties

Medical Cannabis News Around The U.S.

The future is bright for medical cannabis

Guns and Medical Marijuana: An Illegal Mix, According to Feds

Marijuana Stocks Spiked After Jeff Sessions Resigned

AG Brnovich seeks to outlaw hashish for medical-marijuana patients in Arizona

Arkansas medical marijuana program well behind other states

Florida - Gov. Scott appeals major medical marijuana ruling

Florida - Tampa's largest medical marijuana dispensary opens

No clear guidelines on testing for medical marijuana in Florida

Illinois - Medical marijuana use up 83% in state; PTSD most common condition treated

Illinois - SIU to create medical marijuana certificate program, launch new research into industrial hemp

Indiana lawmakers are considering medical marijuana.
One legislator said he tried it.

Medical Marijuana in Indiana After Jeff Sessions and With New Legislators

Medical marijuana clinic opening Monday in Louisiana

Louisiana - Medical marijuana plants are ready for harvest, but lack of a testing lab could lead to delays

Michigan's medical marijuana patients can now register online

Coast mayor backs Mississippi’s medical marijuana campaign, hosts event

Fight To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Missouri Intensifies As Groups Battle Over Tax Rates

All about Amendment 2, the medical marijuana proposal approved in Missouri on Tuesday

Higher costs, local bans have Montana's small medical marijuana producers scaling up or shutting down

New Jersey - There's a big win for medical marijuana patients in the fine print of new bill

New York Bill Would Require Medical Marijuana Be Covered By Public Health Insurance

North Dakota - UPDATE: Patient applications for medical marijuana available Oct 29

Some things to know about Ohio’s medical marijuana program

Oklahoma gets 600 medical marijuana dispensary applications

Registered medical marijuana patients dropping fast in Oregon

Rhode Island - Autism spectrum disorder now recognized as treatable by medical marijuana in RI

San Antonio state senator files medical marijuana bill for Texas

Utah - Winners and losers from this week’s big medical marijuana deal

Utah Voters Approve Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana backers threaten to sue over LDS Church involvement in compromise bill to replace Prop 2

Concerns about deadline being met about medical marijuana in West Virginia

International Medical Cannabis News

Forget Stoners. The Real Money Is in Medical Marijuana

Australia’s cannabis industry set to boom: report

Canada - Medical pot shortage to last 18 months: Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre  

Canada – OMA president's comments, apology raise questions about stigma around marijuana

Canada - Unlicensed medical pot dispensaries the wildcard in new cannabis landscape

Guam Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Bill, Saying it "Reeks of Legislative Arrogance"

Lithuania parliament votes to legalise medicinal cannabis use

Polish government approves import of medical cannabis

UK - Medical cannabis ‘will be available on prescription within a month’

Medical cannabis will soon be available on prescription in the UK, but who will get it?

Republic of Vanuatu Legalizes Medical Cannabis

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

California Governor Jerry Brown Issues Blow To Medical Cannabis Patients, Compassion

Protections for medical cannabis patients are eroding quickly in the state of California.  Two important medical cannabis bills that passed the legislature were not signed by Governor Jerry Brown this week, SB 829 and SB 1127, leaving what many think is a huge stain on Brown’s political legacy.

On September 11, 2015, the legislature passed MMRSA – Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.  This set of rules was a clear violation of Proposition 215 as it made huge, sweeping amendments to a voter initiative.  In an act of diabolical genius immediately after MMRSA passed, AUMA – the Adult Use of Marijuana Act – was filed and signature gathering began soon thereafter quashing any effort to sue the State over MMRSA as any judge assigned to the case would suggest waiting until the outcome the election before moving forward with the case.  AUMA neatly umbrella’ed MMRSA making it part of their voter initiative and effectively compromising Prop. 215 – The Compassionate Use Act.  

Despite the diligent, articulate and informed arguments by patient advocates statewide that AUMA – Prop. 64 – greatly jeopardized The Compassionate Use Act, paid proponents of Prop. 64 worked to discredit and undermine decades of hard work by advocates to protect patients’ safe, affordable access to medical cannabis.  AUMA passed. The taxes and fees have skyrocketed.  Patients have stopped visiting licensed retail cannabis shops for unregulated sources.  Now a blow by the Governor to declare that Compassionate Care and allowing children access to their medicine at school are illegal.

