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California Industrial Hemp Farming Act Approved by Senate Committee

May 25th

hemp field

SACRAMENTO, CA — A bill that would allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp received a favorable report from a Senate committee on Thursday, who recommended the bill’s passage by a vote of 7-0.

The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, Senate Bill 566, was given the green light by the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and has previously been approved by the Committee on Public Safety by a 5-0 vote.  The bill will now be scheduled for a third reading by the full California Senate.

If passed, the bill sponsored by state Senator Mark Leno and Assemblyman Allan R. Mansoor  would revise the state definition of “marijuana” to exclude industrial hemp, and would establish a licensing procedure for farmers wishing to cultivate industrial hemp.

The bill would take effect upon the federal government lifting the current ban on hemp cultivation in the United States.

The United States Senate is currently considering legislation that would exclude industrial hemp from the READ MORE

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California Industrial Hemp Farming Act Approved by Senate Committee

May 25th

hemp field

SACRAMENTO, CA — A bill that would allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp received a favorable report from a Senate committee on Thursday, who recommended the bill’s passage by a vote of 7-0.

The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, Senate Bill 566, was given the green light by the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and has previously been approved by the Committee on Public Safety by a 5-0 vote.  The bill will now be scheduled for a third reading by the full California Senate.

If passed, the bill sponsored by state Senator Mark Leno and Assemblyman Allan R. Mansoor  would revise the state definition of “marijuana” to exclude industrial hemp, and would establish a licensing procedure for farmers wishing to cultivate industrial hemp.

The bill would take effect upon the federal government lifting the current ban on hemp cultivation in the United States.

The United States Senate is currently considering legislation that would exclude industrial hemp from the READ MORE

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CA: San Jose City Council Votes To Raise Medical Marijuana Tax

May 23rd

marijuana money

SAN JOSE, CA — The San Jose city council voted unanimously Tuesday to increase the city’s tax on medical marijuana sales from 7 to 10 percent, starting in July.

The move is expected to generate an additional $1.5 million in tax revenue for the city each year.  The current 7 percent tax nets the city an estimated $3.9 million annually, city officials said, with the increase expected to bring a total of $5.4 million per year into the city coffers.

City officials say there are 96 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city currently, although they are technically illegal under both federal and city law.

“They’re allowed by state law and so we’re trying to accommodate people who have medical needs,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “We will continue to try to do that, even though the law is a little uncertain.”

In 2011, the San Jose City Council adopted zoning and regulatory ordinances that would have limited the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city to ten, restricted the dispensaries to industrial-zoned areas, and would have required the dispensaries to grow all of their medical marijuana on site.

Shortly after the regulations were passed, medical marijuana activists argued the regulations were overly . . . . . READ MORE

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Los Angeles Citizens Vote to Regulate Medical Marijuana

May 23rd

Downtown-Holistic-medical-marijuana-dispensary

LOS ANGELES, CA – The citizens of Los Angeles voted to regulate medical marijuana by voting to pass Proposition D Tuesday, one of three medical marijuana regulation measures on the ballot.

Proposition D, which received 62.57% of the vote, caps the number of collectives at those who opened prior to 2007, about 130, raises the gross receipts tax from $50 to $60 per $1000 of gross receipts, and establishes the distances they must keep from schools, parks, one another and residential neighborhoods.

It also requires that collectives be closed between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m., prohibits the consumption of marijuana on the premises and requires background checks on managers.

The Proposition also does not allow for a new collective to receive a permit if one of the pre-2007 collectives closes.

Proposition D was also supported by several members of the City Council, the Greater Los Angeles Collective Association (GLACA), the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), both Los Angeles mayoral candidates and the current city attorney and his challenger.

Under the Proposition, organizations consisting of four or more people who cultivate, process, distribute or give away medical marijuana . . . . . READ MORE

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San Diego Mayor Urges Jury Nullification in Marijuana Cases: “Ignore Federal Law”

May 23rd

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

SAN DIEGO, CA — The Mayor of San Diego is encouraging jurors of an upcoming medical marijuana case to reject the prosecution’s argument, which rests on the fact that marijuana is banned at the federal level.

The feds arrested Ronnie Chang of San Marcos in 2009 for operating a medical marijuana dispensary. He is just one of the many Californians who have faced legal consequences for their state-sanctioned efforts to bring relief to patients.

Mayor Bob Filner is outraged at Chang’s situation. “Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana,” he told reporters.

