Comments Off on If California Legalizes Marijuana, It Would Be a $6 Billion Industry, Report Says

If California Legalizes Marijuana, It Would Be a $6 Billion Industry, Report Says

Posted by | August 29, 2016 | California Cannabis Jobs, California marijuana, California Marijuana News, Cannabis News

Justin Worland @justinworland Aug. 25, 2016
marijuana california legalization
Brian van der Brug_LA Times via Getty Images
Volunteer Gregory Lyons, 63, of Oakland, makes calls at Oaksterdam University in support of Prop 19, a marijuana legalization initiative, in Oakland on Nov. 2 2010.
The question is on the ballot in November
Legalizing recreational marijuana in California could create a $6.46-billion market for legal use of the drug by 2020, according to a new report.

The projection, from the Arcview Market Research, comes in advance of a November vote on legalization in the state. Legal marijuana sales would be expected to hit $1.6 in the first year of legalization.

The move would make the state the “epicenter” of marijuana in the U.S., John Kagia of the analytics firm New Frontier told the Orange County Register. Both Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana sales, but California sales would dwarf those in other states.

Polling suggests that a small majority of Californians support legalization. A similar measure failed in the state in 2010.

Comments Off on 7 States That Are Next in Line to Legalize Marijuana

7 States That Are Next in Line to Legalize Marijuana

Posted by | January 27, 2015 | Cannabis News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana

During a series of YouTube interviews Thursday, President Obama demonstrated a remarkably laissez-faire attitude toward marijuana legalization experiments in the states. And he signaled strongly that the Obama administration wouldn’t be taking to the hustings to try to beat back legalization efforts, as previous administrations had been wont to do.

“What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana,” the president said in response to a question from YouTube host Hank Green. “The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as an illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made at the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this.”

Indeed. Legalization bills are already popping up in state legislatures around the country, and while it’s unlikely—though not impossible—that any of them will pass this year, 2016 looks to be the break-out year for freeing the weed. One state is going to be the first to legalize it through the legislature, and next year seems reasonable. And the presidential election year is also likely to see successful legalization initiatives in several more.


Read the full post at AlterNet

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Wichita Kansas Looks to Decriminalize Cannabis in 2015

Posted by | December 30, 2014 | Cannabis News, Kansas Cannabis News, Legal Marijuana News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Wichita Kansas Looks to Decriminalize Cannabis in 2015
Azel Praer/Flickr
The seeds of change are sprouting in Kansas

The way that the laws are currently written, you really do not want to get busted with weed in Wichita, Kansas…or any part of Kansas for that matter.

A first-time offense for simple pot possession in Kansas will earn you a misdemeanor charge on your record, up to a $2,500 fine, and even a year in jail. Get popped a second time and you could be looking at a felony.

But if the pro-cannabis advocacy group Kansas for Change has their way, that may be about to change for the better.

As the president of Kansas for Change, Esau Freeman is leading the charge for statewide cannabis reform, and his first battleground is the largest city in the state of Kansas, Wichita.

Freeman says that his group has collected more than enough signatures to put a newly proposed marijuana decriminalization bill on the Wichita city election ballot in April of next year.

A previous effort to place a similar bill before the voters earlier this year fell short by just 36 signatures after 3,600 signatures were deemed inadmissible, and were thrown out.

Polls reflect a 70% approval among voters for implementing a medical marijuana program in the state, but both efforts to create one in 2014 got stalled in the state senate by a handful of pot-hating politicians.

Freeman stops just short of calling this most recent effort a true decriminalization law, as many compromises have been made along the way just to advance the idea this far. “We’re calling it the Marijuana Reform Initiative,” Freeman said. “It’s not decriminalization and no way is it legalization.”

“If approved,” he continues, “it would send a message to elected officials that Kansans want more-relaxed marijuana laws.”

Wichita’s proposed new weed law would apply to adults 21 years of age or older. If approved as written, the new penalty for simple pot possession (32 grams or less) will be reduced to a $50 fine. Instead of a pair of handcuffs and a trip to the police station, the penalties would be issued by citation, or at worst, a summons to appear in court at a later date. Additionally, if the offender in question keeps a clean record for one year after their bust, all records of the incident will be expunged from their permanent record.

