Posts Tagged ‘news’

Presidential Candidates Weigh in on Marijuana

white-house-cannabisBoth marijuana and the political race have dominated the news in recent months, and the outcome of the presidential election could have a huge impact on marijuana policy nationwide. Democrats and Republicans have widely different positions on medical and recreational cannabis. The Marijuana Policy Project has published the candidates’ positions and on-the-record statements, summarized here:

Democrats:

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D)

In November 2015, Senator Sanders proposed legislation that would allow states to regulate marijuana like alcohol and tobacco. He has expressed concern regarding marijuana incarceration rates: “Someone in the United States is arrested every minute on marijuana charges. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change.”

The proposed legislation would remove marijuana from federal drug schedules, and marijuana businesses would have access to banking and standard tax deductions.

“Bernie favors removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances regulated by federal law. Under Bernie’s proposal, people in states which legalize marijuana no longer would be subject to federal prosecution for using pot. Owners of stores that sell marijuana could fully participate in the banking system, like any other business.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D)

Secretary Clinton supports reclassifying marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, which would finally allow broader scientific research. She does not support incarceration for marijuana use or possession. Clinton has not taken a clear position on recreational marijuana laws, saying that she wants to wait and see what happens in states that have legalized it.

“I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today. I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we’re going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief.”

Republicans:

Donald Trump (R)

TV personality and businessman Donald Trump has changed his position on marijuana since 1990, when he supported legalizing all drugs. He supports medical marijuana and states’ rights in constructing marijuana policies. He does not support legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use.

In June 2015, Trump said, “I’d say [regulating marijuana] is bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad and I feel strongly about that. [Moderator: “What about the states’ right aspect of it?”] If they vote for it, they vote for it… But I think, medical marijuana, 100%.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R)

Senator Cruz has previously criticized President Obama for not enforcing federal law after Colorado and Washington approved recreational marijuana use. In more recent months, he’s come out in favor of states’ rights, although he does not support drug legalization.

“That’s a legitimate question for the states to make a determination. And the citizens of Colorado and Washington State have come to a different conclusion. They’ve decided that they want to legalize it. I think it is appropriate for the federal government to recognize that the citizens of those states have made that decision. One of the benefits of it … is we can now watch and see what happens in Colorado and Washington State.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R)

Senator Marco Rubio does not support legalization of recreational or medical marijuana. In February 2016, he said, “There’s no positive impact to using marijuana,” and that if there are any medical benefits it should be taken to the FDA for approval. In a July 2014 interview, Senator Rubio said, “If there are medicinal uses of marijuana that don’t have the elements that are mind-altering or create the high but do alleviate whatever condition it may be they are trying to alleviate, that is something I would be open to.”

He believes that the federal government should enforce drug laws, even in states that have legalized marijuana. When asked if he would enforce federal law and shut down regulation in Colorado:

“Yes. Yes, I think, well, I think we need to enforce our federal laws. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don’t agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don’t have a right to write federal policy as well. It is, I don’t believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.”

Governor John Kasich (R)

Ohio Governor John Kaisch is “totally opposed” to medical and recreational marijuana.

When asked about states that have adopted laws making marijuana legal for adults: “The people in those states have voted that way. The federal government has decided to kind of look the other way. I feel very strongly in my state, I’m going to oppose, and they’re going to put something on the ballot to legalize drugs. I’m totally opposed to it, because it is a scourge in this country. Now I would have to give it thought as to, I probably would not from the standpoint that the states have gone forward to prove that. I haven’t thought about this. I’d have to give it a little thought. … In my state and across this country, if I happened to be president, I would lead a significant campaign down at the grassroots level to stomp these drugs out of our country.”

 

Read more about presidential candidates and their positions on cannabis at Marijuana Policy Project: https://www.mpp.org/2016-presidential-candidates/

Colorado Festivals Light Up for HB 1092

cmak-home-header-vape-guyA new bill introduced by Representative Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City), would make public consumption of marijuana legal for special, permitted events. Although Amendment 64 legalized marijuana consumption for adults 21 and older, “open and public” consumption is still technically illegal in Colorado–though toking regularly takes place at cannabis-friendly venues.

