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7 Common Misconceptions About the Colorado Red Card

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Having just gone through the process of getting my “Colorado red card” for the first time, I thought I’d clear the air on some common misconceptions about this magical card that let’s you walk into a medical marijuana dispensary and get what you need to treat your ailments.

Is It Easy To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Colorado?

1) IT’S HARD TO TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT

Imagine sitting down in a doctor’s office like the one pictured above… do you think you’d have a hard time talking to a doctor who proudly displays a big WeedMaps poster on the wall adjacent to where he hangs his medical credentials? When I went to get my doctor’s recommendation, and was sitting in the room pictured above, I was greeted by an older fellow and two big dogs. Now, the dogs didn’t say too much, but the older fellow (the doctor) was all for the legalization of medical marijuana and uses his practice strictly for the application for and renewal of the glorious red card.

And I have a feeling that, thanks to Amendment 20, there are many other doctors in Colorado who aim to give you a place where you can feel comfortable bringing up marijuana, as a possible treatment option, during your visit.

2) YOU HAVE TO BE ON YOUR DEATHBED TO GET A CARD

Sure, some of the qualifying debilitating medical conditions are things like cancer and HIV, but most people end up getting their red card because of issues with chronic pain. In fact, all you have to do is be thrown off a donkey while you’re trying to play basketball and you’re set! Yeah, that’s right… My left elbow kissed the hardwood floor of my high school’s basketball court at just the right amount of speed to cause Dr. Reimers, after inspecting both of my elbows over 13 years later, to label my elbow as shattered and gladly sign the paperwork needed, before sending me on my way.

So, if you have chronic pain or even muscle spasms or migraines, then don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if marijuana is right for you.

3) YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH A DIFFICULT PROCESS

If you can remember to bring your Colorado driver’s license, some cash, and a money order then you’re good to go. In fact, go ahead and forget to buy the money order, because my doctor’s office will gladly print a money order for you, if you have an extra dollar. The only thing you really have to go through is filling out a few pages of paperwork, a little waiting, a little talking, a little finalizing, a trip to the Post Office, and then a little waiting by your mailbox. The place I went actually walks you through the process of filling out the state application, notarizes it for you for free, makes copies for you, helps you fill out your money order and then puts everything you need to mail in an addressed envelope, and sends you on your way with the proper certified mail documents.

So, it seems like the most difficult thing you have to go through to get your red card is being a patient patient.

4) IT’LL COST TOO MUCH

Can you spare $107.11? I mean, some people spend more than that on weed every week, and yet that’s all it cost me to complete the process. I needed $65 in cash for the doctors visit, at least $1 to pay for the $35 money order and then $6.11 to mail everything out. $65 is the average amount you can expect to pay to get a recommendation from a doctor who focuses on medical marijuana recommendations, and you only pay these fees one time for a full year of medical-grade marijuana. In fact, in just a couple of days, you’ll only need $15 put on that money order, because Colorado is lowering their fees.

And imagine how much you’ll save by avoiding the stacked taxes that are going to be added onto all recreational marijuana purchases.

5) IT TAKES TOO LONG

I walked into Maggie’s Farm (a local dispensary), within minutes of walking out of the Post Office. All you need is your Colorado’s driver’s license, your certified mail receipt, and copies of your physician form, your application form and your money order, and you can visit and purchase from any dispensary in the state, right after your doctors visit. And if your doctor’s office is like mine, then they already provided you with not only a checklist for what you’ll need to mail, keep copies of or bring with you to the dispensary, but they’ll actually make the copies for you. Sure, you won’t get your red card right away, but you’re able to soothe what ails you as soon as you’re done, and you can continue to do the same until your red card is mailed to you.

Yes, you’ll have a short wait in your doctor’s office and the Post Office, but you’ll get to your favorite errand soon enough.

