Associated Press – A state work group on Monday is due to release its recommendations for how to regulate Washington’s freewheeling medical marijuana industry — recommendations that could include reductions in how much pot patients can have, an end to the collective gardens that have supplied the sick and the not-so-sick, stricter requirements for obtaining medical marijuana authorizations, and taxes on medical pot. Representatives from the Liquor Control Board, Department of Revenue and Department of Health released their draft recommendations on Monday. An advocate for medical marijuana patients called the suggestions “ugly” and said they’d burden truly sick people who depend on pot.
Washington Post – In the three months that medical marijuana has been legal to purchase in the District of Columbia, sales have yet to advance beyond a trickle. The city’s pioneering dispensaries say they are losing money; doctors remain fearful to write prescriptions; and patients with HIV or cancer who may legally obtain the drug say they have been stymied by lengthy applications and warnings that the purchases remain illegal under federal law. Those were among the many warnings that advocates for a robust medical marijuana program ticked off Monday at a hearing, as they urged D.C. council members to relax the city’s strict medical marijuana standards.
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal – After clearing an early pathway for marijuana legalization, medical cannabis activists are afraid their businesses could be swept under as Initiative 502 forces them to comply with new regulations designed with the recreational market in mind. The Seattle City Council voted last week to require medical and recreational marijuana businesses to apply for a marijuana license under I-502 regulations, which legalized recreational cannabis. The rule would place medical and recreational cannabis programs in the same channel, requiring them to obtain the same license, said Alison Holcomb, attorney for the state’s American Civil Liberties Union and author of I-502. “The government is trying to control medical marijuana and load (those businesses) onto the Titanic that is 502 (licensing) and set it asail,” said Steve Sarich, leader of the Cannabis Action Coalition. “That would eliminate medical and I-502 in one fell swoop.”
The Oregonian – The panel charged with crafting rules for the state’s medical marijuana retail industry continues to grapple with complex policy questions on security, whether municipalities can opt out of the dispensary law and cannabis testing. The group, which met Friday for the second time, also discussed potential fees, which are supposed to cover the cost of enforcing program rules. Rob Bovett, the Lincoln County District Attorney, suggested dispensary operators pay an application fee of $1,000 and an annual licensing fee of $5,000. The committee on Friday did not settle on a final recommendation. The group is expected to wrap up its work by Dec. 1.
Time Magazine – Nearly a year after Colorado and Washington State voted to become the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, the detailed rules governing how pot will be grown, sold and taxed are finally complete. And as the two states implement their different approaches to getting high, the whole world is watching. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced a new panel, headed by California Lieut. Governor Gavin Newsom, to draft a possible 2016 ballot measure to legalize pot in the Golden State, where an earlier attempt failed in 2010. The panel will study the implementation of Washington and Colorado’s laws to see how they might serve as a model for California, according to member and ACLU attorney Alison Holcomb. Lawmakers and academics from Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Canada and the U.K. have also expressed interest in learning from the states’ experiences.
The Seattle Times – Oregon officials are only months away from accepting applications for the state’s first medical-marijuana dispensaries under a new law. But local leaders who want to keep pot shops out of their communities are ready for a fight. In Myrtle Creek, the police chief and mayor both oppose dispensaries within city limits. And in Medford, the City Council made a rule change to say that business licenses could be revoked for violating the federal prohibition on the drug. There’s no way “to prevent the wholesale distribution of marijuana through dispensaries,” said Medford City Councilman Chris Corcoran.
AZ Central – A judge has overturned Maricopa County’s zoning ordinance for medical marijuana dispensaries, ruling that the ordinance appeared to be a “transparent attempt” to keep the businesses out of unincorporated areas of the county. Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon on Monday granted a pretrial verdict in favor of White Mountain Health Center, which plans a dispensary for Sun City, and rejected a similar request on behalf of the county.
Press Democrat – Mendocino County officials will turn over to federal prosecutors records from their now-defunct medical marijuana permitting program to comply with new grand jury subpoenas, the county counsel’s office announced Wednesday. It remains unclear exactly what documents are being relinquished to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. County Counsel Thomas Parker said the Sept. 25 subpoenas seek “a limited number of unredacted county records.”
Fox 13 – A medical marijuana-related bill will be in the upcoming session of the Utah State Legislature, an advocacy group for children with epilepsy said. “Hope 4 Children with Epilepsy” said Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, and Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George have agreed to sponsor legislation that would allow a cannabis-extract to be used to treat patients with extreme forms of epilepsy.
ABC 7 – Colorado’s medical marijuana program is under review Wednesday. The state Board of Health is scheduled to consider lowering annual fees paid by medical pot patients. The Board was also expected to hear another request from some patients to dismantle the existing registry and start another one because of security breaches.