Ron Naulls, Naulls Legal Group
There are clear signs that the macroeconomic environment is causing some financial tightening across the board, and the cannabis industry is not immune. The uncertain times and challenging environment (i.e., lack of access to capital, taxation, regulation/compliance, the illicit market, inflation, and other macroeconomic issues like geopolitical tensions) add to the perfect storm. They are causing the industry to face a cash crunch.
Sticks and stones break bones, but there is a better way to get that pay!
The underground and illicit market may handle business the old way. However, if you are a licensed grower, distributor, retailer, or manufacturer, you probably have more than one instance of an unpaid invoice or balance from another licensee. The issue is so prominent in California that if the legislature has its way, all cannabis contracts will be regulated under a newly proposed bill. Even the Credit Management Association is jumping into the fray.
So what to do? You do not need a regulator to tell you how to handle your business. It all boils down to the four corners of the agreement between you and the other licensed business from the outset. We like to ensure our client’s agreements are explicit about what happens when the other side cannot pay their bill on time. For instance, a clear call out when payment is due and if any grace period applies. In addition, any late fees or costs to collect delinquent debts. Outlining these types of terms provides evidence and clarity to both parties, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings. Above all, it plainly defines penalties or consequences for late payments to encourage the timely settlement of debts.
Second, communication and solid relationships with other licensed counterparts are crucial. Establishing a positive rapport can lead to a more amicable resolution versus animosity that can spill over to social media. Seek to understand any underlying issues with fellow cannabis enterprises. Having a sense of empathy will foster healthy business relationships within the industry as we collectively navigate financial challenges. It is easier to do business with existing clients than to market and endeavor to find new clients.
Third, if direct efforts fail to yield results, consider engaging an experienced firm that collects debts in the cannabis industry. Law firms have the edge over debt collection agencies in that competent firms in the industry possess the expertise and resources to navigate the legal and regulatory complexities specific to the sector. For example, federal bankruptcy laws are not a remedy for the cannabis industry. Entrusting debt collection to a professional law firm can alleviate the burden on your business, allowing you to focus on core operations while increasing the likelihood of successful recovery.
Finally, in cases where communication and an experienced firm have exhausted collection efforts, legal action may become necessary. An attorney specializing in cannabis law can explore available legal remedies. We guide clients partnered with the Naulls Legal Group through the legal process, including filing lawsuits or pursuing alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration. These approaches can help resolve disputes without resorting to extended court battles, saving time and resources.
In conclusion, collecting outstanding debts in the cannabis industry requires a strategic and proactive approach. By implementing clear terms and agreements, maintaining open communication, leveraging professional debt collection firms, and exploring legal recourse, cannabis businesses can maximize their chances of recovering outstanding debts from other licensed enterprises. It is crucial to strike a balance between assertiveness and maintaining positive relationships within the industry, ensuring a thriving and sustainable business ecosystem for all stakeholders involved.
Naulls Legal Group is the premier law firm for cannabis-based businesses representing entrepreneurs and organizations nationwide based out of Southern California. We are adept at navigating delicate cannabis compliance, legislation, bureaucratic challenges, and enforcement around the increasingly complex and heavily regulated cannabis laws.
Naulls Legal Group is a California NORML legal committee member. See their listing in the Cannabis Attorneys directory.
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Marijuana Use and Firearms Possession
Are the Times A-Changin?
C.D. Michel, Michel & Associates, P.C.
In our 2021 article for California NORML, we discussed how federal gun laws intersect with California’s legalization of recreational marijuana use. In that article, we examined Ninth Circuit authority holding that federal law makes it illegal for all marijuana users to possess a firearm.
Since then, however, Second Amendment rights jurisprudence has developed rapidly. In June 2022, the Supreme Court issued its decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. That ruling set forth the legal test that courts must apply when evaluating the constitutionality of laws regulating firearms and the people who can possess them. And it expressly rejected the analysis previously employed by the Ninth Circuit for deciding such cases.
Because a recent federal court held that the law prohibiting marijuana users from possessing firearms was unconstitutional, many have asked whether anything has changed legally for marijuana users who would choose to own a firearm.
The short answer is no. But that could change—and possibly soon.
This memo explains what has happened so far, what could happen next for marijuana users who would like to own a gun for sport or to defend themselves or their families, and how folks can reduce their vulnerability to prosecution.
THE NINTH CIRCUIT HAS CONFIRMED THAT FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS MARIJUANA USERS FROM POSSESSING FIREARMS
Under 18 U.S.C. 922(g), it is unlawful for certain categories of people to “ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”
One such category includes people that are “unlawful user[s] of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).” 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(3). Of course, the federal Controlled Substances Act still includes marijuana, effectively banning all current marijuana users from owning firearms or ammunition.