As of January 1, 2018, giving cannabis away at no cost to vulnerable patients – the spirit of The Compassionate Use Act – became illegal.  SB 829 would have created a license for this activity to encourage the re-establishment of compassion programs allowing low-income patients and our veterans to have more livable lives.  SB 1127 would’ve allowed children with serious illnesses to have their medical cannabis available at school in case of an emergency. Many of these children suffer from Dravet Syndrome – a severe form of epilepsy that produces violent and debilitating seizures, often several times a day.  Medical cannabis alleviates the duration, frequency and severity of these seizures allowing children to have more livable lives.  Governor Brown is not concerned about the lives of Californians especially of they are poor, ill or use medical cannabis.

So, what are the options for medical cannabis patients, providers and their advocates? Taking the next several legislative sessions to make endless amendments to every part of these flawed laws is one burdensome option.  A legal challenge to Prop. 64, as it pertains to the claim that it doesn’t affect Prop. 215, is another option but not a long-term solution.  It appears more and more that the only way to protect patients and Prop. 215 is through the voter initiative process and specifically a constitutional amendment.  

However, statewide voter initiative campaigns are arduous and expensive.  Is there enough frustration to motivate a campaign?  Are there enough people willing to make a small donation to fund a campaign?  Patient Advocacy Network would like to hear your thoughts. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Patient Advocacy Network Medical Cannabis News Digest – September 30, 2018

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Medical Cannabis News Around California

California bill allowing medical marijuana on school grounds reaches Gov. Brown’s desk

Weed Farmers Are Suing a California County After It Kicked Them Out

Santa Clarita Marijuana Delivery Services In ‘Legal Limbo’ As California Regulates Weed

As California Raids Illicit Pot Shops, Legal Industry Struggles With Safety Testing

Big safety testing failure rate for California pot products

Legal medical marijuana stores could start opening up in Fresno

City Council Could Approve First Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Judge rules Santa Rosa girl taking medical cannabis for seizures can attend public school

After 45 months of planning second cannabis dispensary opens in Santa Barbara

Medical Cannabis News Around The U.S.

Ninth Circuit Cannabis Ruling Gives Biz Owner New Chance to Fight Charges

Legalising medical marijuana shows no effect on crime rates in US states

Why The Adult Cannabis Market Could Kill Its Medical Counterpart

Data Shows the Global Medical Cannabis Usage Continues to Grow

US scholars back medical cannabis

Increasing use of Cannabis for Pain Treatment is set to Grow the U.S. Medical Cannabis Market

Measure to let VA doctors recommend marijuana was again left out of budget bill

Medical marijuana users are being shut out of public housing

Marijuana use among pregnant women is rising, and so are concerns
Solid data on the dangers of the drug to pregnant women and babies are hard to come by

The First Medicinal Cannabis Kitchen of Its Kind in the Country Will Debut in Arizona on Friday, Oct. 5

Connecticut - Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Worker Rejected For Medical Marijuana Use

Underground network brings medical marijuana to Georgia residents, and it's legal

Louisiana lifts limit on patients who can access medical marijuana

Maryland’s medical cannabis program bans food, but plenty of ingestible products are sold

98 Michigan medical marijuana dispensaries will have to shut down

Michigan - 98 medical marijuana dispensaries won't have to close due to judge's ruling

Michigan plans online registration for medical marijuana

Minnesota - To make medical cannabis more affordable, allow patients access to marijuana flower

North Dakota - Medical marijuana law shields manufacturing and dispensary applicants' information

Fargo, Bismarck locations among first ND medical marijuana dispensaries selected

Why Ohio's medical marijuana program is getting a late start and what's next

Ohio - 'Cannabis regulated like plutonium': Security measures causing delays in marijuana launch date

Ohio - Medical marijuana roll-out "sloppy," state auditor says

Oklahoma - More doctors added to medical marijuana registry, over 1,500 patients approved

Patients react to new limits on Oregon medical marijuana

A year after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana program back on track

South Carolina - Compassionate Care Alliance launches tour in support of medical cannabis

Utah - State lawmaker files bill to address medical marijuana proposition

Drug Safe Utah defends radio ad opposing medical marijuana ballot initiative

Utah’s medical marijuana campaign kicks off with a ‘tailwind of support

Forum panelists support medical marijuana, but some not in favor of Utah’s Prop 2

West Virginia Medical Marijuana Remains in Limbo

International Medical Cannabis News

Windsor doctor worries for medical cannabis once recreational use legalized
Canadian Medical Association wants medical use 'phased out' but local doctor says that's not the way

Canada’s Medical Cannabis Program Safe (For Now)

Malaysia in Talks to Become First in Asia to Allow Medical Pot


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Weed Sells, But Who's Buying? California's Unregulated Market Takes Over

California is experiencing a significant decrease in revenue from medical cannabis sales than what state officials originally predicted.  Some cannabis industry analysts point to adult recreational use as the primary factor.  However, patients and providers will tell you that over-taxation and the added costs of testing, packaging and licensing fees have pushed patients to seek unregulated sources for their medical cannabis.

