Tag Archive: cannabis legislation

  1. How Cannabis Delivery Benefits Local Communities Like Yours

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    Whether it’s baby diapers or a bacon-of-the-month club, it’s common to shop online and have goods delivered to your door.

     

    For patients and consumers, professional cannabis delivery services offer the same modern convenience with added bonuses – like avoiding running into your child’s teacher. Most of all, cannabis delivery preserves safe and easy access for those who rely on cannabis to treat chronic and painful conditions.

     

    With proposed changes to California legislation that may make cannabis delivery more accessible, it’s important to consider how this can benefit your community.

     

     

    How Does Cannabis Delivery Help Patients?

     

    Cannabis delivery provides a much-needed service to medical patients, especially those who can’t travel to dispensaries or have a caretaker deliver their medicine. For elderly patients, people with disabilities, and anyone who suffers mobility restrictions, delivery may be the only salvation.

     

    “I think that’s the key aspect that really drives the conversation about why cannabis delivery is really essential,” says Juli Crockett, Ph.D., Director of Compliance for cannabusiness licensing consulting firm, MMLG.

     

    Since only about 30% of California municipalities have cannabis ordinances in place, the nearest licensed dispensary may be very far away. Depending on where you live, you might need to drive over 200 miles to buy medical marijuana. That’s a long way to travel, even for someone without mobility issues.

     

    Advocates are fighting to make cannabis delivery available everywhere in California, regardless of a city or county ban.

     

    “I’m very concerned about preserving safe patient access at reasonable prices with reasonable taxation,” Crockett says. “Equitable access isn’t just about disability in the form of physical ailment,” she added, referring to the profound transportation costs many patients face.

     

    In addition to the hardship of travel, cannabis delivery relieves a financial burden from medical patients. Mobile delivery services have less overhead costs than brick-and-mortar dispensaries, which means savings passed on to you, the patient.

     

    “Delivery services make accessing cannabis more cost-effective and convenient,” agreed Laura Geftman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and addiction recovery specialist who blogs about cannabis at Welcoming Weed. “Cannabis delivery allows patients to promote their health and receive medicine without overexerting themselves.”

     

    Another advantage of MMJ delivery? Timely arrival. You can get your medicine immediately after you receive a medical marijuana recommendation. If you’re in New York or California and need certification, NuggMD can help!

     

    Benefits to Consumers

     

    Even if you’re not a medical marijuana patient, you probably appreciate the convenience of home delivery. Whether it’s getting a pizza in under 30 or a curated wine selection (or both?), you can order about anything. So it makes sense to expect the same convenience when buying cannabis. 

     

    Beyond ease, delivery services offer privacy that may be critical if you prefer to keep your personal habits to yourself.

     

    “Some users are still in the cannabis closet,” says Geftman. “They don’t want anyone to know they use cannabis, no matter what their reason may be.”

     

    Parents, in particular, may not want to be seen entering or leaving a dispensary. Studies show that more parents are smoking weed than ever before, but face restrictions that others don’t.

     

    Aside from the potential fear of jail, parents can’t enter a dispensary with children under 18. If you have kids, you might need a babysitter to run a quick errand. With the abundance of tasks parents already have to manage, cannabis delivery gives a well-deserved break.

     

    How Safe Is Cannabis Delivery?

     

    There are concerns about cannabis delivery vehicles being targets for theft, but the fact is legal delivery services are under strict watch.

     

    “Every point is watched,” says Crockett, “there are really intense controls at every level of the supply chain.”

     

    Licensed cannabis delivery services provide a much safer alternative to black market sales.

     

    Sergeant David Woolsey of the San Jose Police Department told the Huffington Post that there’s only been one incident during the first year home delivery, and the driver wasn’t harmed.

     

    Woolsey added that there are probably higher rates of violent crime among black market sales; those are harder to track.

     

    The thriving cannabis black market poses risks not only to consumers, but to businesses that comply with current regulations.

     

    “We have an incredibly hyper-regulated, licensed industry that is being gutted – I mean just eviscerated – by the unlicensed illicit market,” Crockett notes. “There’s no way they can compete without an enforcement effort that’s equal to the level of regulation.”

