Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

CLPP hosted delegation from Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority

By Sam Méndez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Late last month the Cannabis Law & Policy Project had the pleasure of hosting Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (JCLA) here at UW Law to have a conversation with a few local experts about cannabis legalization. They were brought to us by Washington Office for Latin America’s John Walsh, and we were joined by attorneys Mitzi Hensley Vaughn (Greenbridge Corporate Counsel), Christine Masse (Miller Nash Graham & Dunn), and Robert McVay (Harris Moure). The full list of the JCLA representatives are below.

© Cannabis Law & Policy Project

© Cannabis Law & Policy Project

 

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Our Canopy Report’s Data Available + A Few Reflections

By Sam Méndez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

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Our report titled “Estimating Canopy Size for the Washington Medical Marijuana Market” was released back on May 12, 2016, and yesterday the anonymous survey data was made available on our website (see the heading on the right titled “Canopy Study Data”). We received a request via email to provide this data, and provided that person with the data. At that time, in the interest of transparency we figured it best to make the data available for all and easy to obtain, thus we have done so.

To recap, the report estimated that between 1.7 and 2 million square feet of canopy space (meaning, square footage of marijuana plants) would satisfy the current medical marijuana demand in Washington State. The LCB currently has allotted 12.3 million square feet of canopy for the entire regulated marijuana market, so we concluded the current allotment is enough to satisfy the current demand for marijuana, both medical and recreational, for the time being. Continue reading

Big Changes to WA MMJ Rules Come Online July 1

By Jeff Bess, third-year student at the University of Washington School of Law.

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Say goodbye to the familiar green cross.

Big changes are coming to medical marijuana in Washington state beginning tomorrow, July 1st. That is when the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (CPPA), passed by the state legislature in 2015, will come into full effect. The law, which has been gradually rolled out since its passage, is the culmination of efforts to fold Washington’s medical marijuana program – established in 1998 – into the recreational system created following the passage of I-502 in 2012. The changes mark a profound shift in the regulation of medical marijuana in Washington that will result in a fundamentally different marketplace with significant ramifications for medical marijuana patients, producers, and dispensaries.

In the short-term, the transition will likely be rocky. The most immediate effect of the new rules will be the closure of nearly all existing medical dispensaries in Washington. This is because medical marijuana dispensaries were largely unregulated under prior law and not required to be licensed by the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). Now, in order to reopen, medical marijuana dispensaries will have to go through the licensure process and conform to the same strict regulations as recreational dispensaries – a potentially significant hurdle for medical operations used to the informal status quo and unfamiliar with the process. Though LCB has already issued a number of licenses to “medically endorsed dispensaries” (a new term of art found in the CPPA), it will take time before they are up and running and even longer to match the output of the previous system. In the meantime, medical marijuana patients will have to go to licensed recreational dispensaries or continue to produce their own marijuana in accordance with state law.

Once the dust settles, here is what to expect:

New limits on medical marijuana sources and suppliers:

  • Medically endorsed marijuana stores must be licensed by the LCB
  • Additional restrictions on collective gardens authorized under earlier law

New marijuana taxes. Medical marijuana patients should note that, while they may be exempt from sales and use taxes, they will still be subject to the 37% excise tax on all marijuana products. Customers of medically endorsed marijuana stores are, however, exempted from certain taxes as follows:

  • No sales tax is due on medical marijuana purchases of products purchased by patients with a Washington medical marijuana card and a condition approved by the Department of Health (DOH)
  • No sales tax is due on medical marijuana purchases of low-THC products purchased by patients with a Washington medical marijuana card
  • No sales tax is due on medical marijuana purchases of high CBD products purchased by any patient

For more information on the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, check out Governor Jay Inslee’s FAQ and LCB’s information page on the law.

 

Photo by O’Dea, used under Creative Commons License.

Cannabis Legislation Round-Up: States That May Vote on Cannabis This November

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

Used under the Creative Commons License

This November, at least 12 states may have cannabis legislation on the ballot. Although a limited number of states allow use of cannabis such as Colorado or Washington, this number may increase this year. Importantly, these may be trends of higher public acceptance towards cannabis. Furthermore, the increase in state legalized systems will place pressure on Congress to review the federal DEA laws listing cannabis as Schedule 1.  Continue reading

Cannabis Law & Policy Project’s First Report is Released

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

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We here at the Cannabis Law & Policy Project worked hard to produce the report titled “Estimating Canopy Size for the Washington Medical Marijuana Market” that was released today by the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board (LCB). A joint press release was also published, which provides a summary of the report’s background and findings. MJ Headline News has reported on today’s release.

The report estimated that between 1.7 and 2 million square feet of canopy space (meaning, square footage of marijuana plants) would satisfy the current medical marijuana demand in Washington State. The LCB currently has allotted 12.3 million square feet of canopy for the entire regulated marijuana market, and we believe that that amount is enough to satisfy the current demand for marijuana, both medical and recreational.

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DEA Allows Clinical Study of Cannabis to Treat Veterans

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

Image used under Creative Commons License.

In a surprising move, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), agreed to allow clinical researchers to study the potential benefits of cannabis on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As we discussed earlier, the DEA has taken a more open minded stance towards cannabis by considering a petition to reschedule cannabis. This may be a shift in DEA policy towards cannabis. Continue reading

Something in the Air – Cannabis & Clean Air Policies

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Recently, the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board (LCB) sent out an email on behalf of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), a regional government agency tasked with keeping the Puget Sound’s air clean. The email reminds producers and processors of marijuana in the region that in order to operate they must submit a Notice of Construction (NOC) application to obtain an Order of Approval from the PSCAA.

Cannabis is a very different product from tobacco, with it’s own regulatory structure to boot. But businesses in both industries have to abide by state and federal clean air rules, just as individuals smoking either product have to abide by public smoking rules. In King County, which includes Seattle, use of vaporizers in public is banned as well.

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Credit: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

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Will the DEA Reschedule Marijuana This Year?

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Probably not. Why? Because it would be a momentous change, and it is unprecedented. Many attitudes have changed towards marijuana, including those in power, but has the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) changed it’s tune?

Photo is in public domain.

Photo is in public domain.

But it is possible, and the very fact that the DEA said it would consider the question in a memo to lawmakers is significant. Furthermore, the political climate of 2016 might be the time for change. The DEA has not considered a petition to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) since 2011, when it denied a petition filed by medical marijuana advocates nine years prior. The DEA also considered petitions in 2001 and 2006, which were also denied.

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Cannabis in the EU?

 

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

Image used under the Creative Commons License.

The CLPP Blog has been covering the cannabis policy in North America, and will now look at the European Union. This blog post will briefly review the cannabis policies of the major European nations from a unified EU perspective. Continue reading