News & Events

Greetings from your Southern Colorado Cannabis Council. We wanted to make sure to get this important email out to all of you! It was a very busy year for us at the Capitol. We accomplished a lot of great things. We also had a couple of setbacks. We not only need your feedback, we need your support to continue to stand up for the rights of everyone, as a whole. If you are not a member or you would like to make a contribution to support our work, please visit sococc.org and click on one of the many links. You can always contact me directly atjasonwarf@yahoo.com. Thank you to everyone for the continued support!

State Elections:

· We were very active in the 2014 state elections. We hosted a mixer late last summer in which most of the local candidates who were in their respective races attended. It was a great event with an amazing dialogue. We also continued our tradition of issuing a Voter’s Guide”, covering local candidates. This entailed sending a questionnaire to candidates asking tough, in-depth questions that make it easier for you to decide who deserves your vote.

Denver City Council:

· The SCCC collaborated with Cannabis Global Initiative to interview all candidates (30 plus) and post on Facebook forum and Twitter. This social media campaign proved successful in getting the word out to the cannabis voters.

Colorado Springs City Council:

· We collaborated with multiple organizations to create a voter’s guide. The voter’s guide was circulated to dispensaries in the Springs, as well as sent electronically to thousands of potential voters. This guide was based on a questionnaire that was sent out to all candidates. We feel it is very important that as both industries grow that it is up to all of you to make an informed decision and put the right people in office, at every level.

Stakeholder Meetings for new legislation:

The following is a list of efforts that we were a part of the stakeholder process on. The stakeholder process is a series of meetings (both group and individual) that help to draft legislation. This is aside from the many meetings that we had throughout the legislative session and lobbying process prior to the session starting.

· Caregiver bill

· BHO bill

· Felony DUI Taskforce, CDPS

· Sunset Review for Medical Marijuana

· Sunset Review for Recreational Retail Marijuana

· Labeling and Packaging work group and stakeholder’s meetings

· Civil Asset Forfeiture, work group and stakeholder’s meetings

· Police Bill round tables and stakeholder groups

· Earned Time Bill

Cannabis Commission

We were involved in the discussions surrounding the push for more “Drug Endangered Child” legislation. We are happy to report that the legislation was not moved forward this session.

Colorado Department of Health and Environment:

· We attended several “Retail Marijuana Advisory Board Meetings” and gave public comment.

· We attended advisory board meetings in regards to the discussion of how to begin using research dollars for cannabis and endocannabinoid research

· We are currently working on the letter regarding physician referral policy that was sent to physicians statewide. We hope to convince the CDPHE to rescind this policy until we can implement a permanent solution through the legislative process.

Bills:

The following are a list of bills that we worked on, including a brief description and the final result:

Senate Bills:

· SB 006 (Prevention of Civil Asset Forfeiture)- We arranged testimony from LEAP, two attorneys, and cannabis business. One of our representatives at the Capitol also worked diligently on this legislation. This bill was voted down in committee.

· SB 14 (Medical Marijuana Caregiver Bill)- We worked on this bill from the day that it was introduced in the interim tax committee. This was a bad piece of legislation from the get go and it passed as a bad bill. We offered the sponsors an alternative bill that caregivers created and that they would have complied with. It was rejected. We then went on to lobby against this legislation. Unfortunately, this was not a successful effort. Big cannabis and law enforcement were in strong support of this. It is important to note that this attack on your rights came from inside of the industry. These organizations and individuals should be held accountable for putting profits before patients. This bill is waiting to be signed into law by the Governor.

· SB 40 (County Authority to Levy Marijuana Tax)- We stayed neutral on this legislation. It was postponed indefinitely, in other words, it failed.

· SB 115 (Sunset Medical Marijuana)- We worked closely with Senator Owen Hill on this legislation. We pushed to have the bill stripped and to have each recommendation looked at individually. This was successfully done. The one thing that we wanted in this but did not get was to align medical with recreational, in regards to vertical integration. Most of our owners do not thrive under vertical integration, which was why we fought to make it optional in recreational. This bill has been sent to the Governor.

· SB 136 (Labeling and Packaging for Retail Marijuana)- This was a bill that we monitored. It was not a bill that we supported, given the already stringent requirements put on owners in this regard. The bill was postponed indefinitely.

· SB 167 (Modify Marijuana Appropriations)- This is another bill that we monitored. It has been signed.

· SB 185 (Police Data and Community Policing)- We supported many bills this year in regards to law enforcement reform. This is one of the few that will become law. This legislation has been sent to the Governor and will be law.

· SB 231 (Ban Regulatory Agency Firearms)- This bill was one of our main focuses this year. It looked at turning regulatory agencies into regulatory agencies rather than law enforcement arms. It would have disallowed the Marijuana Enforcement Division and other regulators from carrying firearms. We believed this was a very positive way to increase the legitimacy or our industry, as well as the relationships between owners and regulators. This bill failed but it will be back in an altered form next session.