     

    Since many black market buyers typically purchase cannabis at home, delivery offers the same convenience without breaking the law.

     

    “Cannabis delivery businesses help discourage black market sales by generally making them unnecessary,” says Joe Goldstein, Director of SEO and Operations for Trailblazer SEO. “When legitimate businesses can offer fair pricing, better products selections, better transparency, and the convenience of mobile ordering, there’s significantly less incentive to buy from the black market.”

     

    Fair pricing may be a challenge, though. As Crockett points out, dispensaries and delivery services alike face regulations and taxes that don’t apply to black market sales.

     

    But those rules and regulations are in place to protect the consumer, the business, and the employees.

     

    “In many ways, the cannabis sales process is way more regulated than pharmaceuticals,” Crockett says, citing the example that you could easily pick up Oxycontin at a CVS drive-thru. Yet once cannabis enters the conversation, it’s out of the question.

     

    “That’s the thing that blows my mind every day about being in the cannabis industry…We’re engaged in this monumental process of untangling many years of prejudices, propaganda, prohibition and misinformation.”

     

    Now that open, intelligent cannabis discussions are taking place, Crockett predicts concerns and issues are inevitable. After all, public safety is the primary focus.

     

    So, will licensed cannabis delivery services eventually wipe out the illicit industry and offer safe, convenient access?

     

    “This is a complex, highly political, very nuanced process that’s going to take time.”

     

    Will Statewide Cannabis Delivery Soon Be Allowed?

     

    In the summer of 2018, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) proposed a regulatory amendment that will allow cannabis delivery to all California jurisdictions, regardless of local laws. This would reopen access in the 73% of California’s municipalities who ban everything. The BCC is expected to make a decision sometime in January of 2019. If approved, cannabis will become more accessible throughout the state, strengthening communities from San Diego up to Cresent City, thereby improving lives and creating a greater sense of well-being.

     

    Does your local dispensary deliver cannabis? Search Nugg’s Marketplace to see what dispensaries will bring your favorite flower, vape, edible and more right to your doorstep. 

  2. Budget Rider Provides Medical Cannabis Protections, For Now

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    President Trump just signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill, and it looks like the entire country is angry. The only people happy with this are the medical cannabis patients and providers who’ve received yet another stay of execution via the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. But will this happiness last?

     

     

    What Is the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment?

     

    Originally called the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment stops the federal government from funding enforcement efforts against medical cannabis in legal states.

     

    First introduced in 2001 by Maurice Hinchey, the amendment took over a decade to pass through the House and become enforceable as part of the omnibus spending bill in 2014. Since then it’s been successfully renewed; however, the fight was particularly dicey this time due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempted interference.

     

    And the sense of relief among cannabis patients is almost palpable today – especially in light of Sessions’ increasingly alarming announcements. In fact, his choice to rescind the Cole Memo was just the start of a Nixonian attempt to reignite the drug war. Sessions also reversed an Obama-era stance that prevented asset forfeiture abuse by law enforcement.

     

    Worse, just this week Sessions induced the eye-roll heard ’round the world when he literally encouraged the death penalty for drug dealers. Cannabis activists and patients are glad that such ill-conceived concepts won’t affect them – at least until the 2019 budget.

     

    How Long Will the Amendment Protect Us?

     

    Only until about September, when it must be renewed yet again with the 2019 budget bill. And as much trouble as President Trump has trying to convince Congress to dance to his tune, the 2019 budget could take just as long to approve as it did this year. So, in a few months, medical cannabis patients will surely be sweating again.

     

    But do these protection gaps really matter? After all, the amendment has been fairly successful and most Americans now support it. But as it turns out, those gaps do matter. If the amendment doesn’t pass next year, prosecution efforts could move forward on several federal cases currently on hold.

     

    What the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment Isn’t

     

    The amendment recently had the support of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The decision overruled the Justice Department’s aggressive stance toward medical cannabis and forced them to acknowledge that the amendment does prevent federal enforcement against medical users and dispensaries in legal states. But it’s still not a free-for-all.

