Dec 14, 2015 — There’s a revolution taking place across America to reform and modernize our marijuana laws, and no change is more profound than the treatment of medical marijuana. The reforms taking place are the result of the grassroots nature of this movement – including efforts by hundreds of thousands of people like you who signed this petition.To read the original text of the petition, go to chn.ge/1kol2Hu.
Over the last 20 years – despite the misguided federal prohibition of marijuana – we‘ve seen overwhelming evidence of the benefits of medical marijuana. The success of marijuana in offering relief for patients dealing with symptoms associated with chemotherapy, glaucoma, PTSD, chronic pain, and more has led 23 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam to change their laws and fully legalize medical marijuana. An additional 17 states have approved more limited programs. Well over one million people now use medical marijuana in accordance with their state’s law.
It’s outrageous that the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would trivialize these important programs and experiences. Chuck Rosenberg’s comments, calling medical marijuana “a joke,” are out of step with growing scientific evidence and the experience and opinion of the American people. He also ignores reforms happening across the nation – and the President, who long ago directed his Administration to stay out of the way of states’ legalization efforts.
These statements are also deeply hypocritical. While there are important questions that still need to be answered about medical marijuana, the research that would provide those answers is often blocked by federal policy barriers – supported by the DEA.
It’s time to reject the outdated War on Drugs that Mr. Rosenberg represents through his comments. This is why I, along with six of my colleagues, recently sent a letter to President Obama echoing your concerns and calling for new DEA leadership that reflects the realities surrounding the status and perspectives about medical marijuana in the states, public opinion, research, and even the Administration. As the momentum continues to grow on medical marijuana, and broader marijuana reform, the federal government must catch up. I’m working hard in Congress to treat state-legal marijuana businesses fairly, to ensure better access to medical marijuana for veterans, to expand medical marijuana research, and ultimately, to tax and regulate marijuana at the federal level.
Thank you to everyone who signed this petition. It is because of your efforts and the incredible shifts in public opinion that we have made so much progress in reforming the treatment of marijuana in the states. I will continue pressing federal agencies and Congress to follow that leadership.
Member of Congress
Memorial Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado are working together to provide the very best and safest care for all children who come to Memorial.
Memorial Hospital has approved a new policy to allow parents who currently administer CBD oil to a child suffering from seizures to continue administering the oil while that child is admitted at the hospital and under the care of a pediatric neurologist. Parents must understand that there are risks involved with giving patients CBD oil and must sign a release in order to continue this therapy while in the hospital. Nurses and physicians will not administer it themselves. Memorial Hospital may reevaluate this policy as circumstances and clinical research develop.
Memorial Hospital believes additional research is critically important to determine the benefits and potential side effects of cannabinoid oil. We will continue working with Children’s Hospital Colorado to monitor any research on the safety and efficacy of the oil and will assess our policies accordingly.
Memorial Hospital’s health care providers will continue to offer the very best care to all patients.
1. Legal adult-use sales begin in Colorado.
2014 kicked off with a bang with the historic opening of legal sales in Colorado. Under a tremendous media spotlight, the rollout was a remarkably smooth success. More than $573M in legal marijuana sales and $60M in state tax and fee revenue later*, the Colorado industry is proving that a legal, regulated market not only works, but works well. Crime is down. Tourism is up. Funds are rolling into Colorado schools and long overdue medical marijuana research. And perhaps just as importantly, when concerns do arise, a regulated market provides an opportunity to address those concerns.
*Revenue figures cover January through October, as November and December sales data are not yet available.
2. Federal officials release banking guidelines for serving the legal cannabis industry.
In February, officials with the Departments of Justice and Treasury released memos intended to provide guidance for financial institutions interested in providing banking for legal cannabis industry businesses. While the ultimate outcome of the memos was muted, and most cannabis businesses are still denied basic banking services, the memos nonetheless served as potent message that federal authorities recognized the banking crisis in the industry and were seeking solutions.
3. Congress passes the first-ever pro-marijuana provisions at the federal level.
In May, the Republican-majority House of Representatives easily passed two appropriations amendments designed to protect state-sanctioned marijuana businesses. One of those — the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment prohibiting the use of Department of Justice funds to interfere with legal medical marijuana programs — became law when it was included in the “cromnibus” budget that was approved by both the House and the Senate in December. Another, which would have forbidden the use of Department of Treasury funds to prosecute banks serving state-sanctioned cannabis businesses, passed by 39 votes in the House but was dropped during budget negotiations. NCIA lobbying efforts, together with the work of allied organizations, helped make these historic votes possible.
4. NCIA holds its first national Cannabis Business Summit, drawing 1,200 attendees to Denver.
In June, NCIA hosted the inaugural national Cannabis Business Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. More than 1,200 cannabis industry professionals spent two days discussing innovation, responsibility, and the challenges and opportunities in building an industry to be proud of. The Cannabis Business Summit returns to Denver in 2015, with attendance expected to double.