If HB 1092 passes in the state legislature, cannabis consumption law will finally catch up with what’s already par for the course. Alaska legislature has already indicated movements toward “open and public” venues.

Moreno explains, “Amendment 64 asked us to regulate marijuana like alcohol. The bill creates the exact same special use permit process that we already have for alcohol.” Moreno’s bill, HB 1092, would make the state permits subject to local government approval and allow on-site marijuana sales from 9am-midnight at events. Additionally, local jurisdictions would have say over whether consumption would be allowed at the events.

Cannabis sellers would also have to be ready for customers’ munchies. The bill language “requires that sandwiches or other or other food snacks must be made available during all hours of service.” Cheetos, anyone?

Keeping the Business of Pot Profitable and Friendly

There is a lot of angst in the burgeoning cannabis industry and political arena about Big Business entering the fray and pushing out the small entrepreneur and businessmen or women. Rightly so in some cases. After all it was big business in the 1930’s through DuPont, William Randolph Hearst and Andrew Mellon and their supports in the textiles, wood, paper and pharmaceutical industries that destroyed the Hemp and Cannabis industry in the United States. And for many, the big tobacco, pharmaceutical and oil industries are the evil of our society and a bane on American small business. Leave aside the philosophical differences usually associated with a discussion of big business, there are certain realities we can all agree on when it comes to big business and it’s affects on the small business owner.

  1. Buying Power: The buying power of a big business often forces down costs to a point that a small business owner can’t afford to offer their products for the same price as a big business.
  2. Marketing, brand and name recognition: Admit it, how many of us go to Starbucks for a latte even though they don’t have the best coffee in the business nor the personal service that you may receive at a mom and pop coffee shop.
  3. Legislative and Political power: Big business buys and sells our politicians (Democrat and Republican) like they do their products. They can spend Billions to protect their monopolies and keep new and innovative companies from even entering the market. So how do we in the cannabis business maintain the culture and society and control over what will be one of the largest markets in the world in the next 20 years? I don’t believe there is any one answer. It will take a lot of determination and cooperation between companies and individuals to keep cannabis from becoming big tobacco.

Here are a few of my suggestions.

Keep the Friends you Have While Making New Ones

I wrote a blog awhile back about how many on the left vilify conservatives as if we are the only people fighting against legalized cannabis. I know many conservatives, some who have a moral objections to cannabis who believe it should be legal or at minimum left up to the individual states to decide. We need to work together regardless of political leanings to overcome the oligarchy and power elites who only seek to do what’s best for them and their power. No one on the right side of the political spectrum or the left involved in trying to see cannabis reenter our society in a culturally and socially acceptable way should be tearing down their allies. After all, there are Democrat politicians as well as Republican who are working against our freedom of responsibility and choice. And you better believe it’s because big businesses, who are terrified of all the things that the cannabis plant can do, are spending millions to keep those same politicians in their pocket.

Follow the Rules and Play Nice

I know it’s in our nature to buck the system and fight the powers that be. But right now, we as an industry must, and I mean must, play by the rules we have and not flaunt an arrogant, “we’re gonna do what we want” attitude. Rebel rousing is great for protests, but when you’re trying to win the hearts and minds of the average American voting citizen, they don’t look kindly on rule and law breakers. The era of moonshiners and bootleggers is over. We owe much to the pioneers of the cannabis industry who for the last 80 years kept fighting for our freedom. But now it’s time to come into the legitimate light and work within the system. When an individual or group stands up and flips the bird to the camera and the legislative bodies that are in charge (whether we like it or not) they do nothing to win respect and advance the movement. They set it back, hurt the image of all of us and create animosity and angst. We have to work within the system to change the laws. Is it slow, tedious, and yes sometimes we lose, but we are winning the overall fight.