“Firearms” are defined by the law as “(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device.” 18 U.S.C.S. § 921(a)(3). So aside from prohibiting marijuana users from possessing firearms, federal law also prohibits users from possessing starter guns, firearm mufflers and silencers, and destructive devices (bombs, grenades, rockets, and so on).
“Ammunition” is defined by the law as “ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm.” Id. § 921(a)(17)(A).
The Ninth Circuit has held that the firearm prohibition on cannabis users is constitutional, even in the context of those with medical marijuana cards, explaining that “these laws will sometimes burden—albeit minimally and only incidentally—the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are reasonably, but erroneously, suspected of being unlawful drug users. However, the Constitution tolerates these modest collateral burdens in various contexts, and does so here as well.” Wilson v. Lynch, 835 F.3d 1083, 1094-95 (9th Cir. 2016).
Thus, in the Ninth Circuit at least, even those with medical marijuana cards are essentially considered acceptable collateral damage to this overbroad government policy.
THE PROCESS OF BUYING A FIREARM
When anyone buys a firearm from or through a firearms retailer, they are required to answer questions on the federal “4473” form. In California, there are other state forms that must also be completed, including the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) form.
The 4473 form specifically asks if the firearm purchaser is an “unlawful user” of marijuana. Even if marijuana use is legal in your state, it is still illegal under federal law. So to be truthful, you must answer “yes” to this question if you use marijuana.
The 4473 form must be signed under penalty of perjury. Committing perjury is a crime.
Federal law also expressly prohibits knowingly making any false statement on the 4473. Doing so is punishable by up to ten years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(b).
So if you don’t answer the questions on the 4473 form truthfully, you can be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(a)(1)(A) for lying on the form. Prosecutors typically call these cases “Lie and Buy” cases.
A SUPREME COURT DECISION AND LEGAL GAME CHANGER
As a recent Associated Press article explained
A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment is upending gun laws across the country, dividing judges and sowing confusion over what firearm restrictions can remain on the books.
The high court’s ruling that set new standards for evaluating gun laws left open many questions, experts say, resulting in an increasing number of conflicting decisions as lower court judges struggle to figure out how to apply it.
The Supreme Court’s so-called Bruen decision changed the test that lower courts had long used for evaluating challenges to firearm restrictions. Judges should no longer consider whether the law serves public interests like enhancing public safety, the justices said.
Under the Supreme Court’s new test, the government that wants to uphold a gun restriction must look back into history to show it is consistent with the country’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
Courts in recent months have declared unconstitutional federal laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, felony defendants and people who use marijuana. Judges have shot down a federal ban on possessing guns with serial numbers removed and gun restrictions for young adults in Texas and have blocked the enforcement of Delaware’s ban on the possession of homemade “ghost guns.”
In several instances, judges looking at the same laws have come down on opposite sides on whether they are constitutional in the wake of the conservative Supreme Court majority’s ruling. The legal turmoil caused by the first major gun ruling in a decade will likely force the Supreme Court to step in again soon to provide more guidance for judges.
THE UNITED STATES v. HARRISON DECISION HOLDS THAT THE BAN ON FIREARMS POSSESSION BY MARIJUANA USERS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
The case of United States v. Harrison began on May 20, 2022, when Mr. Harrison was pulled over for running a red light. A loaded revolver was found in the car, along with a backpack with various marijuana products. A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Harrison with possessing a firearm with knowledge that he was a marijuana user in violation of USC 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3). United States v. Harrison, No. 22-00328, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18397 (W.D. Okla. Feb. 3, 2023).
Harrison asked the district court to dismiss the indictment on various grounds, including that § 922(g)(3), as applied to his marijuana use, violates the Second Amendment. Echoing what the Supreme Court ruled last year in Bruen, Harrison’s lawyers argued that the federal law barring marijuana users from possessing firearms conflicted with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.
The prosecution argued, on the other hand, that “disarming presumptively risky persons, namely, felons, the mentally ill, and the intoxicated” is in the public interest.
District Court Judge Patrick Wyrick disagreed, holding that the federal law depriving marijuana users of their Second Amendment rights is unconstitutional. He first explained that the federal government cannot simply exclude marijuana users from “the people” who have Second Amendment rights. If it could, he continued, then the power to exclude people from the protections that constitutional rights provide would be essentially limitless:
Frankly, it’s not even clear this is carving out a “subset,” as much as an outright declaration of the federal government’s belief that it can deprive practically anyone of their Second Amendment right. Who among us, after all, isn’t a “lawbreaker”? For sure, there may well exist some adult who has never exceeded the speed limit, changed lanes without signaling, or failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, but they are few and far between.
