Tag: OMMP

Oregonians, Just Say NO to House Bill 2265

The sausage making that goes on at legislatures is often not for the faint of heart. What can be introduced as one bill can be bait and switched on folks with very little time to understand the true implications of the bill. Unfortunately, House Bill 2265 is one such bill this 2021 legislative session and this bait and switch will be harmful to many current medical cannabis patients who most probably have no idea that their medicinal cannabis gardens will be impacted and that they may lose access to their medicine altogether. House Bill 2265, introduced by Representative John Lively, used to merely state that:

“The Oregon Liquor Control Commission shall study cannabis in this state.
The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to an interim committee of
the Legislative Assembly related to economic development no later than December 31, 2021.”

Now, thanks to an amendment, House Bill 2265 does much more than just study cannabis, it now moves enforcement of registering medical cannabis gardens from the Oregon Health Authority to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here’s the description of the amendment that actually passed the General Government Committee by the Legislative Policy and Research Office:

“Replaces the measure. Directs OLCC to establish by rule a medical marijuana grow site registration process.
Defines medical marijuana grow site as a location where marijuana is produced for registry identification
cardholders, but not including marijuana grow sites registered by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Specifies
criteria for OLCC registration and for the transfer of marijuana; sets grow site production limits; establishes civil
penalties for violations; and establishes OLCC registration deadlines. Allows OLCC to adopt by reference applicable
OHA rules. Limits a person designated to produce marijuana by a registry identification cardholder under an OHA
grow site registration to grow for no more than two cardholders. Allows the OHA to renew marijuana grow site
registrations issued by the authority until June 1, 2022, clarifying that beginning September 1, 2021, the authority
may not issue registration to a grow site that produces marijuana for more than two registry identification
cardholders. Requires the OLCC to receive applications for grow site registrations no later than June 1, 2022 for
sites previously registered under OHA or producing marijuana for three or more registry identification
cardholders. Declares emergency, effective on passage.”

Just a few problems with the bill. First, just the concept of moving Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) regulation from the OHA to the OLCC goes against what the voters intended when passing Measure 91 as the legalization law clearly stated that the OMMP should not be infringed upon by ending prohibition for all adults. The next concern is moving private medical information from the OHA to the OLCC. I’ve had my issues with OHA’s regulation of the OMMP over the years, but at least they are experienced with protecting private medical information. I’ve praised and criticized the OLCC when deserved, but the agency doesn’t have the same experience and expertise protecting private medical information as OHA. Additionally, the HB 2265 allows the OLCC to revoke registration from OMMP applicants who are “insolvent or incompetent or physically unable to carry on the management of the
medical marijuana grow site” and “in the habit of using alcoholic liquor, habit-forming drugs, marijuana or controlled
substances to excess”. These powers to strip licensure may be relevant to the billion-dollar adult-use market, but not for small medical cannabis gardens. Finally, the OLCC has a lot on its plate and it is going to cost money and resources to move OMMP regulation from one government body to another. This bill is simply not needed.

There are more issues with the bill and I urge folks to stay up-to-date with Compassionate Oregon, the state’s leading medical cannabis advocates that are doing the heavy lifting to defeat House Bill 2265 and protect and improve the OMMP every legislative session. There are only about 20,000 OMMP patients remaining and the OLCC-regulated cannabis industry is bringing in more money and generating more revenue than ever expected, there’s no reason to add more hurdles for patients battling severe and debilitating medical conditions and their providers. Oregonians, please contact your state legislators and the House Ways and Means Committee to let them know that they should vote NO on House Bill 2265. Also, contact Governor Kate Brown, and let her know that you do NOT support this bill as well.

Kind Leaf provides 15% discounts to all OMMP patients. There are always discounts for senior citizens and military veterans as well. You can order online with Leafly Pickup or come peruse the best selection in the Great Northwest.

