NEW JERSEY: Most cameras in Trenton were fixed on Governor Christie’s scandal hearings last week. The “Bridge-gate” controversy as well as allegations that he misused Sandy Relief funds has been so dominant in the news that the excellent work of our legislature was being overlooked. Controversy hearings dominated our capitol last week, and the Governor’s second term inauguration events were also well covered. So as usual, mainstream media was too pre-occupied to report Chris Christie’s actions to double-down on our state’s draconian cannabis laws.
Last week, two cannabis reform bills were passed through the NJ Legislature: S1220 would have “required registered qualifying patient’s authorized use of medical marijuana to be considered equivalent to use of any other prescribed medication and not the use of an illicit substance that would otherwise disqualify a qualifying patient from needed medical care, including organ transplants.” Continue reading
EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of our series on 50+ Second Careers in Cannabis, we profile Jake Dimmock, master gardener and co-owner of Northwest Patient Resource Center, a leading medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, WA.
Jake Dimmock is an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman, and he looks the part. His wide grin and happy round glasses fill a face framed by long, rock-star blonde-grey hair. Sporting a dark blazer over clean blue jeans, a black shirt and bolo tie when we meet up, Jake is a big guy who exudes a gentle calmness and cheerful politeness that lets you know right away that you’re going to like him. And you do.
“I’m the Jerry Garcia of the cannabis community,” he jokes, and the physical resemblance is unmistakable, “I’m the guy you want to have a beer with.” The 55 year-old former merchant seaman from Norfolk, Virginia, carries a quiet confidence, in contrast to the strong egos that define so many of his peers. Continue reading
The stage is set, the contenders are in place and we either cross that finish line by legitimizing medicinal use, cultivation and dispensing of medical cannabis in law or it’s finished all together.
A dedicated group striving to protect medical cannabis access in Washington State gathered on Thursday as starters in a sprint. Kari Boiter, the Americans for Safe Access National Advocate of the Year, lead the discussion with bullet strength detail.
The bottom line? This grassroots effort needs funds to hire a lobbyist to represent interests in Olympia. That’s the way it works and Boiter knows just the woman for the job who’ll deliver the communities’ message.
Any legislation presented in 2014 that meets these Core Values has stakeholder support. Here’s the message, in its simple detail:
Patients must maintain the ability to possess and cultivate a 60 day supply as previously defined by the Department of Health.
Small, private non-commercial cooperatives must be preserved with clear guidelines.
Affirmative defense must be retained as it is in current law.
Commercial MMJ enterprises must be licensed and regulated by the State.
Medical cannabis must follow the same guidelines of taxation as other botanical medicines as per current WA State law.
Health care professionals must maintain the flexibility to adapt treatment plans to suit individual patients needs.
A dedicate workgroup of knowledgeable stakeholders must first study the impact of a patient registry before any action is taken to establish one.
Civil rights need granted so that no medical cannabis patients lose their housing nor their jobs nor should a patient be denied an organ transplant because of their cannabis use. PTSD needs added as a qualifying condition as supported by evolving science proving it’s benefits.
The small crowd quickly pledged and departed with weekend commitments to gather the initial $25,000 in funds that will secure the Olympian influence and organization required to move forward. The time to cross the finish line is within a short 45 day legislative session beginning Monday January 13th.
The procrastination to make a difference ends now.
FLORIDA: Peter Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance, died on Saturday afternoon at his home in Coconut Grove Florida apparently due to natural causes. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday on November 11.
CALIFORNIA: The state of legal marijuana markets is strong for many, yet daunting for others. The watershed implementation of full retail marijuana legalization for adults in Colorado and Washington State, coupled with the adoption of medical marijuana regulations by new states, are fueling industry growth.
Yet, even as the broadening definition of legal marijuana expands the addressable market, enforcement actions that target dispensaries, cultivators, and regulators in some states have actually contracted the overall market since the last edition of this report was published in 2011. Phases of growth and retrenchment in legal marijuana markets have been more rule than exception.
The report projects sales in 2014 to grow to $2.34 billion, an increase of 64%. At this rate, U.S. cannabis sales will outpace the worldwide growth of smartphone sales, which expanded at an impressive 46% according to Gartner. Harborside Health Center is a sponsor of this report and Steve DeAngelo is President of ArcView.
The report predicts that 14 more states will legalize adult use and 2 more states will legalize medical use over the next 5 years. These new markets plus maturation of the existing markets will create a $10.2 billion annual market potential by 2018.
Findings of the report include:
California is still the largest legal cannabis market in the country at $980 million.
More than 590,000 consumers will purchase cannabis legally from a retail storefront in 2013
Arizona is poised to be the fastest growing market expanding from $22 million in 2013 to $134 million in 2014.
Massachusetts will be the largest new market opening in 2014 with a $55 million market.
Adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado will add $359 million to the existing medical marijuana market of $260 million resulting in a combined $619 million market in 2014.
The transition from the medical market to an adult-use market in Washington, which won’t start until spring, will result in a combined $271 million market in 2014
New Jersey, Maine, Delaware and the District of Columbia markets struggle under restrictive patient access and slow regulatory processes.
There is increasing investment activities in retail dispensaries, cultivation businesses and ancillary businesses such as security services, point of sale software, and grow lights.