5. Legal adult-use sales begin in Washington state and quickly outpace revenue projections.
July saw the opening of legal adult-use sales in Washington state, and legal cannabis businesses are already bringing in more tax revenue than the state projected. Significant differences between the policy designs in Colorado and Washington made the two states’ rollouts proceed at different paces, but ultimately Washington’s experience is again confirming that legal adult-use markets are safe, viable, and effective ways to approach marijuana policy.
6. Midterm voters legalize adult-use marijuana in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C.
Despite a midterm election with extremely low turnout and a huge wave of conservative victories, voters approved adult-use legalization in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., and notched very strong support for medical marijuana in Florida, falling just short of the 60% threshold needed for passage. Given the political dynamics of the 2014 election, it’s clear that support for marijuana policy reform crosses political and ideological lines and that voters of all stripes are increasingly calling for a smarter, safer alternative to marijuana prohibition. It’s a trend that will likely grow even stronger in the 2016 electorate.
Before the code’s repeal, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies must determine whether:You can email all comments to the state here. There are also separate surveys for patients and caregivers, which close at 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25.
1) the code serves the public interest;
2) the code should be continued; and
3) there are changes that need to be made to the code.
Colorado has about 5,000 registered caregivers, a designation created in the 2000 medical marijuana amendment that remains in place, even though the drug is now legal for all adults. Most caregivers grow pot for just a few patients, but some have waivers allowing them to grow hundreds of plants for more than six people.In an email sent to Laura Kriho of the Cannabis Therapy Institute, and copied by her to the Indy, state registrar Ron Hyman gives background on another change potentially made by proposed legislation:
The Health Department, which manages the state medical marijuana registry, wants a hard limit of 30 plants—six each for five patients, spokesman Mark Salley said Tuesday.
Today, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office announced that a state grand jury indicted Conley Hoskins, Dallan Dirkmaat, Brenden Joyce and nine others "for defrauding investors and running an illegal medical marijuana grow operation," reads the release. "The twelve indicted individuals face 71 criminal counts related to the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) and felony charges for tax evasion, securities fraud and money laundering."
More from the release:
“The first red flag that something was askew came from the careful oversight of Colorado’s Department of Revenue,” said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Durkin. “These individuals stole money from their investors to pay off personal debts and hid their illicit proceeds from law enforcement and taxing authorities and illegally expanded their medical marijuana production capabilities.”
The other nine indicted individuals are David Krause (DOB 03/27/51) Nathan Newman (DOB 09/29/81), Kurt Criter (DOB 03/09/73), Yesenia Melendez (DOB 08/26/90), Carlos Meza (DOB 09/29/89), Ryan Tripp (DOB 10/14/79), Dialyne Parker (DOB 03/09/76), Gerald Searle (DOB 11/06/78) and Audra Wimer (DOB 02/03/87).
The indictment alleges an elaborate pattern of racketeering that began in January 2008. Hoskins, Dirkmaat and Krause are accused of engaging in a scheme to buy, sell, deal, cultivate and/or distribute medical marijuana in Colorado and at least one other state while committing securities fraud, theft, forgery, evading taxes and attempting to influence public servants through deceit. The enterprise evolved into a distribution ring, in part, because many members had longstanding personal and business connections with one another.
Hoskins, and Dirkmaat’s ran business ventures together in construction, car washes and medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensary that Hoskins owned and managed occasionally used the legal services of Dirkmaat and were co-located in the same building as the People’s Law Firm. The indicted dispensaries are Jane Medicals, LLC, and All Care Wellness Centers, LLC.
Over time, Hoskins’ business interests evolved and he drew on his personal relationships and business experiences to raise capital from investors. He then used those investor funds to run illegal grow operations in Adams, Denver and Larimer Counties.
The filing of criminal charges or an indictment is merely a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime. Each defendant should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. These cases will be prosecuted in Jefferson County by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. The next appearance for most of the indicted individuals is July 9, 2013.
In this week's CannaBiz column, we wrote that House Bill 1114 — the effort to limit the amount of THC allowed in a Colorado driver's blood to 5 nanograms per milliliter — had passed out of committee and would likely see the full House before the end of the week.
As luck would have it, the full House gave the bill its first consideration yesterday, reported the Denver Post, and it seems like making it to the Senate for final consideration won't be a problem.
Two amendments to the bill passed Tuesday prevent a person's status as a medical-marijuana patient from being used as evidence of impairment or probable cause for a blood test. The bill requires a second, recorded vote in the House before heading to the Senate, but its passage in the House seems assured. No representatives spoke against the bill Tuesday.
The paper also noted that a bill that would allow Colorado MMJ businesses to take state tax deductions also passed the House.