Featured photo credit: Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

Senate Bill 758 Would Improve the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program

Overall, cannabis legalization has been a success for Oregon and other states, a much better policy than prohibition for sure. As a recent report published in NPR notes, much-needed jobs have been created and revenue generated while violent crime and traffic accidents haven’t skyrocketed as Reefer Madness Chicken Littles like Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts proclaim. However, improvements to our cannabis laws can certainly be made, including providing better service to the thousands of patients registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP).

At its peak in 2015, there were more than 78,000 OMMP patients and we are now down to under 23,000. While too many people think that we don’t need the OMMP anymore, especially those that love collecting taxes, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that our sickest, poorest, and most isolated patients still need support and traveling to a dispensary and purchasing an adequate amount of cannabis is unrealistic. Yes, the cannabis system in Oregon is amazing for patients and consumers that can afford to purchase some of the best cannabis in the world, but we can do more to help those most in need. Senate Bill 758, which has a hearing today before the Senate Health Care Committee, will help course correct the OMMP and benefit tens of thousands of Oregonians battling severe and debilitating medical conditions.

Under Senate Bill 758, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act will be more properly renamed the Oregon Medical and Therapeutic Cannabis Act. Some key components of this important proposal:
-The state shall issue permanent cards for lifetime chronic conditions that cannot be cured.
-Naturopaths and any medical professionals that can prescribe medicine will be allowed to recommend cannabis.
-Expands PTSD definition to chronic anxiety and chronic depression.
-All Social Security Disability Insurance program patients will be eligible for a reduced state registration fee of $20.
-Requires state regulating agencies to collaborate on a plan to create a care and long term medical access program.

The proposal will also help benefit patients who find therapeutic value in gardening for themselves by eliminating regulatory hurdles and barriers for small medical cannabis gardens with 12 or less plants. This bill is a win-win for Oregon. After passage of SB 758, the Oregon cannabis industry will still be creating thousands of jobs and generating plenty of revenue, but more patients battling poverty will be helped. Please contact the Senate Health Committee and your legislators and urge them to support this important bill. A sincere thanks to Compassionate Oregon (my wife is a volunteer board member) for working hard for Oregon’s patients and on this important bill.

Kind Leaf is proud to provide OMMP patients with an additional 15% off all cannabis & hemp purchases.

Americans are Utilizing Cannabis to Combat Pandemic Burnout

Everybody knows that 2020 was an extremely stressful year, so it’s no surprise that Americans turned to cannabis to help them cope with the stress and isolation brought on by the COVID pandemic. As use has become mainstream and Reefer Madness propaganda has been debunked, a supermajority of voters support ending prohibition, making it no surprise that legalization won big at the November ballot box across our nation. Cannabis was purchased in record numbers in legal states, with consumers wisely turning to online ordering and curbside pickup, like the services offered by Kind Leaf.

Leafly found that nationwide cannabis sales increased by 67% over the previous year, increasing sales from from just over $7 billion nationwide in legal states to nearly than $11 billion. And as Leafly noted, a large number of consumers turned to cannabis to deal with burnout, pandemic related or otherwise, as retail outlets’ were deemed “essential businesses” a rather crazy turn of events for those of us who remember prohibition days:

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States in March, many in the cannabis industry worried about a massive industry-wide shutdown. Instead, governors in most states declared cannabis an essential product. Dispensaries and retail stores responded by offering online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery as Covid-safe options for their customers.

Customers, in turn, responded by stocking up for those weeks of stay-at-home advisories. After a brief dip in late-March revenue, most stores saw a significant bump in April—and then the bump became a plateau.

***

In October, multi-state dispensary operator Verilife surveyed more than 2,000 Americans and found that 72% of respondents named the Covid-19 pandemic as the leading cause of stress and burnout in their lives this year. Nearly 40% said they have used cannabis to cope with that burnout. Around 37% said they have used CBD, and a further 29% said they have considered using marijuana to lower their stress level this year.

