KILL THE BILL
This bill is horrifying in it’s complete divorce from the testimony heard, not only on Beacon Hill, but also out in the western part of the state.
(Bill of Attainder – discrimination against a grop of people. For more, see below for Wikipedia definition)
Here is an analysis done by Linda Noel, who worked late into the am hours, for a fast response –
I have carefully read it. I am attaching my detailed section breakdown of how bad it is. It is bad. Particularly where they write in a clause at the end that let’s them bring back prohibition in 2020.
Mr. Epstein informs me that since this law repeals both medical and recreational in their entirety, passage of this bill will mean we cannot bring another initiative until 2022.
The rules for cannabis licenses are arbitrary. The commission basically gets to run a full security clearance check on you, your family, and anyone you may happen to pass in the street and then determines if you are the type of person who they would consider ‘acceptable’ to run a cannabis related business‘honestly, fairly, soundly and efficiently’ . There is no means of appealing through the courts any rejection or revocation. There are no boutique grows, no sliding fees, nothing at all that we asked for. Even the hemp part is a slap in the face.
There is no provision whatsoever for banking, yet you will be audited and subjected to warrantless searches as the normal course of business.
As for the Hemp provision, there is a nice little clause that says all hemp seeds must be obtained through a DEA approved distributor/importer. There is no such thing and there never will be. So basically, we will never be allowed to grow hemp. And it makes it illegal to possess hemp seeds or grow hemp without a license (so no, you cannot have 6 hemp plants). Seriously, illegal to grow the one without THC? How stupid is that?
And as a slap in the face to the Ag Commissioner, it removes pesticide oversight of the rec/med crop from them entirely and puts it under the commission (with their advice) (MDAR and USDA are in charge of all pesticdes – federal law says so, and MDAR oversees that part of MMJ now).
Oh, and they will send a list of all cannabis licensees and their fingerprints to the FBI.
And it specifically says that this law is ‘NOT A LEGAL DEFENCE’ so after they sell you out to the feds, they won’t let you argue that it is legal here in court.
And medical patients? You have to apply for personal hardship grow permits (rec doesn’t) which seems to mean patients have less rights. Your medical record will be provided to the authorities and you will have your consumption tracked.
Rec Users – You don’t have to have a grow license (yet) but all retail stores have to track customer data and report ‘demographic data’ to the CCC on a montly basis.
And the tax rate is 28%. And there is a Wholesale tax applied to all sales of 16.75% plus 5% excise (so the middleman pays 23.75% and then the consumer will get hit with 28%. So the black market goes nowhere and it becomes really profitable to run an underground delivery service from Maine. Goodbye Tourists (they have better lobster anyway).
I say LET IT DIE. Q4 IS A BETTER LAW AND WE CAN PETITION IN 2020. We will have to convince the Senate to block it, which from Senator Jehlen’s quote in the Globe, may not be that hard…. If it doesn’t pass by July 1, perhaps Q4 will stand. I do understand from what I read that the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy is now a permanent committee at the State House (like Ways and Means) so they will keep trying until we give up and let them.
So now what? Quietly go away, or take it to the streets? We have only today, so we better move fast.
More detailed analysis;
Issues with the Omnibus House bill on Marijuana:
“Cannabinoid” – all cannabinoids do not have ‘psychotropic’ effects. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids. They are produced by the human body. The ones in cannabis are ‘phytocannabinoids’. This definition is wrong.
A cannabinoid is one of a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. Ligands for these receptor proteins include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by animals), the phytocannabinoids (found in cannabis and some other plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured artificially). The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the plant. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects.
“Hemp” the plant of the genus Cannabis or any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3 per cent on a dry weight basis of any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis, or per volume or weight of marijuana product, or the combined per cent of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis regardless of moisture content.
This definition is pure arbitrary crap. It at a minimum should be a range that goes up to 1%. As they experienced in Colorado, a registered strain certified for .3% can exceed that amount because of unusually beneficial growing conditions. This should NOT be penalized.
A total of 26 varieties of hemp with low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are certified by the European Union (EU). They have, unlike other types, a very high fiber content of 30-40%. In contrast to cannabis for medical use, varieties grown for fiber and seed have less than 0.2% THC and they are unsuitable for producing hashish and marijuana. The most important cannabinoid in industrial hemp is cannabidiol (CBD) with a proportion of 1 to 5%.