According to FBI and law enforcement data from 2012, some 4,700 Kansans were arrested or cited for marijuana-related offenses – mostly simple possession. The Marijuana Policy Project astutely points out that in that same one year time period, over 92% of robberies and home invasions, and over 66% of reported rapes, went unsolved in the state.

Freeman and his group Kansas for Change have planned a series of public awareness events, in hopes of ensuring that this latest effort comes to fruition in 2015.

Comments Off on Competing Marijuana Legalization Bills Show Georgia is in Play

Competing Marijuana Legalization Bills Show Georgia is in Play

Posted by | November 25, 2014 | Cannabis Jobs in Georgia, Legalize Marijuana in Georgia

 Competing Marijuana Legalization Bills Show Georgia is in Play

Georgia legalizing marijuana

Ask anyone who has grown up or spent any time in Georgia and they will tell you that this state will likely be one of the last to legalize marijuana. In a state that’s home toover 10,000 churches and a very conservative base, Georgia will never, ever make marijuana available for its citizens in any form.


Representative Allen Peake Introduces CBD Bill

On Monday, November 17, State Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) showed up to the Gold Dome early in order to pre-file his medical marijuana legislation. Known as the Haleigh’s Hope Act, the bill received the coveted “House Bill 1” designation, showing a serious commitment by politicians to make medical marijuana available in some form to sick Georgians.

HB 1 will make legal medical marijuana extracts that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) available for a select number of sick Georgians. HB1 is very similar to last year’s HB 885, which failed at the last minute due to political wrangling. The difference is this year’s bill will list conditions other than epilepsy, such as cancer and glaucoma, despite the fact that most scientific research points to THC as the active ingredient in cannabis that can do the most good for these additional conditions.

House Bill 1, also known as the Haleigh’s Hope Act, will be formally introduced during the 2015 legislative session and would provide for the regulated use of medical cannabis to treat certain medical conditions. The bill would only allow for the use of non-smoking medical cannabis, in the form of liquid, pill, or injection, and the bill explicitly states that the intent is not to legalize the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Under HB 1, only certain, registered patients would have access to the treatment, and it would only be dispensed by licensed, registered entities within the state. HB 1 would provide for a safe, effective, timely, tightly regulated, and secure infrastructure with strict state oversight for medical cannabis, which would contain a very low amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Additionally, the bill would decriminalize the possession of medical cannabis oil in Georgia for those patients who legally obtained the medicine in another state. Lastly, the bill states that the General Assembly would create a strict regulatory system around the medicine’s production that satisfies the recommendations of the U.S. Justice Department.

Sen. Curt Thompson Introduces Two Marijuana Bills

Competing with Rep. Peake’s House bill is Senate Bill 7, also known as the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Relief Act,  which would make it legal for physicians in Georgia to recommend up to two ounces of medical marijuana for patients suffering from covered conditions. And while HB 1 will only allow miniscule amounts of THC, SB 7 sets no such restrictions.

Covered conditions under Senate Bill 7

When pre-filled, Senate Bill 7 included the following qualifying conditions in order to obtain medical marijuana in Georgia:

Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/Aids, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s Disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, wasting (Cachexia), severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and Multiple Sclerosis.

“While I adamantly support cannabis oil treatments for children with severe medical problems, I believe physicians should have the ability to care for all of their patients, regardless of age,” Sen. Thompson said in a press release.

In addition to Senate Bill 7, Sen. Thompson has also pre-filed Senate Resolution 6, which would add a Colorado-style amendment to the Georgia Constitution that would legalize and tax marijuana for adult recreational use. Though the chance of SR 6 passing the Georgia Senate is probably akin to what we around here call “slim to none”,  Sen. Thompson admits the resolution is being introduced to “start a discussion” on the possible economic impact if Georgia were to legalize recreational marijuana. And the impact could be huge indeed if you consider the experience of states like Colorado, where the State is poised to provide a $30 million TAX REFUND to taxpayers due to an excess in marijuana tax revenue.