The government also argued that § 922(g)(3) was constitutional because it is analogous to the Nation’s deeply rooted historical tradition of disarming felons (because unlawful users of controlled substances have engaged in felonious conduct, even if not convicted of it yet). Again, Judge Wyrick disagreed:
Imagine a world where the State of New York, to end-run the adverse judgment it received in Bruen, could make mowing one’s lawn a felony so that it could then strip all its newly deemed “felons” of their right to possess a firearm. The label “felony” is simply “too easy for legislatures and prosecutors to manipulate.”
Judge Wyrick was also amused with the government’s response on this point:
Remarkably, when presented with this lawn-mowing hypothetical argument, and asked if such an approach would be consistent with the Second Amendment, the United States said “yes.” So, in the federal government’s view, a state or the federal government could deem anything at all a felony and then strip those convicted of that felony—no matter how innocuous the conduct—of their fundamental right to possess a firearm. Why? Because courts must defer to a legislature’s judgments about what is and is not a felony, says the United States. It’s as if Bruen’s command regarding the inappropriateness of such deference to legislative judgments has been lost in translation.
According to Judge Wyrick, the Nation’s historical tradition of regulating firearms supports disarming those who have shown their dangerousness through past violent, forceful, or threatening conduct. But a total prohibition on the right to possess a firearm merely because a person is a user of marijuana does not fall within that tradition. While the government made other arguments—including a bizarre effort to protect its law by analogizing to racist laws of the past (a move Wyrick called “concerning”)—ultimately it was this logic that led the court to rule as it did.
It bears repeating that all the United States would have to prove at trial in order to justify depriving Harrison of his right to possess a firearm is that he is a user of marijuana. But the mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports. The use of marijuana—which can be bought legally (under state law) at more than 2,000 ordinary store fronts in Oklahoma—is not in and of itself a violent, forceful, or threatening act. It is not a “crime of violence.” Nor does it involve “the actual use or threatened use of force.”
That Congress may have passed § 922(g)(3), as the United States suggests, with some vague relation to public safety or “the public interest” does not change this conclusion. It is not appropriate for a court to “reflexively defer to a [legislative] label when a fundamental right is at stake.” And the use of marijuana does not become a violent, forceful, or threatening act merely because the legislature says it is.
Having established that marijuana users who possess firearms come within the plain text of the Second Amendment, Judge Wyrick proceeded to the historical analysis now required under Bruen. He noted that while there is some history of laws regulating firearm possession by intoxicated persons, none appear to have prohibited the possession of a firearm in the home for purposes of self-defense.
Where the seven laws the United States identifies took a scalpel to the right of armed self-defense—narrowly carving out exceptions but leaving most of the right in place—§ 922(g)(3) takes a sledgehammer to the right.
Judge Wyrick referenced the Bruen decision when he stated that marijuana use doesn’t make someone a “dangerous lunatic.”
But the United States’ own conception of the historical tradition demonstrates why §922(g)(3) as applied to Harrison is not analogous to these traditions. Under the United States’ own theory, history and tradition would limit disarmament to dangerous lunatics. And as explained above, the mere use of marijuana does not indicate that someone is in fact dangerous, let alone analogous to a “dangerous lunatic.” There are likely nearly 400,000 Oklahomans who use marijuana under state-law authorization. Lumping all those persons into a category with “dangerous lunatics,” as the United States’ theory requires, is a bridge too far.
Judge Wyrick also noted that the criminal justice system could have kept Harrison behind bars to ensure he didn’t get his hands on a gun if it concluded that he’s a threat.
None of this is to say that the government cannot play a role in protecting the public from dangerous persons possessing firearms. It can, and it should. For example, if the State of Texas thought that Harrison’s alleged involvement in a shooting demonstrated that Harrison was a danger to the public, it could have demonstrated to a Texas judge—in an individualized proceeding of which Harrison would have been given notice and the opportunity to be heard—that Harrison ought to be jailed while awaiting trial for that shooting. The Constitution, after all, permits pre-trial detention, and such detention would be a highly effective means of furthering the government’s interest in protecting the public from a gun-toting Harrison. But that didn’t happen; Harrison was released pending trial in Texas. And so here we are, with the federal government now arguing that Harrison’s mere status as a user of marijuana justifies stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm. For all the reasons given above, this is not a constitutionally permissible means of disarming Harrison.
Judge Wyrick vacated the indictment against Harrison, dismissing it with prejudice. You can read the full ruling here.
In our opinion, the Harrison ruling properly applied the Bruen test. But many state and federal government authorities disagree. Indeed, the federal government appealed the district court decision, so the Tenth Circuit will be deciding on the constitutionality of the marijuana prohibition soon. You can track this appeal here.