     

    These protections only apply to cannabis for medical use. They don’t protect recreational users. There was an attempt to protect recreational users as well, initiated by Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, but his efforts failed to gain enough supporters for this round of federal funding.

     

    If the community wants to protect newly-won recreational cannabis rights in the eight states that have moved out of the dark ages, it’s going to take some serious effort. Sessions has proven to be rather rabid on the issue.

     

    What We Need to Watch For

     

    First, stay informed. After all, a good defense is the best offense. See a roadmap to the prohibitionists’ efforts to renew the drug war here. This conservative article from exactly one year ago shares 11 tactics that the federal government can use to enforce federal cannabis prohibitions, and several of these tactics have already been initiated. So this author must be on to something.

     

    Among the most alarming suggestions are:

    • Rescinding the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s bank guidelines.
    • Using RICO (racketeering prevention laws) as a prosecution tool.
    • Coordinating with lower level state officials.
    • Prosecution of cannabis operations’ financiers (including general stockholders?).
    • Selecting businesses that are in violation of both state and federal law to prosecute.

     

    Tactics like these can be easily be halted in their tracks by informing state and local representatives that we support a legal and safe market for cannabis, not a return to the prohibitionist stone age.

     

    At least we can breathe a small sigh of relief knowing that the most vulnerable members of our cannabis community are safe – for now.

  3. Benjamin Thomas Wolf, the Cannabis Candidate, Wants to Completely End the Drug War

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    There’s a lot riding on this midterm election for cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. Our Chairman of the House Committee on Rules Pete Sessions is blocking every cannabis vote he can. Our Attorney General Jeff Sessions is gunning to send cannabis enforcement into hyper-drive. Worse, our President is, at best, indifferent to the drug war’s consequences.

     

    We desperately need strong supporters in Congress to join the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and push for legislation to end the war on drugs once and for all.

     

    So when we see a campaign photo of a handsome Gen Xer sporting a tasteful dark suit and black-framed glasses through a cloud of marijuana smoke — and definitely inhaling — it’s going to get our attention.

     

    What you'll learn in this post:

    [Click any of the section titles below to jump there]

     

    Who Is Benjamin Thomas Wolf?

     

    Former FBI investigator Benjamin Thomas Wolf is the last person most of us would expect to become a champion of ending the drug war. His career is chock full of law and order.

     

    A Kent, Ohio native, Wolf’s law enforcement career started when he was recruited by the FBI during a Washington D.C. internship. For years his work included counterintelligence, espionage and terrorism investigations.

     

    During that time, he was one of the first responders at the Pentagon on 9/11 and an investigator for the 2001 anthrax attacks. Wolf even served in the Middle East and Africa as a security and human rights liaison with the State Department. It’s safe to say Wolf takes the law very seriously.

     

    Why then, is he so comfortable talking about his use of a Schedule 1 drug? And how does he plan to help the cannabis community move forward with legalization? We called him to find out, and he was more than happy to fill us in on the details.

     

    Interview with Benjamin Thomas Wolf

     

    Nugg: Did you ever participate in cannabis investigations or enforcement for the FBI, and did you ever talk about the issue with your coworkers?

     

    Wolf: No. I never did those types of investigation. All of my work was at the national security level. I did espionage, counterintelligence investigations and counter-terrorism. As a federal agent, those were unauthorized substances. So, I’d never dealt with cannabis. I’d never taken any drugs whatsoever while I was working for the government. And they’re fairly strict about this. They do drug tests, background checks, so that’s just not something we did. It’s not something that we talked about.

     

    Nugg: Do you think it should be a topic of conversation there now?

     

    Wolf: Absolutely.

     

    Nugg: What’s your favorite way to consume cannabis and when did you start using it? I’m assuming it was a long time after the FBI?