6) IT’S NOT WORTH IT

With recreational marijuana sales just over the horizon, I can see why some people might assume that there’s no need to get or renew their red card, but due to the stacked, proposed taxes, you could end up paying 5 times as much in taxes alone, if you opt to buy from a recreational dispensary. And that’s on top of the fact that, if you’re a recreational user, you’re limited to 100mg of active THC per package of edibles (10 mg of THC per serving max).

All those taxes and weak edibles make me think getting a red card is worth every penny and second spent, but let’s not forget the fact that not all areas have OK’d recreational dispensaries in their boundaries and, as a medical user, you can have up to 2 ounces on you at a time. So, don’t you think it’s worth being able to go to any dispensary in Colorado you want to and walk out with some of the most potent edibles offered and a sack that’s twice as fat, without having to be weighed down by taxes?

7) ONLY STONERS GET SOMETHING LIKE THAT

When I was waiting to be seen by the doctor, I was surrounded by men and women of all ages and backgrounds; it wasn’t like we were sitting on bean bag chairs, while we clam baked the waiting room. Marijuana can help people from all walks of life, people who you would never assume enjoyed the benefits that marijuana offers them on a daily basis… from the grandparent who sat across from me to blogging Wookwoks like myself. 😉

And I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who has seen through the misconceptions that surround the Colorado red card, because in El Paso county alone (where I live) the medical marijuana registry topped out at its highest of 15, 591 members, as of September 30th of this year. But the path laid out in front of me is forked, and I have two options to choose from, to work toward my next goal. I can get hired to work in the marijuana industry and get badged after the fact, to save myself a few trips up to Denver, or I can get the support employee badge first and have more job opportunities come my way… stay tuned for the next Wookwok Wakening to see which path I chose to take.

Source: https://www.hailmaryjane.com/medical-marijuana-card-colorado/

Cannabis

Jay-Z announces new line of cannabis products dubbed Monogram

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Rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z is launching his own cannabis brand in partnership with Caliva, the California-based weed company that hired the star as its chief brand strategist last year. 

Named Monogram, Jay-Z’s line of marijuana products launched its website and social media accounts on Friday.

“Monogram marks a new chapter in cannabis defined by dignity, care and consistency. It is a collective effort to bring you the best, and a humble pursuit to discover what the best truly means,” Monogram’s website highlights.

No further information on the specific products that will be sold under the Monogram brand has been released yet. 

However, according to the website, the flower used in Monogram’s products is grown in small batches, with a board of “cannabis experts” tasked with grading and hand-selecting each flower that goes into the line. 

The New York rapper joined Caliva in 2019 as a brand strategist, which entailed overseeing the creative direction of the company. Furthermore, Jay was focused on Caliva’s social equity efforts as he aimed to increase economic participation of people disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition in the newly legal industry. 

As for when consumers can expect to try Jay-Z new products, a spokesperson told the New York Daily News Monogram still hasn’t set its dispensary release schedule. The line will “definitely be available across all of California,” according to the spokesperson.

In other news, basketball star Shawn Kemp who played for the Seattle SuperSonics is also showing his love of pot. Kemp is set to open Seattle’s first black-owned marijuana dispensary this Friday. The Sonics legend named his dispensary Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis and is hoping to serve as a model for others in the black community who might be interested in foraying into the legal marijuana business in the area. 

“I’m looking forward to welcoming Sonics fans on a regular basis, starting with opening day. I hope that Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis will be an inspiration for people to get involved with the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color,” the Reign Man said in a press release. 

Source: https://greencamp.com/jay-z-announces-new-line-of-cannabis-products-dubbed-monogram/

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Analysis: Legal weed in Texas would generate over $500 million in tax revenue per year

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Legalizing marijuana in Texas could generate over half a billion dollars in tax revenue per year and create more than 40,000 new jobs, according to the results of a report released by Vicente Sederberg LLP earlier this month. 

Legal cannabis sales in Texas would reach about $2.7 billion annually based on the fact that there are more than 1.5 million residents over the age of 21 that consume pot on a monthly basis, the analysis calculated. 