UNDERSTANDING PERSUASIVE LEGAL AUTHORITY VS. MANDATORY LEGAL AUTHORITY
The ruling in Harrison was issued by the Western District of Oklahoma. A decision by one federal district court is not considered mandatory authority. So other district courts in Oklahoma (or anywhere else) are not bound by the decision, and they do not have to follow it.
Depending on how well-reasoned and well-written a district court ruling is, however, it can be considered persuasive authority, and the reasoning can be adopted voluntarily by any court.
The U.S. government has appealed the Harrison decision. Oklahoma is in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, so decisions of the federal courts of Oklahoma are appealed to the Tenth Circuit. That may uphold or overturn the district court’s ruling. If upheld, any ruling (a win or a loss) from the Tenth Circuit would only be binding on federal courts within the Tenth Circuit. But again, such a decision could be relied on as persuasive authority in courts outside that circuit.
RULINGS BY OTHER COURTS
So far, two other court rulings have substantively discussed Harrison.
The first was not favorable. A district court in the Northern District of Indiana stated in a footnote:
The [c]ourt is not persuaded by Harrison in part due to the weight of authority reaching the contrary conclusion, the [c]ourt’s own analysis of the arguments presented in this case, and disagreements with the analysis and conclusions reached by the court in Harrison. For example, the [c]ourt would note that Harrison’s reasoning distinguishing the tradition of disarming dangerous persons from § 922(g)(3) seems reliant on reinterpreting those traditions based on pre-Bruen dissents from circuit decisions. See e.g., Harrison, No. 2:22-cr-328 at *31-*32, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18397. The [c]ourt is not persuaded such a dramatic departure from existing precedent is required given Bruen established it was consistent with Heller, and the first step of the pre-Bruen test was also consistent with Heller. Bruen, 142 S.Ct. at 2127-30.
United States v. Posey, No. 2:22-CR-83, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22005, at *24 n.9 (N.D. Ind. Feb. 9, 2023). No appeal has been filed in Posey as of this writing.
Things went better in the Western District of Texas, where the court cited Harrison repeatedly to support its conclusion that “Section 922(g)(3) breaks with historical intoxication laws by prohibiting not just firearm use by those who are actively intoxicated but also firearm possession by those who use controlled substances, even somewhat irregularly.” United States v. Connelly, No. EP-22-CR-229(2), 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62495, at *30 (W.D. Tex. Apr. 6, 2023).The federal government has appealed.
It is likely that similar challenges will be brought in other district courts in other federal circuits, and those decisions will likely also be appealed. Ultimately, perhaps the Supreme Court will have to address this issue, particularly if two courts of appeal reach different conclusions. Indeed, because Harrison and Connelly are proceeding in different circuit courts, if different conclusions are reached by the respective circuits, the odds of Supreme Court review will increase.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
For California marijuana users who choose to own a firearm to benefit, a similar challenge would have to be brought in a district court in the Ninth Circuit, which includes California. A district court ruling in California would likely be appealed to the Ninth Circuit—the same circuit that ruled in Wilson that federal law prohibits marijuana users from possessing firearms. Wilson v. Lynch, 835 F.3d 1083, 1094 (9th Cir. 2016). But that decision did not consider whether the ban itself violates the Second Amendment under Bruen. That is, the Ninth Circuit did not consider whether the ban was unconstitutional under our historical tradition of firearm regulation. Rather, it proceeded under the now-defunct tiered-scrutiny approach that gave the government far more deference.
There are legal battles being waged in Second Amendment challenges to various gun control laws across the country right now to determine how to apply Bruen when evaluating the constitutionality of any gun control law. Some of those cases challenge classifications of people who are prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms, like non-violent felons, certain misdemeanants, and people subject to civil restraining orders. Rulings in those cases might influence a court that is weighing the constitutionality of bans on firearm possession because of marijuana use.
TRY TO AVOID TROUBLE AND KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Remember that if you are using marijuana and possess a firearm, you are breaking federal law.
If you have a medical marijuana card and you own registered firearms, that is evidence that can be used against you. Even if you do not currently use marijuana, the government may assume otherwise if you have such a card or other evidence of marijuana use.
The Bruen decision specifically addressed concealed carry permits, and what states could require from folks applying for one. The decision has made it much easier in all states, including California, to get one of these permits. But people who apply for a CCW are generally asked about drug use, and so forth. If you are not truthful in your application, you could face years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if the permit’s existence tips the government off that you are illegally in possession of firearms.