Taking a stand for Georgia

No matter the outcome of what is sure to be an interesting legislative session in 2015, Peachtree NORML will be there to take a stand with Georgians who are sick and tired of the failed, TRILLION-DOLLAR waste of money known as the War on Drugs. We stand poised to make a real difference in people’s lives in the upcoming session and we need your support. Here are some ways you can get involved right now:

  • Become a member of Peachtree NORML
    Our driving force is our core membership, which stretches from Tennessee to Florida. Peachtree NORML members meet regularly in order to organize, strategize and socialize. Join today!
  • Make a donation
    Peachtree NORML is a volunteer-led organization that depends on the generosity of our supporters to promote the message of cannabis law reform in Georgia. We are also designated as a not-for-profit organization and have filed paperwork to obtain 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. Donate here.
  • Volunteer your time
    As an all-volunteer organization Peachtree NORML could not function without the thousands of hours per year donated by our members and supporters. If you have a skill or service you think could be of benefit to the cause please let us know. Contact us to volunteer today.
  • Share your anonymous marijuana testimonial
    In order to make a change we have to show our lawmakers how cannabis prohibition negatively affects the lives of Georgians. We do this by showing themtestimonials submitted by Georgia medical marijuana patients and others who are criminalized and marginalized by the failed drug war. Send us your testimonial.
  • Become a Partner or Sponsor
    Do you have cash or resources you or your business want to apply towards cannabis law reform in Georgia? Then you’re not alone. Check out our Partner’s page to see who else is supporting our cause.

 All The Progress Made On Marijuana Could Vanish

USA — The movement to end marijuana prohibition has made significant progress recently, but it could all be undone when the next president takes office in 2017. Harvard economist Jeff Miron, a vocal supporter of marijuana policy reform, highlighted the precarious nature of state marijuana laws in a Wednesday op-ed for CNN on why Congress needs to act now on federal marijuana policy.

“Despite the compelling case for legalization, and progress toward legalization at the state level, ultimate success is not assured,” Miron wrote. “Federal law still prohibits marijuana, and existing jurisprudence (Gonzales v. Raich 2005) holds that federal law trumps state law when it comes to marijuana prohibition. So far, the federal government has mostly taken a hands-off approach to state medicalizations and legalizations, but in January 2017, the country will have a new president. That person could order the attorney general to enforce federal prohibition regardless of state law.”

With marijuana legalization supported by a majority of Americans, and with states continuing to pass legalization laws — about a dozen more may do so by 2016 — it seems unlikely that the federal government would push back against the popular movement. But it’s not impossible.

That’s because the regulation of marijuana — as seen in programs currently in place in Colorado and Washington state, as well as those that will soon go into effect in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. — remains illegal under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. The states that have legalized marijuana have only been able to do so because of federal guidance urging federal prosecutors to refrain from targeting state-legal marijuana operations. That guidance could be reversed when a new administration enters the White House.

“Both Miron’s analysis and conclusion are spot on,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post. “The federal government needs to end the failed prohibition of marijuana by rescheduling or removing it from the list of controlled substances. Too many lives are ruined and futures cut short by these outdated and wasteful policies.”

Blumenauer is just one of a number of lawmakers from both parties who have worked toward that end. About a dozen bills were introduced in 2013, several by Blumenauer himself, aimed at limiting the federal government’s ability to interfere with states’ legal marijuana programs. Last year, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would direct the U.S. Attorney General to issue an order that removes marijuana in any form from all schedules of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. If passed, Polis’ measure would effectively end the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana.

And while Congress has failed to pass any of those bills, attitudes are still changing rapidly on marijuana policy. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said he remains cautiously optimistic about marijuana legalization being here to stay, despite Congress’ tendency to move slowly on controversial social issues like this.

“It’s all political,” Nadelmann told HuffPost in an email. “Of course it’s possible that the next president could decide to crack down on the states that have legalized marijuana but that prospect becomes ever less likely with every passing day.”

“Diverse sectors of society are developing a stake in marijuana remaining legal,” he continued. “Taxpayers and tax collectors enjoy the revenue. Cost cutters appreciate the savings from no longer arresting so many people for marijuana. Unions welcome the new legal jobs. Businessmen, including many who vote Republican, relish the actual and potential profits.”

In a similar vein, Blumenauer himself has predicted that before the end of the decade, the federal government will legalize weed. Federal authorities have already allowed Colorado’s and Washington’s historic marijuana laws to take effect, and earlier this year, President Barack Obama signed the 2014 farm bill, which legalized industrial hemp production for research purposes in the states that permit it. The first hemp crops in U.S. soil in decades are already growing.