The estimated tax revenue was calculated under the assumption Texas would tax marijuana sales at the same rate as Colorado at 20.6%. This would amount to $1.1 billion in taxes per biennium, while Texas could collect an additional $10 million per year through the issuing of marijuana business licenses.

The report notes Colorado has raised nearly $13 million on average per year just from license and application fees. Furthermore, the report indicated that current taxpayer dollars that go towards marijuana arrests and prosecutions amount to $311 million per year – money that Texas would save should it legalize pot.  

“States across the country are seeing the benefits of legalizing and regulating cannabis. It is inspiring lawmakers in prohibition states to reexamine the efficacy and costs of their current policies and take a closer look at the alternatives,” said Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg.

“The goal of this report is to provide a snapshot of the economic benefits Texas would experience if it started treating cannabis more like alcohol for adults 21 years of age and older,” he commented on the new report

Aside from the tax revenue that legal weed in Texas could generate, the report highlighted marijuana’s job creation potential. An estimated 20,000 to 40,000 new jobs would be available in the newly legal industry, with tens of thousands of additional indirect positions, the report estimated.  

Hauser also pointed out the added economic benefits of legalization in Texas given current uncertainties provoked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Texas is leaving an enormous amount of money on the table by keeping cannabis illegal,” according to him. 

Texas was once known for having the strictest drug laws in the U.S., but the state has softened its stance on cannabis in recent years. A very limited medical marijuana program was established in 2015, while, more recently, cannabis possession arrests in the state have been significantly declining after hemp became legal.   

Source: https://greencamp.com/analysis-legal-weed-in-texas-would-generate-over-500-million-in-tax-revenue-per-year/

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Cannabis Businesses Invest in Their Futures with Political Donations

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Cannabis companies have been making political donations for years, and in 2020, those donations have continued to grow. In fact, some companies are investing aggressively to shape the future of the cannabis industry either by donating directly to campaigns and politicians or through political action committees (PACs) that support cannabis-friendly candidates and legislation.

So far in 2020, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that the leading cannabis companies, cannabis-related companies, and cannabis trade associations making donations to federal candidates, parties, and outside groups are (in order of 2020 donation amounts to date):

  1. Canty Ventures
  2. National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)
  3. Have A Heart
  4. Beyond Broadway LLC
  5. Sea Hunter Therapeutics
  6. Cannabis Trade Federation
  7. MedMen
  8. Dan Kopp & Co
  9. Acreage Holdings
  10. Weedmaps
  11. Trulieve

Compare that list to the list of large cannabis company donors in 2019, which included Curaleaf, Parallel Brands (formerly Surterra Wellness), Tweed Inc. (part of Canopy Growth Corporation), Canndescent, and Trulieve. Even ancillary cannabis companies like Dama Financial, WeedMaps, and Acreage Holdings donate large sums of money in 2019 according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

State Donations in 2020

There are a number of legalization (adult-use and/or medical use) and decriminalization measures on state ballots in 2020, and cannabis companies, ancillary companies, and professional associations have been actively donating directly to related campaigns and initiatives at the state level.

In Arizona, Harvest is the biggest donor in support of legalization (Prop. 207) followed by Curaleaf, MedMen, Cresco Labs, Copperstate Farms, Arizona Dispensaries Association, Herbal Wellness Center, and Oasis Dispensaries.

Mississippi’s medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot (Initiative 65) has received donations from the CEO of Heritage Properties (George Walker III), Ghost Management Group (which owns Weedmaps), and the owner of ABKO Labs (Robert Lloyde II).

Ghost Management Group and its Weedmaps subsidiary also donated to support Montana’s and New Jersey’s legalization initiatives. In addition, New Jersey’s legalization Question 1 on the November ballot received donations directly from The Scotts Company (the maker of Scotts Miracle Gro), Pashman Stein Walder Hayden (a New Jersey cannabis law firm), and Compassionate Care Research Institute (a New Jersey dispensary).