Cannabis retail providers will tell you that it’s not only patients that have stopped coming in, but local adults, that frequented dispensaries a year ago, also stopped coming in after the new taxes went into effect January 1, 2018. So, who’s buying from licensed and permitted cannabis shops in California?  Tourists.

This benefits cannabis retailers fortunate and/or foresight-full enough to secure a permitted location in a major tourist thoroughfare, such as the Haight-Ashbury or the Venice Boardwalk.  Boutique providers in lesser known communities report that they are having a tough time business-wise – daily visits are low, unregulated options are plentiful, and the cost of doing business is too expensive – unreasonably so.  

Many boutique cannabis business owners see California’s current regulatory system favoring large, wealthy corporations over smaller, local mom-and-pop businesses. Investment money is nearly mandatory these days to keep up and stay afloat.  However, this has always been the way of capitalism and big money and business regulations.  Big money gets what it wants from the rule makers.  The little guy gets hit the hardest.  The consumer ends up paying more in the end.  

Except most California cannabis consumers refuse to pay more and there are plenty of more affordable options outside of the licensed industry.  If smaller cannabis businesses in California want to survive, they are going to have to demand more affordable rules and lower taxation.  The price out of the door has to match or beat the price on the street and right now “black market is king” according to social commentary.   

The $35 affordable eighth to the $65 premium eighth has been the standard on and off the streets for many years.  If regulations can’t meet this consumer demand, then the consumer is going to get it at that price elsewhere.  Does the legislature realize that the excessive taxation and cost of regulation has caused the unregulated market or ‘black market’ to explode?  Do they already know and this is by design? Why?

Always follow the money.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Patient Advocacy Network Medical Cannabis News Digest – September 10, 2018

Medical Cannabis News Digest – September 10, 2018

For more news updates and current information -
Follow us on twitter:

Watch The Compassion Flower Report at:
Please subscribe and like.

Medical Cannabis News Around California

California Has a Serious Compliance Problem

Santa Cruz - Medical marijuana users left in limbo as co-op struggles to regroup, reopen

California political groups launch website to shoot down statewide marijuana delivery

Medical Cannabis News Around The U.S.

When It Comes to Medical Marijuana, Veterans Often Have to Improvise

Connecticut - State Approves Use Of Medical Marijuana For Stubborn Headaches, 7 Other Conditions

Florida - Fort Lauderdale Enforces Law Limiting Medical Marijuana Clinics, Even Though The State Says It Can't

Georgia lawmakers eye expansion of medical marijuana law

Illinois opioid patients may soon have medical cannabis alternative

New Illinois law allows medical marijuana pain prescriptions

Massachusetts - Northborough, Bellingham bans on medical marijuana facilities upheld by AG

AG Healey changes decision, says towns can't ban medical marijuana

Michigan considers allowing home delivery of medical marijuana

Medical marijuana tally: 146 applications for 6 shops as New Jersey expands medicinal weed

New Mexico producers seeing green on medical pot sales

Ohio - Central State medical pot lab will require more police, armored truck

Medical marijuana update: Where each piece of the industry stands as Ohio tries to catch up
State misses September deadline, production won’t meet demand for months

Applications for medical marijuana beginning in Oklahoma

Oregon - OLCC Vastly Reduces Daily Purchase Limits for Medical Cannabis

Oregon - Liquor Control Commission to seek $7 million in pot taxes to track medical marijuana

Reformers Hopeful the 2019 Legislature will Expand Texas’ Medical Marijuana Law

Utah governor says he'll use 'bully pulpit' to get lawmakers to act on medical marijuana

Virginia to keep medical cannabis licensing process secret

International Medical Cannabis News

Drug expert supports current Australian medicinal cannabis policies

Unraveling DNA of medical cannabis
Israeli firm NR-Gene and a Swiss-based firm will use cutting-edge algorithms to precisely map the genome of the cannabis plant.

New Zealand license granted for cultivating medicinal cannabis


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