Moreover, in May, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed bipartisan measures aimed at limiting Drug Enforcement Administration crackdowns on state-legal medical marijuana shops, and at preventing the agency from interfering in states’ legal hemp programs.

Even in gridlocked Washington, the Democratic White House and the Republican-heavy Congress have been able to see eye-to-eye over how criminal justice and drug policy reform will be implemented in the next two years.

So what do some of the likely 2016 presidential candidates say about marijuana? On the Republican side, according to HuffPost’s Pollster model, the front-runners are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Paul has been supportive of D.C.’s new recreational marijuana law, and he’s also introduced legislation aimed at protecting state-legal medical marijuana operations from federal intervention.

Huckabee, meanwhile, is opposed to both medical and recreational marijuana, and Bush came out against Florida’s recent medical marijuana bill. At the same time, Bush has made generally supportive comments about keeping the federal government out of state marijuana laws.

On the Democratic side, the current front-runners are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.). While Clinton hasn’t offered a full-throated endorsement of marijuana legalization, she has left the door open, saying she supports medical marijuana “for people who are in extreme medical conditions.” She’s also said she wants to “wait and see” how recreational pot works out in Colorado and Washington state.

Biden has called legalization a “mistake” in the past, but he’s also said that cracking down on marijuana users is a “waste of our resources.” Warren has offered some support for medical marijuana legalization, but is opposed to recreational legalization.

“For 77 years, the United States has outlawed marijuana, with tragic repercussions and unintended consequences,” Miron wrote Wednesday. “The public and their state governments are on track to rectify this terrible policy. Here’s hoping Congress catches up.”

Read Miron’s entire editorial here:

Source: Huffington Post (NY)
Author: Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post
Published: November 19, 2014
Copyright: 2014, LLC

Fla Medical Marijuana Vote

Should Medical Marijuana Be Legal in Florida? – Hell Yes More Cannabis Jobs!

In less than one month, Florida will decide if medical marijuana should be legal. Amendment 2 on the ballot “allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician.” This proposal amends our state’s constitution which requires a super-majority of at least 60 percent of the vote. Currently, the issue is polling at an average of sixty-eight percent. So the question lingers like a roach in an ashtray: should we legalize medical marijuana?

This issue is conflicting. Almost everyone I know smokes marijuana. The drug serves purposes, both medicinally and for recreation. The libertarian streak in me does not think the government should control what we put into our own bodies, especially in the privacy of our homes. Furthermore, the current laws around marijuana feel barbaric. No one should be arrested for possessing, cultivating or distributing marijuana. It’s a victimless crime. To fill our jails with marijuana users is a waste of resources and a travesty of justice. Weed should be decriminalized and reduced to paying a fine. But that’s not the issue. The issue here is legalizing medical marijuana.

You’d have to be inhumane to not have empathy for people battling severe diseases, like epilepsy or cancer — and if these people require marijuana as the only means necessary to ease their pain they should absolutely be afforded that option. But guess what? These patients will have that option in Florida. It’s called Charlotte’s Web and the governor (who I will not be voting for) signed it into law in July. It goes into effect January 1st, 2015 and is basically a more regulated form of medical marijuana.

Is Charlotte’s Web that bad??

As far as Amendment 2 stands now, the law is very broad and promises to basically open up a floodgate of marijuana clinics and growers. And come on, we all know that if you want to get your hands on a medical marijuana card it will be as easy as walking into a store. It’ll be like California, like in Venice Beach, where girls in bikinis stand outside clinics with signs inviting anyone and everyone in so you can obtain a prescription from a doctor and then go next door to the marijuana dispensary.

We’re talking Florida here. There isn’t a state in the union with more fly-by-nighters, get-rich-quick reprobates, scallywags, and peddlers of fraud, abuse and mismanagement. You really think medical marijuana will not be abused in Florida? Come on. After years of neglecting “pill-mills” which killed or ruined the lives of thousands of people, now we want to open up the same sort of system.

To be fair, marijuana is a false equivalency compared to pill-mills.

Marijuana never killed anyone.

In fact, medical marijuana should probably be legal: morally, economically, socially, medicinally; but should it be legal in the state that commits the most fraud in the country. How come it’s not legal in New York, Massachusetts or Pennsylvania? Or any Southern state? In addition, regulating this will be a logistical nightmare, especially in Florida where Republicans control Tallahassee. As far as I understand, after speaking with friends who’ve been fighting for this issue for years, there’s no clear-cut answer as to who will be allowed to sell it, or, who will be allowed to grow it. As far as I understand, all of these regulations will be created and enforced by the state legislature, of which the majority is against this even happening. This means there will likely be countless lawsuits and gridlock and just a mess.

