Cannabis is emerging from the shadows of prohibition. Every week, there are advancements in many fields related to cannabis. Smoke Reports will be re-capping the weekly events of the cannabis community and industry, so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest developments.
Sacramento County Board: Fines for Water Used in Cannabis Cultivation
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on July 14th to revise the water code to consider water used for cannabis cultivation as a fineable offense. In 30 days when the rule goes into effect, violators will be subject to a maximum fine of $500 dollars each day. Outdoor cannabis was previously banned, and now legal indoor cannabis cultivation is limited to nine plants. Anything more will be considered water wasting, and subject to the daily fines.
Those who are against this new rule include cannabis patients and industry members, who point out that Sacramento county supports other agriculture not subject to this scrutiny. Sacramento is also home to a lot of golf courses that have not yet adopted “turf reduction” strategies to reduce water consumption.
Seattle Forces 60% of Medical Dispensaries to Shut Down
In Washington, Seattle city council members unanimously approved a proposal to effectively shut down all medical cannabis dispensaries formed after January 1st, 2013. Business formed after this date will be required to cease operations and cannot apply for a recreational cannabis license. The city says that these businesses are breaking numerous fire and building codes, and are generally engaged in unethical business practices unworthy of a “medical” title.
“Retail operations licensed by the State now offer the only legal way to sell marijuana. In contrast, many unlicensed “medical” marijuana retail operations have long since abandoned even a pretense of being a collective garden as described above, and instead simply offer the public sale of marijuana without complying with any of the requirements of Initiative 502 or RCW 69.51A.”
– Daniel T. Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney
There are 45 medical dispensaries that were operating with a license prior to January 1st, 2013, and these groups will be allowed to stay open, provided they obtain a business tax license from Washington’s Liquor & Cannabis Board by July 1st, 2016. This new rule goes into effect in thirty days, and will funnel more money to the city’s cannabis tax revenue. To read more about this development, check out our blog post on this subject.
Colorado Rejects Medical Cannabis for PTSD
In a 6-2 vote, the Colorado Board of Health declined to include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a medical condition treatable under the state’s medical cannabis program. Despite heartfelt testimony from doctors and anecdotal evidence from veterans, board members were not convinced because there was not enough science backing the claims. Colorado would only have been the tenth state to recognize PTSD as a medical condition treatable with cannabis use.
Hawaii Governor Signs HB 321: Protections for Patients and Dispensaries
Hawai’i Governor David Ige signs HB 321, showing his support for Hawaiian cannabis patients by giving protections to medical dispensaries to make cannabis more accessible. Hawai’i has had a medical cannabis program since 2000, but due to no legislation providing any protections, accessing good cannabis products has been difficult for patients. HB 321 hopes to establish a regulated and safe medical program with protections for legitimate dispensaries and patients:
- Establishes a licensing system for medical marijuana dispensaries.
- Prohibits counties from enacting zoning regulations that discriminate against licensed dispensaries and production centers.
- Allows a qualifying patient, primary caregiver, or an owner or employee of a medical marijuana production center or dispensary to transport medical marijuana in any public place, under certain conditions.
- Replaces the requirement that a certifying physician be the qualifying patient’s primary care physician with a requirement that the physician have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient.
- Allows persons authorized to use and possess medical marijuana in other states to be treated similarly to qualifying patients in this State pursuant to rules adopted by the department of health after 1/1/2018.
- Prohibits primary caregivers from cultivating medical marijuana after 12/31/2018, subject to certain exceptions.
- Authorizes the department of health to conduct criminal history checks on license applicants, licensees, prospective employees of dispensaries and production centers, subcontractors, and persons authorized to enter and remain on such premises.
More Buzz About Cannabis Breathalyzers
As cannabis moves closer to legalization, lawmakers and police are still figuring out how to combat cannabis intoxication while driving. Companies like Cannabix are developing new technologies to detect THC using breath samples. Cannabis DUI products have been in prototype for sometime now, and although there is a current buzz, we are still a ways off from having a reliable model. Once technology catches up with lawmakers, we can have a national conversation about how the exact amount of cannabis that is too impairing.
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