     

    Wolf: I started using cannabis just a few years ago here when I moved to Chicago. I was just starting on my Ph.D. and a friend of mine came here from California. We used it together for the first time and I realized that it’s just a wonderful recreational substance for creativity and relaxation. It helps with anxiety. As for how I use it, I usually smoke it in the evening. It’s just a nice way to quiet my plane while I walk the dog or work on my dissertation.

     

    Nugg: Do you prefer to see cannabis descheduled or rescheduled?

     

    Wolf: Well, let me talk about the election for a minute because, as you know, I’m going up against an incumbent who has a million dollars in the bank. He does not want universal health care. He does not want to legalize cannabis. I do. He does not want the option of free higher education. I do. I would like to have it so people can use cannabis legally throughout the United States. And I want all drugs decriminalized. I say it all the time. If you’re using heroin, it’s because you have an addiction problem. You’re not concerned about prison or anything else. We should be looking at this as a health issue and a public safety issue. If we decriminalized these narcotics and drugs, we could get people the help they finally need.

     

    Nugg: How do you think this is going to help veterans moving forward?

     

    Wolf: Most of the veterans I speak to here in Chicago are cannabis users. I served in Iraq multiple times, and I had no idea how many veterans were secretly using cannabis until we put this ad out. Now they’re looking to me to lead this movement. I’m incredibly proud to be representing the cannabis community — helping it stand up and finally have a voice. The cannabis community has been ostracized and isolated and even arrested, and it’s time they can finally stand up and be proud of what they’re doing. We’re going to keep moving forward until this is legalized federally.

     

    Nugg: What’s your opinion about the federal government‘s attempt to curb gun rights based on cannabis use?

     

    Wolf: I have mixed emotions on that. I’m a gun owner myself, and I trained on these weapons with the FBI and the State Department. I think cannabis users can’t get approved for what they call a FOID card which is the firearms owner identification document here in Illinois. I’m not sure if that’s the right way to go. You can drink alcohol and handle firearms, which is this huge safety issue. But I think this is something that we should talk about after it’s legalized. Otherwise, I’d be putting the cart before the horse. We can get it legalized and then we can work out the parameters of when you can have a firearm and when you can’t. You know, we put out a commercial two weeks ago of me holding an AR-15 and talking about it being a public safety hazard. These are military weapons designed and manufactured to kill dozens of humans, and we’re talking about school shootings right now. This is the same weapon used in all of these school shootings. Assault rifles need to be banned, immediately and indefinitely.

     

    Nugg: There are less than 20 days until the election. What can cannabis supporters in Chicago do to help your campaign?

     

    Wolf: We meet every night in our campaign office from 6pm to 8pm. It’s at 2048 W. Chicago Ave. We love local volunteers. We love the support. We definitely need volunteers to go canvassing every weekend and we’re also starting to canvass during the weekdays now.

     

    We also ask for small donations. We aren’t taking any corporate money on this campaign. We aren’t taking super PAC money or special interest money. So small donations mean the world to us. Also, they can share information about us on Facebook and other social media streams. Honestly, just talking about what we’re doing is the most important thing. Martin Luther King was able to get a million people to march on Washington D.C., and he didn’t have a Facebook page. Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful thing if you go in and talk to your friends in Chicago, or where ever you are in the world.

     

    And we are asking our neighbors in Chicago to vote before the 20th. And not only do I ask that you vote for me, but cannabis is on the ballot in Cook County as well. So the cannabis community really needs to show up here in Chicago and support cannabis at the polls.

     

    The average age in my district is 33 years old. These are people that use cannabis routinely and they’ve been waiting for someone like me to publicly stand up make this statement. Now they’re flooding in to help us and we absolutely love it. So please, remember to vote. Early voting has begun, and it’s time for us to stand up as a community and vote and be heard. I would be proud to represent not only the cannabis community but my district in Illinois as a whole, and to be seen as the next generation of Democratic leadership for this nation.

     

    How to Join Benjamin Thomas Wolf’s Campaign

     

    To find out more about Benjamin Thomas Wolf or join his efforts to legalize cannabis in Illinois, please go to wolfforcongress.com, follow him on social media below, or call (312) 600-7256. You can also donate to his campaign here.