Marijuana Money Is Still A Pot Of Trouble For Banks
Excerpt from: Forbes, 9/18/2014 by Jacob Sullum
“If the compliance bar is so high that any customer misstep can result in federal criminal or civil liability for the financial institution, then marijuana banking will not occur,” Hill writes. “If Congress opens the door for marijuana banking, federal financial regulators should ensure their efforts do not practically prevent banks from servicing the marijuana industry.”
In the meantime, state-licensed marijuana merchants can try to access banking services by disguising the nature of their business. But as Hill points out, such subterfuge can be prosecuted as money laundering. Then again, what’s one more felony?
(Click here for this flawless analysis.) [Graphic:Public Domain - USA]
CA Pot regulation bill dies on August 14, 2014! — Good Riddance!
A controversial medical marijuana bill altering the rules for growing and selling the botanical was killed in the California Assembly today.
Senate Bill 1262 was scheduled to be heard in Assembly Appropriations on Aug. 13.
That’s the last day Appropriations meets for the year, and SB 1262 — which has passed the Senate — had until the end of August to clear the full Assembly. The bill would supposedly clarify the industry as it stands, with personal and caregiver cultivation left alone. Commercial medical cannabis growers, drivers, stores and staff would be licensed by a new bureau. Cities with dispensary bans could keep them. Cities with dispensaries could keep those, too.
JE Says: SB 1262 was bad and we opposed it. Kudos to ASA, MPP & those who fought this measure. It came dangerously close to passage.
Demand for marijuana outpaces legal supply; black market filling gap
As the state looks toward altering production controls, marijuana retailers say supply isn’t the issue. The real problem is price.
“After the cost of producing each pound, I still have to pay a 15 percent excise tax, licensing fees, huge rent because landlords overcharge marijuana dispensaries, and when I pay federal income tax I can’t deduct like a regular business,” said Brian Ruden owner of Starbud, Altermeds and Tree of Wellness medical and recreational outlets in Denver, Louisville and Colorado Springs. “It ends up that I am selling an eighth (of an ounce) for $60 when the street price is about $25.”
Medical marijuana opponents’ most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research
By Christopher Ingraham July 29, 2014; Washington Post Blog
Vote No On 2 features another hoodie-clad youngster on its home page, no doubt contemplating the depravity of his existence after medical marijuana. Florida voters don’t seem to be buying any of this, though: Medical marijuana currently enjoys nearly 90 percent support in the state.
More to the point, the notion that medical marijuana leads to increased use among teenagers is flat-out wrong. A new study by economists Daniel Rees, Benjamin Hansen and D. Mark Anderson is the latest in a growing body of research showing no connection — none, zero, zilch — between the enactment of medical marijuana laws and underage use of the drug.
JE says: Click here to read this well researched article. A bit of myth busting, if you will.
California Alert! : Bill is wrong path for medical marijuana
By Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai ; The San Francisco Examiner, Friday, Aug 1, 2014
Senate Bill 1262 was introduced to the state Senate on Feb. 21 by veteran legislator Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana. It is a medical marijuana bill designed to regulate physicians, dispensaries and cultivation sites via rigid government oversight.
Sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Association…
As a licensed physician with a registered medical practice in San Francisco, I have reviewed the wording of SB 1262. The bill is highly punitive, clearly seeking to punish doctors who recommend medical marijuana. SB 1262 concerns me most because it duplicates and violates existing state and federal statutes that clarify physicians’ role in recommending medical marijuana.
In Conant v. McCaffrey (2002), the federal government was enjoined by the 9th U.S. District Court in San Francisco from punishing physicians for recommending medical marijuana. That ruling affirms physicians’ First Amendment right to make recommendations.
SB 1262 requires the Medical Board of California to audit any physician who recommends medical marijuana more than 100 times a year….
Click here to continue reading this really important critique.
John Entwistle Says: We oppose SB 1262. It is bad control freak reefer madness masquerading as regulation brought to you by the same folks who opposed Prop 215 back in 1995 when we were campaigning to pass it. This bill looks like it may hit the Governor’s desk so let’s all pray that he veto’s it. Additional info is available through the following links:
“California Medi-Pot Regs Lose Major Support”
“Proposed California bill, SB 1262, would ban marijuana concentrates in the state if passed — A proposed bill would make it difficult to smoke marijuana in California.“
“California Is Beginning to Compromise on Weed”
“FCA releases survey results on Senate Bill 1262”
“Editorial — In California, a way out of the medical marijuana morass, LA Times, August 1, 2014”
The White House Tries, Fails to Explain Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal
By PHILIP M. BOFFEY, the NY Times Blog on July 31, 2014 4:03 pm
No sooner had the Times published its opening editorials advocating legalization of marijuana than the White House fired back with an unconvincing response on its website. It argued that marijuana should remain illegal because of public health problems “associated” (always a slippery word) with increased marijuana use.
Careful readers will immediately see the White House statement for what it is: A pro forma response to a perceived public relations crisis, not a full-fledged review of all the scientific evidence, pro and con. The White House is actually required by law to oppose all efforts to legalize a banned drug.
Besides, it is hypocritical for the White House, whose chefs brew beer for the president, to oppose legalizing marijuana, which poses far less risk to consumers and society than does alcohol. …
Here are our responses to the four main public health contentions made by the White House.
Click here to read this hot article in its entirety.
What Obama Can Do to Loosen Marijuana Laws, Even Without Congress
New York Times: Let States Decide on Marijuana
Game changer of an editorial published July 27, 2014
That law, so antique that it uses the spelling “marihuana,” is still on the books, and is the principal reason that possessing the substance … is considered illegal by the United States government. Changing it wouldn’t even require an act of Congress — the attorney general or the secretary of Health and Human Services could each do so — although the law should be changed to make sure that future administrations could not reimpose the ban.
It’s hard for the public to take seriously a law that says marijuana and heroin have exactly the same “high potential for abuse,” since that ignores the vastly more addictive power of narcotics, which have destroyed the lives of millions of people around the world. (There are no documented deaths from a marijuana overdose.) The 44-year refusal of Congress and eight administrations to alter marijuana’s place on Schedule I has made the law a laughingstock, one that states are openly flouting.
John Entwistle says: Click here to read this important opinion piece. We do take exception to one part of the Times’ proposal which is quoted below:
"Consuming marijuana is not a fundamental right that should be imposed on the states by the federal government, in the manner of abortion rights, health insurance, or the freedom to marry a partner of either sex. It’s a choice that states should be allowed to make based on their culture and their values, and it’s not surprising that the early adopters would be socially liberal states like Colorado and Washington, while others hang back to gauge the results."
John Entwistle continues: This is just plain wrong. Medical pot is as important to patients in Kansas and Texas as it is to us in California. This is why federal action should start with rescheduling pot to Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act with all normal follow through to encourage the states to follow suit in the interest of uniformity. The two Bills mentioned are interesting but not the first step by far, although the “Hands off medical states DEA Bill” is a nice motion in the right direction.