House Bills:

· HB 1007 (Local Retail Marijuana Taxes)- This was a piece of legislation that we monitored. Our concern was the already high tax rates and we did not want to see anything affect that this session. The bill was postponed indefinitely.

· HB 1036: (Warning to Pregnant Consumers)- We started off with reluctant support for this on the very basic warning, such as one found on alcohol or tobacco. When it became apparent that the helath department would use this as an opportunity to push outdated, negative research we were quick to withdraw our support. We are happy to report that this bill failed.

· HB 1043 (Felony DUI for fourth time offenders)- This legislation was problematic to us. With the new DUID law, in regards to cannabis we felt that this will be horribly detrimental to patients and consumers. This is very irresponsible and will capture innocent people in a bad situation. Just like the DUID, this bill passed despite the lack of science that proves impairment while using cannabis.

· HB 1203 (Earned Time for Habitual Offenders)- This was a bill that we monitored and worked to a certain extent. It passed and is with the Governor.

· HB 1267 (Use of Marijuana During Probation)- This was the best piece of legislation to pass this year and it was just signed into law. This is a bill that we worked on from the day it was an idea. We were honored to be a part of furthering the rights of people who use cannabis as medicine.

· HB 1278 (Use of Ag Water Rights for Marijuana Cultivation)- This was a bill that basically outlined the industries right to water. It was clean up legislation and we were sorry to see it fail.

· HB 1283 (Reference Laboratory for Marijuana)- We stayed fairly neutral on this bill. Until we have a good standard for testing that is used by everyone, we felt it would be premature to set this up. This bill has passed, despite reservations from many in the industry.

· HB 1305 (Production of Butane Hash Oil)- Aside from the caregiver bill, this was the other huge loss to patients this session. This is a right protected under Amendment 20 and something that has been done legally in Colorado since 2000. This bill was also supported by big cannabis and law enforcement. For law enforcement it means that they again get to imprison people for treating themselves with cannabis. For big cannabis it means more profit. For the state it means more tax revenue. We have heard from caregivers that they will not comply with this at the cost to patients’ health. As with the caregiver bill, we offered alternatives that were not embraced by the bill sponsors. This bill has passed and it will soon be illegal to produce any BHO unless you are a licensed facility.

HB 1367 (Retail Marijuana Taxes)- This was a bill that we monitored but did not take an active role in. It has passed and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

HB 1379 (Marijuana Permitted Economic Interest Registration)- This is a bill that we supported. It is designed to outline and protect out of state interests in our industry. This is a practice that already happens and this adds guidance and protection. It has passed and is awaiting a signature.

As you can see from the list above, this year was a whirlwind. We are only able to continue to work on all of these issues and push to broaden the rights that we have with your support! Please visit our website, contribute, and encourage everyone you know to do the same. The battles for your rights and for the majority of the industry are far from over! Thanks, again!

Jason Warf
Executive Director
Southern Colorado Cannabis Council
sococc.org
jasonwarf@yahoo.com
502-396-5663

Stay tuned for further updates or join the Council at sococc.org and become part of our family! This is a make it or break it time for medical cannabis in Colorado. Your Council will be fighting to protect this and recreational but we can only do this with your help! Again, if you are not a member, please visit sococc.org and become one today! Thank you all for your continued support!

In March, Colorado Springs will get several new City Council members and a Mayor. They will either be hostile to Marijuana, or supporter of the tax revenue and jobs we provide the city. There are a few open minded, pro-cannabis candidates that you should want to vote for.

Learn more by checking out the web site

http://www.everyvotecountsco.org

This photo from their web site shows our current mayor, who is rabidly opposed to cannabis, and a foreign dictator he seems to be modeling his behavior after. We don’t want you to vote for any of these guys. Learn who to vote for in the SoCoCC Voters Guide. We’ll be sending it out via email soon.

VETERANS POST TRAUMATIC STRESS &

MEDICAL CANNABIS

Veterans and their families are suffering, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is overwhelmed, and the established treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress related disorders (PTSD) are not sufficiently effective.

To address this problem Enigami Medical Cannabis, LLC is working with Patients Out of Time and other Supporters to conduct a National, Community based Study.

To qualify for participation:

Veterans must be state-recognized medical cannabis patients with a legitimate PTSD diagnosis, or meet these Qualifications.

Although no medication will be provided, those participating in the study will have free access to a free patient health record that will confidentially monitor the symptoms and medication usage online for a period of 18 months.

The study will help Veterans determine their best Medical Cannabis treatment approach.*

*PLEASE NOTE THAT NO MEDICAL CANNABIS IS SUPPLIED, RECOMMENDED, OR PRESCRIBED BY THE STUDY TEAM.

To register for the study, go to

https://study.vetptsdstudy.org/