State Of The Coalition Update 1/15/13

State Of The Coalition Update 1/15/13

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Political Committee
The January 10 CCSE meeting was open to the general public. The most exciting news was the successful interview by CCSE Board members and lobbyist Lonnie Johns-Brown that happened in the morning before the open meeting. In past legislative sessions, there have been over 800 bills vying for attention. The CCSE political committee has put in many hours to develop a compromise bill with favorable language for cannabusinesses as well as patients. However, without a strong lobbyist pushing the proposed legislation in Olympia it will be difficult to get assigned into committee for review. The CCSE membership responded with generosity at the meeting and quickly pledged $1,000 to cover the cost of one month of services with the lobbyist.


Word on the street is that several other groups are pushing different proposals. There is the Steve Sarich Patient Protection Act that only focuses on changes to RCW 69.51A concerning patients. One rich person is lobbying for a 15% THC cap. State Representative Christopher Hurst (Democrat) is proposing slowdowns to implementation of Initiative 502 so that the license fee can be increased from $250 per application to $18,000. With competition for political attention, the CCSE group consensus is that hiring a lobbyist is in our members best interest.

Member Compliance Committee
CCSE certified another member: The C.P.C. in the Georgetown neighborhood. The C.P.C. is short for The Center for Palliative Care.
All members are again encouraged to apply for certification. One certified member spoke about how the certification process helped him catch some small business glitches. He was able to make changes right away to improve business operations.


Allied Professional Committee
Stefani Quane, cannabis business attorney, has been appointed as the chair for the Allied Professional Committee. Shawn Eddy, a producer and creator of “A Cannabis Conversation,” a blog dedicated to exploring the hype and history of marijuana, is the new secretary for the allied professional committee.
This committee has decided to require allied professionals seeking membership to pass a basic cannabis information test. “We do not want CCSE allied professionals comporting themselves as cannabis professionals if they do not have a basic level of cannabis industry knowledge,” is the general committee consensus. This subcommittee will be creating the application test. At the next meeting, a questionnaire will be passed out seeking input as to what information should be on a minimum proficiency test.

General Industry News
As most of you may have heard by now, the Cannabis movement emerged triumphant as the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, won a major victory in their lawsuit with Federal prosecutors. A Federal judge ruled that his landlord may not evict the center even if the Federal Government is pursuing forfeiture for Medical Cannabis – 2 words that have never been in public record together now have a 19 page ruling! The fact the clinic has been up and running for five years was a major factor to the court.

It is suggested by Greta Carter that the US Attorney Melinda Haag may need a backdoor out of the situation that has been created. The legal strategy now is to create one for her. They will encourage mediation to help the Federal government extricate themselves from this mess involving arguably one of America’s best run medical marijuana dispensaries.

Patrick Kennedy, son of deceased Senator Ted Kennedy, has created a new group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana, to oppose the legalization of cannabis. Patrick Kennedy is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who ostensibly desires to help others from going down this path. However, we do not agree or believe cannabis is a gateway to anywhere other than healthier living. We will try and educate Kennedy’s group about the concept of marijuana being a gateway out of addiction.

Written by CCSE Member Stefani Quane