Some nuggets from Verilife’s nationwide burnout survey:

Why are so many Americans experiencing burnout? Well, one reason might be that 73% say life has become overly complicated and 80% say life is more stressful than it was for previous generations. Surprisingly, 89% of Gen Z respondents (age 18-23) feel that their lives are more stressful than other age groups while millennials were least likely to say that their lives are more stressful than other age groups.

One thing all respondents agreed on is that the COVID-19 pandemic was the top reason for burnout in their lives. The pandemic was followed by work, finances, politics and the news. Our habits may be contributing to burnout as well especially during a 24/7 news cycle. Overall, 73% admitted to “doomscrolling,” or scrolling through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. As Americans were glued to the TV and the news during the 2020 presidential election, 67% say they experienced burnout from watching, reading or listening to the coverage. 

With the workplace currently going through dramatic changes such as remote work and social distancing, many respondents say they’ve been stressed out in the workplace. In fact, 80% say burnout has prevented them from focusing at work and more than half (56%) say burnout has prevented them from going to work.

Over 70% of all respondents reported that life has become too complicated, regardless of their generation, and I must admit that I’m envious of those that don’t feel like life is too complicated. We live in trying times and stress is literally a killer. According the the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to several leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, and suicide.

If you are among the nearly 70% of folks that either utilize cannabis or are thinking about using cannabis to relieve stress, then don’t hesitate to venture into Kind Leaf in beautiful Pendleton, Oregon. Not only does Kind Leaf have the best and biggest selection of cannabis and infused-products around, but the staff is knowledgeable, and there are many non-cannabis items to peruse as well. Check out the amazing deals, order online, and use the convenient pick-up window. As always, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique offers discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! Please Support Small Businesses.

I am not much of a gift giver, except for my wife, because I’m not a complete idiot. My gift to you and everyone, is that you don’t have to give me a gift. However, when I do give gifts, I try my best to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. For instance, a group of dear friends of mine have pitched in several times this year to acquire art from local artists as birthday presents for friends. (Shoutout to the Bedhead Crew AKA The Verbose MFers!)

When shopping for the cannabis connoisseur in your life, or rewarding yourself for surviving 2020 thus far, please venture into Kind Leaf in beautiful Pendleton or another local small craft cannabis shop. By shopping at a local dispensary, you are supporting Oregon’s schools and drug treatment services with your tax dollars, but also helping provide jobs in your local community, and the money stays in Oregon, and not getting sent to another state or even another country.

Also, when you support Kind Leaf, you are helping other local businesses that they partner with AND you assist the sponsoring local families in need to provide a great Christmas for their children. Kind Leaf’s Kind Tree program is in its fourth year, and this year it made some adjustments.

BACKGROUND ON THE KIND TREE PROGRAM:

This is a time of happiness, connection, giving and making memories. There are some local children that don’t feel the same way about the holidays inside, even though on the outside they seem strong, resilient and happy even though they may not be finding much under their tree. Life happens so fast and parents sometimes need help this time of year, the cold makes the utilities rise, extra layers means buying extra clothes and all of the other expenses can leave the tree rather empty. This is where we step in. The Kind Leaf team has has helped gather support for over 25 families each year for three years in row by putting up the Kind Tree.

HOW IT WORKS:

The Kind Tree is uniquely decorated each year with beautiful ornaments and tags with children’s age and gender on them. Our visitors have the option to participate by selecting a tag from the tree and returning with a gift. Kind Leaf encourage gifts of $25 or more as we kindly return the participants generosity with a Kind Tree credit to use in our store during their next visit.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?

Due to the extra hardships involved with COVID, Kind Leaf decided to reduce the amount of families from 25 to 10, and instead of gathering three gifts per child from the community,the program will fully sponsor the selected families children, providing them their Christmas gifts as well as a delicious Christmas dinner food box.