A champion for civil rights and a former Freedom Rider, Mayor Filner wants jurors to send a message to the federal government this fall, when Chang’s trial is expected to begin.

“[I]t’s time, like with Prohibition, to step back and say this was a stupid thing to do…and juries ought to take the lead in saying that to the federal government.”

In a process known as “jury . . . . . READ MORE

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LA Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulation, Cap

May 22nd

 

Downtown-Holistic-medical-marijuana-dispensary

LOS ANGELES, CA — Voters in Los Angeles Tuesday approved one of two active initiatives aimed at ensuring that medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed in California’s largest city. The winning measure, Proposition D, would limit the number of dispensaries to about 135 and impose other restrictions on them.

A competing measure, Ordinance F, would have imposed no restrictions on the number of dispensaries in the city.

With 38% of the votes counted, early Wednesday morning, Prop D was passing handily with 63% of the vote, while Ordinance F was losing with only 43%. If both measures had polled over 50%, the one with the most votes would have been enacted.

A third measure, Ordinance E, would also have regulated dispensaries, but its backers switched their support to Prop D. Ordinance E was losing with 37%.

Under Proposition D, city taxes on medicinal marijuana would also increase from $50 per $1,000 in gross sales to $60 per $1,000 in gross sales. The measure also sets rules about their hours, and distances from schools and parks.

The v. . . . . READ MORE

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California Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulation Bill

May 21st

LA Dispensary

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Senate voted 22-12 Monday to pass a medical marijuana dispensary regulation bill and send it to the Assembly for further consideration.

The bill, Senate Bill 439, would take the first steps to regulate the sale of medical marijuana state-wide since California voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, legalizing medical marijuana in California.

The legislation would require that medical marijuana dispensaries are non-profit, although dispensary owners would be able to receive “reasonable compensation” and reimbursement for expenses for providing medical marijuana to patients.

The bill comes as a legislative response to a two-year federal crackdown on dispensaries in California by the Department of Justice, who claim that California’s largely unregulated medical marijuana industry has grown enormously profitable and out of control while making medical marijuana easily available for recreational use.

“This bill is not about the legalization of marijuana,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darre. . . . . READ MORE

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Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensary Vote Tuesday

May 20th

la dispensary

LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles politicians have struggled for more than five years to regulate medical marijuana, trying to balance the needs of the sick against some neighborhood concerns that medical marijuana dispensaries may attract crime.

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide how Los Angeles should regulate medical marijuana dispensaries with three separate measures that seek to either limit the number of dispensaries or allow new ones to open and join an estimated several hundred others that currently operate.

Election Day in the nation’s second-largest city comes just two weeks after a pivotal state Supreme Court decision gave cities and counties the authority to ban dispensaries.

More than 200 local municipalities have bans, and some cities that were awaiting guidance from the state’s highest court have taken immediate action this month and begun shuttering clinics.

While some cities have been able to manage medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries, Los Angeles fumbled with the is. . . . . READ MORE

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Medical Marijuana Patients Protest AG Holder’s UC Berkeley Speech

May 12th

U.S. Attorney General and pot-prohibitionist Eric Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

BERKELEY, CA — As U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a commencement speech Friday for UC Berkeley law school graduates, a plane flew overhead with a banner that read “Holder: End Rx Cannabis War. #Peace4Patients,” in protest against recent actions by the Justice Department (DOJ) in the Bay Area.

Outside the Hearst Greek Theater, where Holder gave his speech, medical marijuana advocates also handed out fake DOJ recruitment flyers, detailing how the Obama Administration is engaging in harmful tactics that are adversely affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in California.

“Patients will not stand idly by while Attorney General Holder’s Justice Department continues to attack our community and endanger the lives of Berkeley residents” said Caren Woodson, one of the le. . . . . READ MORE

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Feds Threaten Longtime California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Berkeley Patients Group

May 9th

The original location of Berkeley Patients Group, shuttered in 2012 by feds. The long-time dispensary, in business since 1999, moved to a new location to prevent federal interference. Now, feds are targeting them anyway.

The original location of Berkeley Patients Group, shuttered in May,  2012. The long-time dispensary, in business since 1999, moved to a new location in December  to prevent any further federal interference. Now, feds are targeting them anyway, despite support from local civic and government leaders.

BERKELEY, CA — One of California’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries, Berkeley Patients Group, was served with a lawsuit last week in an attempt to seize the property in which it operates and to ultimately shut the facility down.

In the forfeiture complaint, which is similar to one filed against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center last July, READ MORE

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