Further, while there is no crime specifically barring lying on a CCW permit application, the standard CCW application form is signed under penalty of perjury. If caught in a lie about marijuana use (or any other information asked on the form), you could be charged with perjury. Even if no such charges are brought, however, getting caught in such a lie would likely mean any future effort to get a CCW permit would be denied based on prior dishonesty.
Also keep in mind that you are vulnerable to being reported by anyone who knows this, and to police if they conduct an investigation for whatever reason. Although prosecuting people for this offense may not currently be high on the list of government priorities, if you possess a firearm and use marijuana, you are at risk right now. The politics of this issue could change.
Know your rights. Remain silent. Don’t incriminate yourself. Anything you say will be used against you, even if you are not read your rights first. Do not answer questions. Give your name and address only. Repeatedly say, “I want to remain silent and call my lawyer.” Do not discuss your case with police, friends, family, cellmates, or anyone but your lawyer. Beware: Police car and jail phone conversations are recorded and many in jail are informants.
Do not consent to give up your rights. A right voluntarily given up is a right lost. Do not be tricked, threatened, or persuaded into giving up your rights. Do not “consent” to a search without a search warrant. If asked for consent to search, politely and repeatedly refuse, and note nearby witnesses. Do not sign any statements without an attorney’s advice.
Ask for a lawyer. If arrested, you may be handcuffed, searched, photographed, and fingerprinted. Do not physically resist a search or arrest. You have a right to have an attorney present during any questioning. Once you say you want to remain silent and ask for a lawyer, questioning should stop. If they keep asking questions, keep silent and keep asking for your lawyer! Call and get your lawyer involved asap!
If you would like a free KNOW YOUR RIGHTS card with the above information to carry in your wallet, email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you some.
Related Reading: NORML Legal Committee Submits Amicus Brief in Federal Case Challenging Government’s Gun Ban for Medical Cannabis Consumers 5/26/23
C.D. “Chuck” Michel is Senior Partner at the Long Beach Law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C. He is the author of California Gun Laws, A Guide to State and Federal Firearm Regulations now in its 10th edition for 2023 and available at www.calgunlawsbook.com.
Michel & Associates, P.C. is a California NORML legal committee member. See their listing in the Cannabis Attorneys directory.
The post Marijuana Use and Firearms Possession 2023 Update appeared first on CaNorml.org.
Join Cal NORML on with a $42 “420 Club” membership on or before 4/20/23 and get a free thank-you gift: your choice of one of two styles of our popular burlap sacks printed with “USA Homegrown” or “California Red Hair Sinsemilla” (shown).
Usually available only at Cal NORML information tables at events, these 22″ x 36″ bags are parodies of agricultural storage sacks. They look great as wall art, and are useful as laundry bags and more. And they make great gifts!
Click here to join Cal NORML with a donation of $42 or more and indicate which bag you prefer; we will send it to you by mail (in a plain envelope — sorry, the bags won’t be stuffed with weed!). Membership renewals qualify; email here if you are unsure of your membership status.
As another special offer, Peace Dove members ($100) joining or renewing on or before 4/20/23 will receive a free Peace Dove cap.
Cal NORML is completely funded by personal and business memberships and donations from within California. Members receive our printed newsletter and discounts on events and items throughout the year. Read more about Cal NORML.
Donate to Cal NORML
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In honor of California NORML’s Director Dale Gieringer, and 4/20, Cal NORML is awarding four scholarships courtesy of Oaksterdam University.
Choose from two self-paced online courses:Home GrowValue $295Learn to successfully grow and harvest high-quality cannabis plants from your own garden or tent.BudtendingValue $486Get in on the ground floor at a dispensary and share your passion for the plant with a focus on health, wellness, and customer service.Submit the complete form below by 5/20/2023 to be considered for selection of one of four single course scholarships. One scholarship per person.All entrants will be added to California NORML’s email list; you may unsubscribe at any time; we do not sell or share our email list. In your submission, please address these questions:Specify which course you’d like to receive a scholarship to attend.Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.Why are you interested in this course?How would this scholarship impact your future?
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Join Cal NORML and ASA (Americans for Safe Access) at Lobby Day 2022 as a citizen lobbyist for your rights as a cannabis consumer in California!
Buy your tickets for Lobby Day and the Afterparty
Sponsor Lobby Day!
This year’s Lobby Day will be held on Monday, May 8, 2023. We will meet in the morning at the Capitol Events Center, where you will learn about pending bills and get lobbying tips. In the afternoon, you will meet with lawmakers or their staffs at appointments we will set for you once you sign up to attend. The day will end with an afterparty and reception on the patio at Cafeteria 15L.