This year has been an extremely difficult year for so many of us, but there’s also been some great achievements to celebrate and plenty of opportunities to spread love and joy. And you can’t spread much more joy than to help children wake up to a “Santa’s worth” of presents.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas, everybody! Please be safe, and have an amazing New Year. (I may chime in again, especially if there is some more breaking news for the Kind Leaf Journal to break, but this is my last scheduled blog until 2021 as I take some time off. It’s been a crazy ride this year, thanks for being here.)

In addition to supporting your local community and great projects like the Kind Tree program, Kind Leaf has the best selection and great deals, along with discounts for senior citizens, military veterans, OMMP patients, and utilizing the pickup window. Plus, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique delivers quality content like this rendition of The 12 Days of Kushmas.

Oregon and Other Legal States Form the Cannabis Regulators Association

Cannabis legalization was a big winner at the 2020 ballot box and now that legalization has the support of 68% of Americans, we can expect that more states will move to end prohibition over the next few years. We will also be seeing more reform bills and debates at the federal level as well, with a legalization bill hopefully seeing the House floor next month. Each positive step forward moves us closer and closer to finally ending federal cannabis prohibition and ending the failed and harmful war on the cannabis community.

To help states share information and best practices, regulators have formed the Cannabis Regulators Association. It is positive step forward to see states combine resources and knowledge. This further demonstrates the mainstreaming of cannabis and that the prospects of legalizing at the federal level and instituting policies that treat cannabis businesses the same as any other industry are looking good. However, much-needed reforms are taking way too long.

Craft cannabis businesses like Kind Leaf and other small businesses have waited far too long to get access to banking services and to be taxed at a reasonable rate. Corporate companies, often with headquarters in other nations, can withstand these burdensome regulations, but small businesses, the drivers of our nation’s economy needed action yesterday. Hopefully, the sharing of states’ experiences will help move our government officials to act sooner rather than later. We have too many livelihoods on the line.

When you shop at Kind Leaf, you are getting the best selection with the best weekly deals while supporting a local family business that happily gives back to the local Pendleton community. Check out the menu, deals, and discounts (vets, senior citizens, OMMP patients, and for utilizing the pick-up window) on Leafly.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced that they were joining the new regulators organization yesterday in a press release:

November 12, 2020

State Regulators Start “Cannabis Regulators Association”

Oregon Liquor Control Commission joins organization

Group will help navigate cannabis regulations at federal, state, and local levels

Portland, OR — Today state cannabis regulators from across the United States announced formation of a non-partisan organization, the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA), to better share institutional knowledge and regulatory best practices. Cannabis regulators from 19 states have joined in filing documents to establish CANNRA, which is being created in order to assist federal, state, and local jurisdictions that have approved or are weighing legalization of cannabis.

“CANNRA’s formation provides assurance to citizens and policy makers that cannabis regulation across the U.S. will be informed by best practices and the consolidated expertise of state regulators,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. “Whether it is for recreational or medical purposes, states are on the cutting edge of a transition from a societal prohibition on cannabis use to systems that effectively provide for consumer protection standards in the commercialization of cannabis.”

For years, cannabis regulators across the country have relied on each other to share regulatory experiences, institutional expertise, and to provide assistance navigating the numerous evolving policy and regulatory issues associated with legalizing and regulating cannabis. Often the first step for state and local jurisdictions weighing legalization is to engage with regulators from established markets and programs. However, there has never been an organization to facilitate these interactions or help stakeholders find objective data and evidence-based approaches to policymaking and implementation.

“The Cannabis Regulators Association will provide a much needed forum for regulators to engage with each other to identify and develop best practices, create model policies that safeguard public health and safety, and promote regulatory certainty for industry participants,” said Norman Birenbaum, CANNRA’s inaugural president.

The Cannabis Regulators Association is not an advocacy group and takes no formal position for or against cannabis legalization, but rather seeks to provide government jurisdictions with unbiased information to help make informed decisions when considering whether or how to legalize or expand regulated cannabis. 

CANNRA will facilitate communication and information sharing between subject matter experts in regulatory approaches for industrial hemp, medical cannabis, and adult-use cannabis. This will include exchanges with research organizations, public health officials, policymakers, legal authorities, advocacy groups, and cannabis industry participants.

