The trials and tribulations of the cannabis industry are nigh endless but we have to commend the leaders and legislators out there fighting the good fight. This week is full of battles to be won (and some have been won already!). Here’s the latest from the front lines of the cannabis movement:
When federal prosecutors tried to shut down the oldest medical dispensary, not just in Berkeley, but in the entire state of California, the city of Berkeley decided to fight back. Berkeley Patients Group was founded in 1999 and has long been a model for safe access, even as it grew and gained popularity as well as financial success. In 2012, when U.S. Attorney General Melinda Haag moved to seize all assets and close the dispensary’s doors, the city of Berkeley decided that this aggression would not stand and sued to block the forfeiture, arguing that the city would suffer irreparable harm from the loss of one of the most respected legal cannabis dispensary in the community. And wonder of wonders, the city of Berkeley won! Federal authorities ruled in favor of the city and Berkeley Patients Group won the right to serve the community and its patients. It’s a beautiful day in Berkeley!
In addition to this ruling, California’s medical marijuana law may be been expanding, with the recent introduction of HR 262, to protect medical marijuana assets from civil forfeiture, and Assembly Bill 266, which would serve to regulate the vastly unregulated medical marijuana market in California.
The nation’s capital has been in hot water regarding retail cannabis. First, voters passed the measure to legalize cannabis. Then Congress tried to veto the measure via a sneaky rider in their Omnibus spending bill, which denied the District federal finding for a retail market. President Obama then came back (thanks, Obama!) with another sneaky little rider attached to his 2016 budget, which allowed local funding to be used to implement retail cannabis sales in the District. Now after a threat from the District’s new attorney general, the D.C. Council has abandoned plans for a hearing on taxing and regulating cannabis in the District. Will D.C. ever be able to tax, regulate, and sell retail cannabis as per the will of the voters? Stay tuned next week as …Read More