Some of the bills on which we expect to be lobbying include:
• SB 302 (Stern) would extend Ryan’s Law, requiring specified health-care facilities to allow terminally ill patients to use nonsmoked (or vaped) forms of cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation to patients 65 and over with chronic diseases. Write A Letter to Your State Senator in Support of SB 302.
• AB 374 (Haney) and SB 285 (Allen), which seek to expand on the activities that cannabis retailers may engage in. The Haney bill states that a local jurisdiction may allow activities including, but not limited to, selling non-cannabis-infused food, selling nonalcoholic beverages, and selling tickets for live musical or other performances. The Allen bill would authorize a local jurisdiction to allow for the preparation or sale of noncannabis food or beverage products by a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed. Tell Your Assemblymember to Support AB 374 and Tell Your State Senator to Support SB 285.
• AB-1094 (Wicks) would prohibit medical personnel from performing a drug or alcohol test or screen on a pregnant person, perinatal person, or newborn without the prior written and verbal informed consent, and would require the test or screen to be medically necessary to provide care.
• SB 51 (Bradford) would allow the DCC to issue a provisional license for a local equity applicant for retailer activities, indefinitely, if the applicant meets specified requirements. Tell Your State Senator to Support SB 51.
And others, as they are introduced or amended. Read more about this year’s proposed cannabis bills.
Capitol Event Center – 1020 11th St. (between J and K Streets)
10 AM – 12 PM; doors open at 9:15
Gather for training/legislative overview; pick up your afternoon appointment information
LUNCH BREAK (on your own)
1 PM – 5 PM
Attendees will go to the Capitol for appointments with your elected representatives or their staffs.
Afterparty / Reception
5 PM – 7 PM
Cafeteria 15L (UNCONFIRMED)
Lobby Day Ticket 2023
$25.00 – $50.00
Sponsor Lobby Day!
To learn more, write here.
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BECOME A SPONSOR TODAY!
California NORML and ASA (Americans for Safe Access) are pleased to announce Citizen Lobby Day, taking place May 8, 2023 in Sacramento, CA. Our members and coalition partners will host a lobby day and training in support of state legislation to better regulate cannabis and protect consumers in California.
The California Citizen Lobby Day offers an exciting and unique opportunity to reach out to the medical and adult-use cannabis community. Becoming a sponsor of the Citizen Lobby Day is an excellent way to maximize your visibility to full or targeted groups of conference attendees. We offer a variety of options to suit every budget and marketing strategy.
Becoming a sponsor is a great way to help get legislation passed that is beneficial to cannabis consumers and the legal cannabis industry. It is also a great way to position and brand your business or organization as one that is helping solve problems and move the cannabis issues forward.
• $5,000 Platinum
• $2,500 Gold
• $1000 Silver
• $500 Bronze
WHAT YOU GET
• Text listing in Lobby Day Materials
• Logo with link on the Lobby Day Website
• Thanked on Event Facebook page and Cal NORML LinkedIn page
• Corporate Materials placement on or near the Registration table
• Two free tickets to the event
• All of the above, plus:
• Thanked on Cal NORML Twitter account (15K followers)
• One Cal NORML eblast sponsorship (33K followers)
• All of the above, plus:
• One-year Business Marketplace listing on CaNORML.org
• All of the above, plus:
• One year banner ad on CaNORML.org; any page of your choice
If you have any questions, please email us.
Sponsor Cal NORML Lobby Day 2023
$500.00 – $5,000.00
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Under California state law, cannabis retailers can open on-site cannabis consumption spaces, with local approval. Some locals allow vaporizing only indoors (e.g. Oakland). Others, like Los Angeles and Berkeley, have resisted consumption rooms altogether, as anti-tobacco forces have falsely conflated cannabis smoke with tobacco. (Prop. 64 said cannabis smoking must be banned where tobacco smoking is.) Groups like PHI show up at local meetings to fight off our rights. Help us fight them and make cannabis consumption allowed across California!
2/9/2023 – Ukiah Planning Commission Unanimously Passes Ordinance Allowing Cannabis Consumption
2/8/2023 – Palm Springs’ weed lounge game is hot right now — especially compared to L.A.
ONSITE CANNABIS CONSUMPTION ROOMS IN CALIFORNIA
JUMP TO: Coalinga, Eureka, Lompoc, National City, Ojai, Palm Springs, Port Hueneme, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, West Hollywood
1276 Market St
Mission Cannabis Club
2441 Mission St.
952 Mission Street, San Francisco
Union Station San Francisco
2075 Mission St
4811 Geary Blvd
5770 Peladeau Street
Rose Mary Jane (drinks only)
2340 Harrison St. Oakland CA 94610
The Studio Lounge at The Artists Tree
8625 Santa Monica Blvd 2nd Floor, West Hollywood, CA 90069
8271 Santa Monica Blvd
Vault Dispensary Lounge
35871 Date Palm Drive , Cathedral City, CA 92234
Coachella Valley Green Dragon
353 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
OG Arabian Nights
232 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Four Twenty Bank
A consumption lounge plus two 800-square-foot VIP rooms that can be rented for special occasions plus a fully functioning, 555-person-capacity venue that hosts live music, DJ sets, puff-and-paint events and wellness-weekend drum circles and sound baths.