 “The association will strive to create and promote harmony and standardization across jurisdictions which choose to legalize and regulate cannabis,” said Birenbaum. Birenbaum currently serves as the Director of Cannabis Programs for New York State.  “The Cannabis Regulators Association will also work to ensure federal officials benefit from the vast experiences of states across the nation to ensure any changes to federal law adequately address states’ needs and priorities,” he said.

CANNRA founding members include the principal cannabis regulators from 19 states: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington. 

Additional state regulators are expected to soon join CANNRA; CANNRA anticipates providing membership opportunities for county and municipal cannabis regulators in the near future. Membership is limited to regulators and representatives from relevant government offices. Membership in CANNRA is not available to industry participants or advocacy organizations.

CANNRA members will be able to access a national registry of member regulators, resources for cannabis policy development and staff training, and will have the ability to access, and participate in the development of model standards and best practices for cannabis regulation.

Members will also be eligible to attend exclusive “Regulator Roundtable” conferences and programs, and receive legislative analyses, policy tracking data, and bulletins on current issues and events in the cannabis industry and regulatory arena.

CANNRA’s executive officers will include Norman Birenbaum, Director of Cannabis Programs for New York State as President; Rick Garza, Director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board as First Vice President; Jim Burack, Director of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division as Second Vice President; Andrew Brisbo, Executive Director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency as Third Vice President; and Tyler Klimas, Executive Director of Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board as Secretary Treasurer.

“Our intent in forming this organization is to have CANNRA serve as a resource for policy makers, elected officials, researchers, and other stakeholders to engage with regulators from across the country and receive unbiased information and recommendations regarding the impact and implementation of cannabis policies,” said Birenbaum.

For more information about the Cannabis Regulators Association or to inquire about membership please visit www.Cann-RA.org or email info@Cann-RA.org.

Stock Up on Kind Leaf’s Cannabis Deals to Survive the Election Season

The last presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is tonight and if you decide to watch, it probably won’t hurt to utilize some of the world’s best cannabis to help you get through it. If you plan on skipping the debate like me, there is still a good chance that you’ll want to stock up on cannabis to help you get through the rest of the election season.

Hopefully, reforming federal cannabis law will be addressed at this presidential debate, just as it was at the vice-presidential debate. Of course, you can’t count on politicians to always follow through on their promises, but it’s still good to hear that a presidential ticket is planning on decriminalizing cannabis and expunging past criminal offenses.

To help you get through November 3rd, there is no better place to stock up on all of your cannabis needs than Kind Leaf in beautiful Pendleton, Oregon. Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique has the very best selection of cannabis strains in the state, if not the Northwest, if not the world, and is worth a road trip.

In addition to the always-amazing selection, Kind Leaf continually maintains great deals and discounts. Check out this week’s deals:

FLOWER 15% OFF – Cherry Pie, Blackberry Octane, Sunset Sherbert, Dosi

FLOWER 30% OFF – Blue City Diesel

EDIBLES 15% OFF – Mr. Moxey’s Mints

EDIBLES 30% OFF – Titan’s Kind Chews, Blaze Single DC Blood Orange

VAPE 30% OFF – Highland Provisions Live and Cured Resin

VAPE 15% OFF – Elysium Cartridge Blood Diamond

EXTRACT 30% OFF – Happy Cabbage Rosin

EXTRACT 15% OFF – Happy Hippy Bubble Hash

PREROLLS 15% – Yerba Buena Prerolls

PREROLLS 30% – Tree Frog Preroll Harley Tsu

Kind Leaf’s discounts include 15% off for all Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients; 10% for seniors; 5% for veterans; and 5% just for utilizing the curb-side pick-up window. Order online via Leafly and save yourself some time. With just under two weeks to go until election day, do yourself a favor and make a trek to one of the best cannabis boutiques anywhere.