Sunday, July 22, 2018

Some Of The Early Patient, Provider Survey Feedback

“The taxes are just too, damn high,” is the sentiment from most Californians and it’s now true for medical cannabis patients, too.  

PAN recently asked patients and providers how the new rules are affecting them.  Many patients reported no longer using retail outlets due to the cost and now use some other source, the un-regulated market.  

Shop owners are feeling this, too.  They report lower numbers of visits since the new taxes and fees took effect.   Some are frustrated with what they call rogue shops in their area, and state they know some of their patients have found growers to help supply them.  

Cultivators appear to be the most disgruntled with the licensing process, on both the local and state level.  In February of this year it was reported that only 0.78% of the estimated growers in California had been approved for a temporary license.  

The California Growers Association has filed a lawsuit against California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state agency that issues cultivation licenses.  The suit calls out new provisions in the regulations that allow a medium license holder to apply for an unlimited number of small cultivation licenses.  

The suit goes on to argue that Prop. 64 allowed a 5-year window for small growers to get established before the state issues what many refer to as the mega-licenses. This new policy of  “stacking” as the lawyers call it violates the intent of the voter initiative by basically creating a loophole to allow large-scale cultivation operations now.

California is not seeing the revenue it projected from the cannabis industry due to all of these issues.  

PAN continues take feedback, monitor the cannabis industry, work with the California legislature and help patients with Compassionate access.  


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Friday, July 13, 2018

Patient And Provider Survey

Patient Advocacy Network wants to hear from patients about their experiences with accessing medical cannabis.  

Additionally, we want to here from medical cannabis businesses that are having a difficult time navigating and/or affording regulations, fees, and taxes.

PAN’s mission is to help patients get the safe, affordable access they need, and help providers get better regulations.  Your input helps us know where we need to focus our efforts.  Please let us know your experiences.  

You can leave your comments below, email us at or call us at (323) 334-5282.  We are here for patients and providers.  

Are your favorite dispensaries still around?

Have they survived regulations?

Are you able to find a location?  Do you live in a medical cannabis desert?

Can you afford medical cannabis?  Are all the new taxes and fees making such that you are going without, relying on the underground market?

Are you able to access Compassion Programs for free or discounted cannabis?

Has legalization in your state made it easier or harder to access affordable medical cannabis?

Were you able to get a business license or permit for your commercial cannabis business?

Are the taxes and fees pushing your business under?

Are you concerned that Big Agriculture, Big Pharma is going to leverage your state for a commercial cannabis takeover?

Have you decided that you have to operate underground?

We look forward to hearing from you.  We respect and honor your privacy in your responses.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

PAN Explains To Governors Why Smokable Cannabis Is An Important & Viable Option For Patients

Florida Governor Rick Scott

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
PAN's Letter to the Governors


Dear Florida Governor Rick Scott  and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin–

I write to you about blocking medical cannabis patients from access to smokable cannabis.  

For some patients this is the best means of ingestion for their condition, especially for patients with extreme nausea.  AIDS and cancer patients, those undergoing dialysis and others find it difficult to eat medical cannabis products like capsules or tinctures without throwing them up.  

For chronic pain patients smokable cannabis is very effective as the relief can be within minutes.  For some people, whether prescribed pills or edible cannabis, it can take hours before they feel any relief.  

Also, for patients that have a more sensitive system smoking is ideal because there is great control in the amount one smokes and how often.  Smokable cannabis has quick onset and a quick, gentle offset.  For some patients smoking a pinch is all they need, whereas eating it would incapacitate them. 

I provide this link to a news story about a UCLA study regarding smokable cannabis:
Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection

Please reconsider your position regarding smokable cannabis for seriously ill patients. I thank you for your time and consideration.  


Degé Coutee
President, Executive & Program Director
Patient Advocacy Network
Advocating for patients’ safe, affordable access to medical cannabis since 2006

(323) 334-5282
P.O. Box 93845, Los Angeles, CA 90093


PAN is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Compassionate Care Bill Continues Through Committee

California Assembly Chamber

California’s Compassion Care Bill – SB 829 is bill to remove some of the financial barriers to cannabis business operators that want to provide products to medical cannabis patients in need.  As the current regulations stand, small collectives dedicated to assisting patients are having a difficult time or closing altogether.

The bill’s author, Senator Scott Wiener, stated in a media interview that is was not the intent of the voters to over tax patients and put compassionate collectives and cooperatives out of business.  What Wiener apparently missed is that the Bureau of Cannabis Control is doing away with collectives and cooperatives on January 9, 2019. 

SB 829 is currently making its way through Assembly Committees.  The next committee to hear this bill is Appropriations.  PAN has written to all committee members and their staff in support of Compassionate Care with an important amendment – keep collectives and cooperatives, especially in conjunction with Compassionate Care.  This business model is a natural fit for operations that give away much of their product to indigent patients.  

If you want to contact the Appropriations Committee, please find more information below.  This bill is not scheduled for hearing yet but anticipated to be heard the beginning of August. If you want or need assistance writing your comments to the committee, please contact PAN.  We are here to help you be an effective advocate. 

Look up the bill here:

Learn more about the Committee here:

Email list of Assembly Committee members, their chief of staff where available, and the Committee Consultants

Jay Dickenson – Chief Consultant Appropriations Committee  

Jennifer Galehouse – Deputy Chief Consultant  

Lorena S. Gonzalez Fletcher (Chair)

Frank Bigelow (Vice Chair)

Richard Bloom,

Rob Bonta

William P. Brough

Ian C. Calderon

Wendy Carrillo

Ed Chau

Susan Talamantes Eggman

Vince Fong

Laura Friedman

James Gallagher

Eduardo Garcia

Adrin Nazarian

Jay Obernolte

Bill Quirk

Eloise Gómez Reyes


Monday, July 09, 2018

Los Angeles To Add Further Taxation On Medical Cannabis

LA City Hall

The Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposed resolution to be placed on the ballot for November 2018, to further raise taxes on commercial cannabis activities, including medical cannabis.  

The Council File number is 18-1800-S2 and can be tracked at:

The 6/25/18 version of the Resolution is here:

You can contact Los Angeles City Council members here:

Patients concerned that further taxation will only make medical cannabis less accessible can reach LA City Council members at the above information.  Even if you do not live in Los Angeles but use the dispensaries in LA, you are a stakeholder.  Please contact PAN if you have questions about writing a letter or making a phone call.  We are here to teach patients how to be effective self-advocates.  

LA City Council is on recess for a few more days. PAN will be visiting LA City Hall upon their return to submit this memo.


To: All members of the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles City Clerk and Los Angeles City Attorney

From: Degé Coutee, President, Patient Advocacy Network
P.O. Box 93845, Los Angeles, CA 90093, @PAN4Compassion,
(323) 334-5282

RE: Council File 18-1800-S2 – A Resolution To Tax Medical Cannabis Patients

I write to ask that you please reconsider any further taxation on Medical Cannabis and remove this tax from the proposed ballot resolution.  Any further taxation or fees on medical cannabis only harms Patients and pushes them further into the underground market where many have gone already.  

At this time the California legislature is considering SB 829 to incorporate Compassionate Care into the state regulations and help remove financial barriers to serving authentic patients.  Instead of using indigent patients, cancer sufferers and veterans as an ATM, I ask that you please support Compassionate Care and focus the Cannabis Reinvestment Act on adult use, smoke lounges, events and other canna-tourism, and not the sick and dying.  

I thank you for your time and consideration.