This issue is truly a tough one.

Florida is trying so hard to evolve out of this fun-in-the-sun, Cocaine Cowboys, eat-a-roofie, pop-a-molly, party destination. And we’ve come far. How on earth can legalizing medical marijuana (in such a broad manner) help our cultural growth?

There’s no question, Amendment 2 will lead to more marijuana use; it will lead to people driving under the influence; it will slow us down; it will spin us out; it will make us a joke. Yet on the other hand, it’s just weed, an herb, a natural tranquilizer. How can a case of the munchies and the giggles be that bad? And that’s assuming it will be abused by people who don’t really need it, which, come-on, it will be.

As conflicted as this issue is, I’ll probably vote for it, just so it could potentially lead to decriminalization. But still, will it pass anyway? Despite polling at 68 percent, there is a lot of voter apathy in the air, and if you are counting on getting stoners to the polls, good luck — you’ll need it. But, hey, if it does pass, it will hardly be the end of the world.

Shucks, I’ll even take a hit from the bong out-of-respect for the victory, especially in the name of all those who will stay out of jail for the new law. But don’t listen to me.

To gain a full perspective on this issue, click here to make up your own mind.

Comments Off on Florida MMJ Measure in Trouble? CMon Florida Get Out and Vote Yes on 2

Florida MMJ Measure in Trouble? CMon Florida Get Out and Vote Yes on 2

Posted by | October 13, 2014 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Florida MMJ Measure in Trouble? CMon Florida Get Out and Vote Yes on 2

The anti-medical marijuana campaign in Florida appears to be taking its toll on legalization efforts.

The latest SurveyUSA poll in Florida on the state’s MMJ ballot measure found that just 51% of voters favor the initiative, with 33% opposed and 15% uncertain. That marks the fourth consecutive weekly decline in support levels in the SurveyUSA poll. A month ago, 56% of those surveyed said they would vote for the measure.

Polls conducted by other groups have found varying levels of support, including one from July in which nearly 90% of respondents backed the measure.

Many of these were taken before Drug Free Florida – the campaign against MMJ – really got rolling.

In recent months, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has poured $4 million into fighting Amendment 2, which would legalize MMJ for patients with serious ailments.

In many other states, a 51% support rating wouldn’t be bad news. But in Florida, amendments to the state constitution need 60% to pass.

The SurveyUSA poll was conducted between Oct. 2-6 and included responses from 750 Floridians.

Will the Iowa Medical Marijuana Bill Pass? – Lets hope so for more Cannabis Jobs

Comments Off on Money rolling in to push through Florida Medical Marijuana Amendment

Money rolling in to push through Florida Medical Marijuana Amendment

Posted by | July 16, 2014 | Florida Medical Marijuana News

Money rolling in to push through Florida Medical Marijuana Amendment

By Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida

Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan said he has pledges of up to $6 million — not including his own substantial checkbook — to back a proposed constitutional amendment going before voters in November that would allow doctors to order marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses.

Morgan, who largely bankrolled the petition effort that put Amendment 2 on the ballot, said Monday he is prepared to again open his own wallet to convince voters to support the proposal which, like all constitutional questions, requires 60 percent approval for passage.

fl med mar

“We’ve got people coming from all over America to help us,” Morgan said in a telephone interview from New Hampshire. “I’ve got at least $6 million committed as of today, without more money from me. I believe we’re going to be able to do it.”

Renewed support from Morgan — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s boss and close friend — comes as opponents of the measure, aided by Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and supporter of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, double down on efforts to kill it.

Adelson, whose son, Mitchell, reportedly died of a drug overdose in 2005 and whose wife, Miriam, is a physician specializing in substance-abuse treatment, contributed $2.5 million to the Drug Free Florida Committee, one of two organizations lining up against the proposal.

Morgan has contributed at least $3.75 million to People United for Medical Marijuana, a political committee supporting the amendment that has spent more than $5 million so far. Supporters of the amendment recently set up a new federal 501(c)4 committee that can keep its donors secret. But Florida for Care organizers say the group is focused on creating a regulatory framework for the amendment if it is approved.