Encourage the Growth of a New Kind of Big Business

I don’t mean to be a doomsayer, but big business in cannabis is inevitable. You can deny it all you want, but when this much money and power are up for grabs, dominant market powers will emerge. Philip Morris didn’t start out as a tobacco giant after all. In every industry there are going to be business giants. But we can learn from those that have grown in a responsible and moral way while still building profits. Starbucks is a great example. Even though Starbucks has grown to be the largest coffee shop brand in the world, they make great efforts to provide their communities, employees and customers with a responsible, sharing and giving brand. They have managed to increase profits and grow while still caring for the average Joe, while still serving a good cup of Joe. We need to encourage the growth of companies within our industry who set out, not only to make a profit, but to create a positive culture and environment for everyone. Companies that make it a part of their mission to help cultivate the small farmer and businessman in the communities they establish themselves in. It may be tempting to join up with the next up and coming thing in Cannabis, but if we all do our due diligence and research and get to know who are partners are going to be, we can create networks of positive cannabusiness that will keep the cannabis version of Philip Morris out of the industry. It’s up to us, right here, right now to determine the future of the cannabis industry. We shouldn’t cut off our nose to spite our face in the fear that big business will emerge or take over. Big business in cannabis is going to happen and how it happens is completely up to us.

 

– Joshua Furlong, Cheeky Monkey™ President & CEO

Joshua Furlong is a Coloradan native and businessman. He is co-founder and VP of Operations of CheekyMonkeyAK. He currently lives in Denver and has worked most recently in the New Home Sales market. He has a Bachelor’s of Business from Colorado Technical University. He has worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Iraq and spent his early career as a professional driver in the trucking industry. While a cannabis activist and businessman, Mr. Furlong doesn’t partake of the herb in any form. His personal philosophy is Veritas in virtus per libertas (Truth in virtue through Liberty).

Cannabis Clubs and Weed Bars in Alaska!

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Cheeky Monkey celebrates with other Alaska entrepreneurs today as one big step of Cannabis legalization plants a hardy foot forward!

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board (MCB) is made up of five citizens elected by Governor Walker. The MCB is to help clarify regulations ect, and pass it to the legislator.

In the Anchorage Daily News today, Laurel Andrews reported, “The change allows for people to buy marijuana at a retail store and consume it in a designated area on the premises. The board voted 3-2 in favor of the amendment, with Loren Jones, public health board member, and Peter Mlynarik, the public safety board member, dissenting.”

Allowing for a purchase and consumption environment demonstrates the collaboration of all involved. Thank you EVERYONE who helped show the MCB and the citizens of this state that we are here to see cannabis freedoms win an important position. Thank you to the MCB members who have taken their personal time to help consider this new old world of cannabis!

This is a BIG win. This is all part of the ‪#‎CheekyMonkey‬ vision. The legalization of ‪#‎Cannabis‬ is going to be beneficial as the truth about it being a food and not a drug, is proven through our industries example.‪#‎BeResponsible‬ entrepreneurs! celebrating the community by giving access to consumption!

https://t.co/HoxPN1J5jl

Oregon Begins Legal Marijuana Sales Oct 2015

oregon-weedAccording to an article on Marijuana.com, legislators in Oregon are gearing up to legalize marijuana on October 1st of 2015, one year earlier than originally expected. While legislators had no legal requirement to make this change, they decided to accept the will of the voters and to implement the new law sooner.

As of July 1, 2015, it became legal for those 21 and above to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, to possess up to 8 ounces in the home, and to privately cultivate up to four plants. But provisions in the initiative that gave the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the authority to begin issuing licenses for commercial growers and sellers, delayed this process until January 4, 2016, and legal dispensaries were not expected to be operational until October of 2016.

Oregon’s Gov. Brown’s office called the measure “a smart solution to a short-term logistical problem,” adding, “If marijuana is legal to use, it shouldn’t be illegal to buy.”

Congratulations, Oregon on becoming yet another legal marijuana state!

New Cheeky Monkey™ Website Launched

Hey Folks!

Today, we’ve launched our brand new website. Thanks to our marketing partner, Colorado 420 Websites for a great hand-made design.

Please come back often to check on all things Cheeky Monkey™. We’ll soon have updates on: new locations, investment opportunities, media/videos, new hats and t-shirts, and more about our upcoming TV show: Hotbox with the Hempsters.

Stay tuned and stay curious! #Cheeky Monkey™!

-Cheeky Monkey™ Crew

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