Alert From CO Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED)Re Stakeholder Workgroups Legislation Implementation: HB17-1034; SB17-192; SB17-187, Labeling and Packaging, Legislation Implementation: HB16-1367 (meets twice) &General Catch-All: Other Rule Updates
To All Interested Parties:
The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) is facilitating four stakeholder work groups to discuss, deliberate, and provide suggestions on draft rules for the Division’s 2017 rulemaking session. The work groups in no particular order are:
a) Legislation Implementation: HB17-1034; SB17-192; SB17-187
b) Labeling and Packaging
c) Legislation Implementation: HB16-1367 (meets twice)
d) General Catch-All: Other Rule Updates
Individuals interested in participating on a work group must send an email to: DOR_MEDRuleComments@state.co.us. In order to be considered for sitting on a work group panel, the interested individual’s email must contain the information listed below. Please note that work group requests must be made via email to DOR_MEDRuleComments@state.co.us. Requests and inquiries made via telephone or to other Division contacts may not be accepted.
1: Which of the four listed Work Groups would you like to participate in?
2: The name of the individual interested in participating and his or her contact information including email address and phone number.
3: The individual’s occupation, job title, and employer or organization.
4: A brief explanation of no more than 150 words detailing the individual’s qualifications for inclusion in the particular stakeholder working group. Please do not include attachments with your email.
The Division will consider all email applications that meet these requirements, and any additional relevant information when establishing the stakeholder work groups.
The deadline to email your request to participate on a work group is Monday, July 17, 2017 by 9:00 AM. Selections for the work groups and the public announcements will be made by Friday, July 21st. Please make sure you are available for the dates and times of the work groups on which you request to participate. The Division will choose a replacement in the event that a selected work group member is unable to attend the meeting. The schedule and location for each work group is included below:
Legislation Implementation: HB17-1034; SB17-192; SB17-187
Meeting Thursday, 8/31/17, 8:30 AM to Noon
Labeling and Packaging
Meeting Thursday, 8/31/17, 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Legislation Implementation: HB17-1367
Meeting Thursday ,9/14/17, 8:30 AM to Noon (1 of 2 meetings)
Legislation Implementation: HB17-1367
Meeting Friday, 9/15/17, 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM (2 of 2 meetings)
Other Rule Updates, Including, but not limited to, the following:
Testing/Sampling/Permitted and Prohibited Transfers/Transporters and Operators/SB16-040 updates, etc.
Meeting Tuesday, 9/19/17, 8:30 AM to Noon
All Meetings will be held at the Gaming Commission Room, 17301 W. Colfax Avenue, Golden, CO 80401.
Please feel free to share this email with anyone whom you think would be interested in submitting an application to participate on one of the work groups.
The Division would like to let all work group applicants know that even if not selected to participate on a work group, interested parties can still take an active role in the rulemaking process by attending work group meetings and offering verbal comments during the public comment portion of the meetings. Interested parties will also be able to submit written comments to the Division concerning all rules that are being considered.
The Division will file a permanent rulemaking notice with the Secretary of State on or before September 15, 2017. Draft rules will be included in the notice, along with a form for interested individuals to submit written comments with suggestions on the draft rules. Written comments are encouraged and will be accepted until 5pm on Monday, October 16, 2017.
Director, Marijuana Enforcement Division
The Baltimore Sun reports
Maryland regulators want to deny license to medical cannabis firm
In voting to tell MaryMed LLC that it would not receive a final license, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission cited concerns about MaryMed LLC’s former parent company Vireo Health, which operates medical marijuana businesses in two other states. The commission also faulted MaryMed for not cooperating with Maryland investigators.
The concerns stem from the February indictment of two former Vireo executives, who face felony charges in Minnesota for allegedly smuggling a half-million dollars worth of cannabis oil across state lines in December 2015. More at link above
Oregon Cannabis Association – Report To Members On Washington DC Visit
On June 21st and 22nd, the Oregon Cannabis Association (OCA) met with the offices of over 40 members of Congress as a part of their third annual lobbying fly-in to Washington, D.C. Asks included supporting federal legislation focused on issues including tax equity, safe access to banking, and the opening-up of federal pathways to more comprehensive marijuana research. While lobbying for federal marijuana reform was the primary purpose of this trip, the fly-in also acted as a litmus test for federal support of state implemented marijuana markets. OCA members met with everyone from strong supporters and champions on the issue, such as Portland Congressman Blumenauer and staff, to staff members in offices of categorical cannabis antagonists (names omitted for risk of preventing future lobbying opportunities). OCA members were well received on both fronts and, in general, offices seemed excited to talk about an issue that gets less press than healthcare reform or Russia. While most offices agreed that descheduling marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is unlikely to happen anytime soon, offices on the front lines of marijuana reform are confident that legislation addressing issues such as safe access to banking can happen without descheduling or rescheduling.
- The Trump administration has bigger issues to address
While not concrete, the impression received from various congressional offices is as follows: Even with news of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s letter asking Congress to remove Rohrabacher-Farr protections, the administration is too bogged down with other issues for us to see any movement against state marijuana markets in the near term.
- Freshman Republicans see the writing on the walls
The War on Drugs is over and everyone lost. Public opinion in favor of medical and adult-use marijuana continues to grow and new studies are showing that opioid deaths are down in states with medical marijuana markets. Fresh faces (and some of the more seasoned ones too) in the GOP recognize this and seem excited at the opportunity to increase public safety, support state’s rights, and add stability to a growing industry.
- Putting faces to the industry is important
Washington, D.C., while representative of the entire country, is not the progressive West. There are still a lot of misconceptions about the people who use, grow, process, produce, sell, and advocate for cannabis. Many offices seemed surprised to learn that industry leaders are sophisticated business people and not stereotypical “stoners”. An important step in swaying federal policy makers to push for marijuana reform will be changing the perception of some in Washington of the cannabis industry, a fight where OCA is certainly on the front line.
- Congress is not just blowing smoke
Offices in which OCA members met understand that there are issues that state legislatures cannot address. These offices want to see public safety concerns addressed, they want to end diversions into the illegal drug trade, and they recognize the need for stability in an industry that is adding thousands of jobs to states with adult-use markets. Furthermore, they recognize that the changes OCA is lobbying for can only happen with federal support.
Stay tuned as bipartisan congressional support for marijuana reform continues to grow. We also want to thank our thirty member participants for spending the time, money and resources to make the trip.