Debate is heating up over Amendment 2, which would allow physicians to order medical marijuana for patients they decide are suitable for the treatment. The debate comes as the state grapples with creating an infrastructure for a type of cannabis that purportedly does not get users high but can eliminate or dramatically reduce life-threatening seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy. Lawmakers approved that type of cannabis this spring.

Scott, who has said he opposes the constitutional amendment, signed into law the measure authorizing strains of marijuana that are low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD. The law also allows patients who suffer from severe muscle spasms or cancer to be put on a “compassionate use registry” for the low-THC product as long as their doctors approve. Under the law, five growers who meet certain criteria, including having been in business as nurseries in Florida for at least 30 years, will be authorized by the state to manufacture, process and distribute the product — usually sold in paste or oil form — to patients put on the registry.

“Ganjapreneurs” from around the world are flocking to Florida — the first state to implement a law in which growers will also process and distribute the low-THC, high-CBD product — in hopes of getting in on the ground floor of the cannabis industry.

“There is going to be money made and whether you’re selling beer in a convenience store or topless dances in Ybor City, you’re going to have people who want to make money. That’s just who we are,” Morgan said.

The state’s newest regulated industry has attracted “charlatans” who are likely interested in the more lucrative possibilities traditional medical marijuana holds should Amendment 2 pass, Morgan said.

“It looks like a bunch of cockroaches that just got sprayed with Raid. They’re spinning around going nowhere fast,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who think this is their way to get out of their coat and tie and walk around in their Jimmy Buffett outfit all day long. I believe that right now I could make millions of dollars if I could set up a lemonade stand saying, ‘I’m the marijuana guru, call me for information.’ You can’t imagine how many people are calling me thinking I’m going to be the way and the light.”

Polls have consistently showed widespread support for the medical marijuana amendment, but that was before what is developing into an all-out attack on the measure, including opposition from law enforcement groups like the Florida Sheriffs Association.

Critics have accused Morgan of putting the medical marijuana amendment on the ballot to increase turnout among left-leaning voters who typically stay home during mid-term elections and who may be more likely to support Crist.

But Morgan predicted fighting the amendment could backfire against Republican candidates like Attorney General Pam Bondi and Scott, who both oppose the measure.

“It’s like if you told African-Americans we’re going to shut down voting times or voting days, they said, ‘The hell you are,’ and came out and voted in record numbers,” Morgan said.

But Sarah Bascom, a spokeswoman for what is known as the Vote No on 2 campaign, accused Morgan of using the amendment to beef up support for Crist.

“Mr. Morgan’s comments are further proof that he’s not doing this ‘for the people,’ but as part of his own political agenda. This preoccupation with politics probably explains why the loophole-ridden amendment was written so poorly,” she said.

Wow – Florida Cannabis Draft Rules Include Lottery, $150K Licensing Fee to cultivate cannabis and sell cannabidiol extract

Florida could hold a lottery to decide which companies receive the five licenses to cultivate cannabis and sell cannabidiol extract, with the winners forced to pay a $150,000 fee for the permit.

These are two of the proposals included in 16-pages of draft rules the state developed for its new CBD-specific program, which governor Rick Scott signed into law in June. The law allows five operators to grow cannabis, synthesize it into CBD extract and then dispense it within five geographic regions of the state.

fla legalize medical marijuana

The draft rules, if approved, would create a narrow window for business opportunities for the cannabis industry. Under the proposal, only existing nurseries that have operated in Florida for at least 30 years and are capable of growing at least 400,000 plants could apply for licenses.

According to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, only 41 nurseries meet the criteria. If more than one nursery in one of the five geographic regions applies for a license, the state would hold a lottery for the regional license, according to the draft rules.

The five chosen businesses would have 30 days to pay a $150,000 licensing fee and post a $5 million performance bond. If a business fails, the state would start the selection process over for that region.

The remainder of the rules are similar to those found in other medical marijuana states. Background checks would be performed on operators and their staff; dispensaries and cultivation centers would need a comprehensive security infrastructure; and operators would have to implement an inventory-tracking system.

If a license winner is unable to begin cultivating cannabis within 60 days or dispensing CBD within 120 days of receiving its license, the state could revoke the license.