296 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California 92262
Palm Springs’ first social equity dispensary, on the city’s main drag.
150 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California 92262
Reefer Madness Dispensary & Lounge
This LGBTQ-owned dispensary and lounge with an Alice in Wonderland theme is one mile from the Palm Springs International Airport.
4693 Ramon Road, Palm Springs, California 92264
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Last night, the Ukiah Planning Commission unanimously passed an amendment to city code allowing for cannabis consumption at licensed retailers in the city. The amendment is limited in that it would allow for smoking or vaping only at outdoor sites, due to the city’s anti-smoking ordinance. It will allow for edibles or drinks to be consumed indoors.
At the meeting during the staff report, a slide was shown indicating that cities currently allowing on-site consumption include San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Rosa, West Hollywood, Palm Springs, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Coalinga, Lompoc, and National City.
Monique Ramirez of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, a business group with 100+ members, read a memo in support of the measure, noting, “This amendment will incentivize customers to frequent retail locations, which in turn will create a benefit for everyone, including local farms that supply products to retailers in our County.”
She continued, “Customers having places to consume cannabis safely should be promoted. Just as there are designated places for alcohol consumption, cannabis businesses with the proper zoning should have the same opportunities. Giving tourists a real taste of what Mendocino County producers have to offer will help promote our small businesses across the county and promote economic development. Medical patients especially need safe places to consume cannabis, whether for dried flower, edibles or cannabis drinks. Some patients do not have the ability to smoke/vaporize cannabis in the comfort of their own homes because they may be renters and their landlords disallow it.”
As did Cal NORML, MCA recommended that the Planning Commission expand the indoor use to include inhalable products. Paul Hansberry of Loving and Legally spoke in support, have been to SF where have inside consumption lounges have been “a savior for businesses, and for medical patients esp. because of smoking ordinances.” In a letter to the commission, Cal NORML wrote, “Inhalation is a safer mode of consumption than ingestion for on-site consumption areas. This is because inhalation acts promptly, allowing users to calibrate their dosage in accordance with its effects. There is no reason to believe that indoor smoking or vaping of cannabis presents an undue public safety hazard.”
The Ukiah ordinance was advanced by Kyle Greenhalgh of Heritage Mendocino, who spoke as the meeting, as did a representative from Cannavine. Todd Harp of Fish Peddler, the nearest business to Heritage Mendocino, also testified in support, saying that the business has beautified the neighborhood, increased his business.
Local farmer Susan Tibbon spoke in support, as did farmer John Casale, who said he has a tourism license. Casale spoke about being helped by Heritage Mendocino, where it’s explained and demonstrated, “Why the Emerald Triangle farmers are the Napa Valley of weed.” Nick Caston, director of public policy for Solful, a partner with Heritage Mendocino, spoke of the ability of consumption rooms to innovate and connect with producers, and prevents lawlessness, due to restrictions on places where people can consume cannabis. The sole opponent speaking was an elderly MD concerned about the effect of cannabis on drivers, and the brain.
Public comment was re-opened for a question from commissioner Michelle Johnson for questions about the ventilation system in the ordinance. Greenhalgh clarified that he was not intending to allow indoor consumption, but was open to allowing it elsewhere. Johnson said she could see both sides of the issue, noting that many parts of the city smell like weed these days, and she understood the need for having spaces to consume in “a regulated, safe environment.”
Commissioner Rick Johnson tried to compare it to a tasting room at winery. Greenhalgh said that California has a strict guideline that everything consumed must be purchased, so no sampling is permitted, unlike with wine. It was clarified that under state law, someone can’t bring in cannabis purchased from another sort, like you can pay a corkage fee at a restaurant. (Yet another way that cannabis businesses are penalized in CA.)
Commissioner Alex de Grassi fretted that despite public noticing and an article in the UDJ, and pending city council approval, the public might not be fully aware of the proposal. He proposed an amendment requiring that any modifications to existing businesses for the purposes of consumption be reviewed by the planning commission. Johnson asked about the difference in cost between taking modifications to the planning administrator and taking it before the commission; was told that the cost was $900 to go before the administrator and $2000-$3000 for a planning commission review, to pay for staff time, and possibly more (at $100/hour) due to heavy regulations, e.g. security requirements, for cannabis businesses. The development director can always defer projects to the planning commissioner. DeGrassi’s motion then died for lack of a second.