Keep in mind, these donations don’t include the donations that cannabis companies and ancillary businesses donate to PACs or that they invest in lobbying. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the biggest investments in lobbying from cannabis companies, ancillary companies, and trade associations in 2020 have come from the Cannabis Trade Federation, National Cannabis Roundtable, Canopy Growth Corp, Curaleaf, Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce, Parallel Brands, Cronos Group, Charlotte’s Web, NCIA, Acreage Holdings, Dama Financial, Trulieve, California Cannabis Association, and Oregon Cannabis Association.

Political Donations from Cannabis Interests Are Not New

One of the biggest political donation stories happened in California when cannabis businesses donated aggressively to former Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign to become the state’s governor in the 2018 election. According to the Los Angeles Times, he secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from cannabis cultivators, processors, and retailers.

By May 2018, Newsom had raised nearly $500,000 from cannabis companies, but he wasn’t the only politician in California to receive money from cannabis interests. At the time, the state’s Treasurer, John Chiang, and Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, also secured donations from the cannabis industry

And of course, these donation numbers don’t even include the many donations from PACs that businesses and individuals working in the cannabis industry donate to. Many of these funds go directly to specific candidate’s fundraising efforts. For example, the Coastal Pacific Political Action Committee held a fundraiser in June 2017, and six days later, the PAC donated $50,000 to Newsom’s campaign.

Another noteworthy political donation happened in Florida over the course of multiple years. The Miami Herald reported that Surterra donated $1.1 million to Florida political candidates and committees between the summer of 2016 and March 2018. Trulieve donated $564,000 during the same period, and Curaleaf donated $469,000.

In Illinois, the doors for cannabis companies to make political donations opened in March 2017 when a federal judge ruled an Illinois provision that did not allow marijuana companies to make campaign contributions in the state was unconstitutional.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the provision prevented contributions to political committees that were established for the purpose of promoting candidates for public office. Since that decision was made, cannabis companies like PharmaCann and Cresco Labs have donated significant amounts to the state’s political candidates and committees.

Business and individual donations to marijuana-friendly political candidates have also become standard in Nevada and Colorado. During the 2016 elections, dozens of marijuana cultivators, processors, and dispensaries donated $75,000 to Nevada legislators according to the Nevada Independent.

Looking back further in history, Florida Senator Rob Bradley received his first donation from a cannabis company in 2015 when Costa Farms donated $10,000 to his political committee.

Similarly, cannabis businesses have actively contributed to Colorado political campaigns for years, and many of those businesses have been holding political fundraisers to support their preferred candidates. PBS reported back in 2014 that Colorado’s congressional delegation had received $20,000 during the first nine months of 2014 from marijuana businesses. Also in 2014, a fundraiser to support political candidates that was held by Tripp Keber of Denver, Colorado’s Dixie Elixirs & Edibles generated $40,000 in donations.

What’s Next for Political Campaign Donations from Cannabis Businesses?

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and more states legalize medical and/or recreational cannabis, laws will continue to evolve. Cannabis businesses and ancillary businesses should absolutely be concerned about which politicians are making those laws.

With that said, it’s safe to assume that political donations from the cannabis industry will get larger and more frequent in the coming years. Let’s put the donations from cannabis companies to political campaigns into perspective. During the first half of 2019, the cannabis industry gave more than $200,000 to members of Congress, which was up from $248,504 donated throughout all of 2018. Compare that to the $42 million that pharmaceutical companies donated to political campaigns across the United States in 2018.

With those numbers in mind, it’s guaranteed that political donations from cannabis and cannabis-related companies will continue to grow. Savvy businesses are paying attention and getting involved in an attempt to influence the regulations that could make or break their companies’ futures.

Originally published 8/24/17. Updated 10/23/20.

Source: https://cannabiz.media/marijuana-businesses-invest-in-their-futures-with-political-donations/

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