Florida would also rigorously test the cannabis. Any sample that has more than 8% THC content or less than 10% CBD content would be destroyed.

Comments Off on $4M Infusion for Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Push

$4M Infusion for Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Push

Posted by | July 2, 2014 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Florida Medical Marijuana News

$4M Infusion for Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Push

See the original post on mmj business daily

The campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida just received a $4 million cash infusion from its primary backer, noted attorney John Morgan.
fla legalize medical marijuana

The cash will help fund an advertising campaign for Amendment 2 – Florida’s medical marijuana bill – which will appear on the November ballot. Morgan expects the “Yes to 2″ advertising campaign to launch after Labor Day, depending on funding levels.

The donation comes several weeks after Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson donated $2.5 million to Florida’s opposition group, Drug Free Florida Committee.

Another opposition group, Vote No on 2, recently circulated a video advertisement warning against medical marijuana legalization.

mjfactbook14storyhorizontal336 e1397581896865 $4M Infusion for Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Push   Morgan has spearheaded the drive to legalize medical marijuana. He has already donated approximately $4 million    to the legalization push. The petition drive alone cost nearly $3.5 million.

The most recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac Unveristy shows that 88% of Florida voters support medical        marijuana.

Florida Entrepreneurs prepare for medical marijuana businesses

By Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel

Thrity-one businesses in Broward and Palm Beach counties have registered with the state as marijuana-related businesses, banking that voters will approve medical use of the drug on Nov. 4

The businesses — 17 in Broward and 14 in Palm Beach County — are among 100 that have registered with the words “medical marijuana,” “marijuana” or “cannabis” in their names. Most filed incorporation papers in the past few months.

fla legalize medical marijuana


Among them are lawyers, a retired insurance firm owner, a construction contractor and a personal trainer, all laying the foundation for businesses ranging from growing to selling through a dispensary.

“This is the little guy’s chance to get in. You want to be up and running,” said Darren Odesnik, a personal injury lawyer based in Delray Beach who in May incorporated Cannabis Center of South Florida and is scoping out a warehouse and retail location.

Some say Florida’s potential legalization of wider medical use is the business opportunity of a lifetime. For others, it’s personal: They’ve seen a family member or friend suffer and believe marijuana could have eased their pain.

Gov. Rick Scott this month signed into law the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, known as “Charlotte’s Web,” which establishes five cultivators to provide access to a strain of marijuana to treat conditions such as epilepsy, Lou Gehrig’s disease and cancer.

But that law results in only a limited market. Aspiring business owners are preparing for a broader medical marijuana market through Amendment 2, which expands the conditions that could be treated. It needs 60 percent of the vote to pass and would take effect in mid-2015.

Recent polls show that 60 percent to 70 percent of voters support the measure.

While enthusiastic about potential legalization in Florida, experts warn that the medical marijuana business is fraught with challenges and legal restrictions, and it’s a pricey proposition for most.

Odesnik estimates it will cost him and a partner $700,000 to $1 million to set up an operation that includes growing, manufacturing and selling through their own retail location. He has spent about $100 each to register three domain names for online:, and

He’s not concerned about investing money up front, before the November vote.

“This is a business that you’ll make your money back,” Odesnik said. “If it doesn’t pass, then it will probably be on the ballot again, and we’ll be ready.”

Retired insurance business owner Howard Passman plans to go into the business with his 29-year-old son, Matthew, who has been working in California’s medical marijuana business for 12 years.

In May, Passman registered Medical Marijuana Industries of South Florida, based in Coral Springs. He and his son plan a wide-ranging business from laboratory research and growing to making edibles and specialty oils. The Passmans hope to open dispensaries in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“It’s a very meaningful project for me. I’m currently on dialysis. Although there are treatments for kidney disease, you cannot be on the transplant list if you have marijuana in your system,” he said.

Passman projects that the venture will cost $1.25 million and has secured investors. But he knows that even the best-laid plans can backfire. Passman invested $250,000 to open a medical marijuana business in Arizona, but then the state decided to use a lottery to choose licensees.

Lesson No. 1: Put any funds in escrow. That protected him from losing his investment.

South Florida residents without experience in the business are turning to lawyers and medical marijuana business owners from states where it’s legal, including Colorado, California, Oregon and New Mexico. Some are signing up for seminars that cost $200 to $400.