The original motion that passed with aye votes from all four commissioners present. It will now head to Ukiah City Council for approval.
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The DCC Cannabis Advisory Committee (CAC) will be holding the inaugural meeting of its Medicinal Use subcommittee on Monday, February 13th at 1 pm. The public is invited to testify at the meeting, which will be held virtually. The meeting will be devoted to defining the subcommittee’s scope, and identifying and prioritizing of topics for discussion in 2023. See meeting notice and agenda.
This is a chance for patients, doctors and medicinal cannabis advocates to express their views about what should be done to improve medicinal cannabis regulation in California. Expect for the committee to allow two minutes per speaker at the meeting. Written comments can also be submitted in advance by emailing CAC@cannabis.ca.gov
California scored only a C+ on Americans for Safe Access’s yearly “State of the State” report, scoring states on their medical marijuana laws.
We were given credit for passing SB 1186 (requiring locals to allow medical marijuana delivery services) and AB 2188 (protecting employment rights), while noting those reforms don’t reflect in our grade this year since the laws aren’t in effect yet (and won’t be until 1/1/2024).
Our state scored 0/10 in “allow patients to medicate where they choose” and 0/5 in “independent or third-party” laboratory operations; we’re penalized 10 pts. out of 20 on “gives regulatory preference for adult use.” Respondents noted the lack of available medicinal grade products, and that dispensary products are overly focused on THC content to the detriment of more therapeutic chemical profiles.
Other coming events:
Wednesday, February 15 – 9 a.m.
CAC Cultivation Subcommittee meeting
The subcommittee will hear presentations from the California Craft Brewers Association and California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on opportunities and regulatory structures within the alcoholic beverage industries that support small producers.
Thursday, February 16 – 9 a.m.
CAC Laboratory Subcommittee meeting
Thursday, February 16 • 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 PM
Cannabis Law in California—An Overview of Federal and State Laws
The Witkin State Law Library, part of the California State Library, will explore the history of federal and state cannabis laws with guest speaker Robert Solomon, professor of law at the UC Irvine. Topics of this webinar will discuss the history of legal and illegal cannabis, and the agencies, laws, and regulations that govern cannabis in California.
The post Coming Events: Inaugural Meeting of Medical Use Subcommittee of CAC on 2/13/23, and more appeared first on CaNorml.org.
We will update this page as more bills are introduced, and alert supporters when it is time to take action on them as they advance through committees to floor votes, etc. The bills’ language may change as they move through the legislature, Cal NORML will be watchdogging!
Please support Cal NORML with a personal or business membership to help us advance cannabis consumers rights in California!
With the looming deadline of February 17 to introduce bills in California’s legislature, cannabis-related bills have begun to be proposed.
So far the top human rights proposal is SB 302 (Stern), which would extend Ryan’s Law, requiring specified health-care facilities to allow terminally ill patients to use nonsmoked (or vaped) forms of cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation. The Stern bill, if passed, would extend these protections to patients 65 and over with chronic diseases. Write A Letter to Your State Senator in Support of SB 302.
Two bills, AB 375 (Haney) and SB 285 (Allen), seek to expand on the activities that cannabis consumption lounges may engage in. The Haney bill states that a local jurisdiction may allow activities including, but not limited to, selling non-cannabis-infused food, selling nonalcoholic beverages, and selling tickets for live musical or other performances. The Allen bill would authorize a local jurisdiction to allow for the preparation or sale of noncannabis food or beverage products by a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed.
AB 420 (Aguiar-Curry) would clear the way for licensed cannabis businesses to manufacture, distribute, or sell products that contain industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp, if the product complies with all applicable state laws and regulations. The law would build on Asm. Aguiar-Curry’s prior hemp bills, one of which required the DCC to prepare a report on integrating hemp products into cannabis supply chain.
AB 471 (Kalra) would authorize the DCC to issue a state caterer license authorizing the licensee to serve cannabis or cannabis products at a private event approved by a local jurisdiction. A similar bill from Asm. Kalra stalled in committee last year.
SB 51 (Bradford) would allow the DCC to issue a provisional license for a local equity applicant for retailer activities, indefinitely, if the applicant meets specified requirements.
AB 351 (Chen) would allow for cannabis business license transfers.
Two budget bills, AB-221 (Ting) and SB-72 (Skinner) address the allocation of cannabis tax income, as does the Governor’s budget proposal. Read more.
Please support Cal NORML with a personal or business membership to help us advance cannabis consumers rights in California!
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