Sheridan Rafer, a personal trainer who said he has set up dispensaries in other states, opened the Institute of Medical Cannabis in Boca Raton and has 22 people registered for classes.

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Comments Off on Tens of thousands of Florida healthcare workers just came out in support of medical marijuana.

Tens of thousands of Florida healthcare workers just came out in support of medical marijuana.

Posted by | June 24, 2014 | Florida Medical Marijuana News, Legal Marijuana News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana, Marijuana News, medical marijuana

Tens of thousands of Florida healthcare workers just came out in support of medical marijuana.

Today – the Service Employees International Union of Florida – which represents over 55,000 active and retired nurses, doctors, healthcare employees and other workers in the state, endorsed our campaign.

fl med mar

To have earned the endorsement of the union representing the largest number of healthcare workers in the State is particularly rewarding. We will proudly fight alongside them to secure the right of doctors and patients with debilitating conditions to make medical decisions without having to live like criminals.

This boost of support from those in the healthcare industry also runs counter to the false messaging coming out of the opposition’s camp. Unfortunately, the “No on 2” campaign just received $2.5 million from an out-of-state billionaire who could help them overwhelm the airwaves with misleading information if we don’t compete dollar for dollar.

We have already had a huge month but we’re not finished:

Please show your support for healthcare workers, their patients, and our campaign by contributing to the Yes on 2 campaign today.

– Ben

Ben Pollara
Campaign Manager
United for Care

Comments Off on New York to be next state to allow medical marijuana

New York to be next state to allow medical marijuana

Posted by | June 20, 2014 | Marijuana News, medical marijuana, New York Cannabis Jobs, New York Medical Marijuana

New York to be next state to allow medical marijuana

High Mountain Health Medical Dispensary

(CNN) — The expected signature of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is all that is needed for the state to permit the use of medical marijuana.

The “Compassionate Care Act” was passed by the State Assembly early Friday, according to Jason Elan, a spokesman for Sen. Diane Savino, a sponsor of the bill. The state Senate later passed the bill.

Under the proposed law, doctors will be allowed to prescribe marijuana in a non-smokable form to patients with serious diseases and conditions that are recognized by the state on a predefined but flexible list of conditions.

On Friday, Cuomo reiterated his support for the measure, which could take up to 18 months to fully implement.

“Medical marijuana has significant upsides and significant potential downsides,” Cuomo told reporters. “We wanted to do right. And that was the balance that we had to find in this piece of legislation… It is a system that will provide the benefits to people who need it, which can be significant. Even for children, children with epilepsy. But it is a system that also has safeguards, will involve the State Police to monitor and supervise the system.”

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Cocoa Beach Florida leaders pass ordinance on medical marijuana dispensary locations



Cocoa Beach became the first central Florida city to decide where medical marijuana dispensaries can go, months before the issue goes up for a state vote in November.

Cocoa Beach city commissioners passed the ordinance Thursday night.

Under the plan, dispensaries could go up near the historic pier and Ron Jon Surf Shop, which are two very popular tourist attractions.

The areas weren’t targeted, but with all the restrictions in the area, those were the only locations left.

The ordinance also dictates that dispensaries be no closer than 1,000 feet of a school or church, and no closer than 200 feet of a residential zoning district.

They would also have to be 200 feet away from the center line of State Road 520, A1A, Minuteman Causeway, or Ocean Beach Boulevard.

“I have no problem with medical marijuana. I have no problem restricting where they sell it. But, they have no control over where they smoke it,” said Cocoa Beach visitor Tricia Keen.

With the limitations there are only two areas where medical marijuana sales would be allowed—one by the Cocoa Beach Pier, and the other near the Ron Jon Surf Shop.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the new owners of the pier said marijuana dispensaries don’t fit their business model, and their goal is to be family-friendly.

Thursday afternoon, Ron Jon Surf Shop workers gave a similar response.

“I just don’t want it at all. But, I’m not going to be the meanie. But, definitely want to be protective of the children,” said Cocoa Beach visitor John Beavers.

WFTV learned some people in the marijuana business in California have expressed interest in expanding to Florida.

“I have been contacted by people who are in the marijuana business in California, one in San Diego and one in Santa Cruz. They are looking to expand where they can expand. They just want to know what’s going down with our ordinance,” said Cocoa Beach City Commissioner Skip Williams.

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