Marijuana Extract definition does not exclude ‘hemp’ and this definition otherwise includes it WRONGLY making cbd oil a “marijuana extract”..
No exception is made for cannabis convictions in background check of commissioners s (Section 3).
There needs to be exceptions for cannabis conviction in all cases (cos it is a felony and the commas don’t always appear that indicate that only certain felonies: fraud theft and embezzlement count.
No agricultural person on the cannabis commission (public safety, finance and securities, regulatory experience? Where is the cannabis expert?)
Residential status of commissioner not good enough (90 days).
Term of service excessive = appointment of govenor gets 7 years (bullshit, the governor doesn’t get 7 years, his appointee ought to go with him.). Is it not 3 years under Q4?
Seriously: Urine testing for commision employees? WT#?? And CCC employees cannot use cannabis? WRONG. We do not ‘prohibit’ use no matter what (except underage use).
Regarding Those ‘who may apply for cannabis licenses (to grow, manufacture or sell):
Question: Do any other businesses in the commonwealth have their owners fingerprinted, their establishments watched at ‘all hours’ for financial transaction accounting, and require that their employees be registered with and investigated by the state? And again, these rules do not exclude ‘felons’ when anyone convicted of possession prior to decrim is a ‘felon’. Do any other businesses have to submit to ‘warrantless searches”????
The agricultural commission is once again ‘consulted’ about pesticides. They are supposed to regulate and control all use of pesticides. This law reduces what they do for medical now. Bull#.
Set potency limits? Bull#. NO RULES ABOUT PERCENT OF CANNABINOIDS. PERIOD. ANYWHERE. Prohibition IS OVER.
Why would a Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officer be checking a patient’s ID?
Why must patients obtain a ‘cultivation license’ when cultivation is legal?
Why is patient consumption still being tracked by dispensaries?
Section 9 (b) gives patient information out. Patient information should be restricted to doctor-patient. Period. Never law enforcement. Does law enforcement get to pry into your medical records if they decide to investigate viagra?
Are any other industries subjected to similar restrictions/qualifications? What other industry investigates the character of an applicant for a license? What is ‘honestly, fairly, soundly and efficiently’ and where is the ability to appeal any arbitrary decisions? Why does a cannabis licensee be regulated to ‘arbitration’? Does this not limit the right to sue for defamation and denial?
Allow warrantless searches? Does any other business in the commonwealth must submit to warrantless searches?
Provide customer data to the commission? Do liquor stores provide customer data to the bureau of alcohol?
Having all employees registered by the commission? What other industry has all employees registered by a commission? BEFORE they can be hired by a cannabis business ALL EMPLOYEES regardless of whether they are doing skilled labor must be REGISTERED BY THE COMMISSION BEFORE THEY CAN APPY FOR A JOB.
Seriously? ‘Cannabis Employee’? Do we have ‘Alcohol Employees’ that are vetted and licensed? Do you have to register to run a cash register in a liquor store? Then you should not have to here. Why do they need EVERYONE ASSOCIATED WITH ANY PART OF A CANNABIS BUSINESS TO REGISTER WITH THE STATE???
Section 26: what the hell is this? What other business cannot provide ‘samples’ or b2b discounts? No promotions? WT#??
A 16.75% Wholesale tax on all Gross Revenue? On top of income taxes already assessed by the Commonwealth? Are they fragging nuts? And on the wholesale side, not the retail side? In the commonwealth, if you are a business that is buying something not for resale, you can be tax exempt for that transaction (B2B). This takes that away AND establishes a completely new tax for wholesale transactions at 16.75% plus 5% (21.75%). And that is SEPARATE from the tax paid by the fnal purchaser of 28%.
Section 30 is totally without merit. Why would an otherwise eligible entity have to forfeit tax credits that can be taken by all other businesses? Prohibition is OVER. THIS IS A LEGAL BUSINESS, NOT A PRIVILIGE that must be meted out with an eyedropper and overseen with a magnifying glass! We are business people and should not be discriminated against.
(b) Any person planting, growing, harvesting, possessing, processing, or selling industrial hemp for commercial purposes shall: (I) be licensed by the department pursuant to section 118; and (ii) only acquire hemp seeds imported from a distributor registered with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Subsection (ii) must go. There is no means of importing hemp seeds through the DEA and the USDA. It is strictly forbidden under international treaty. Seeds for hemp must be obtained from states which are already producing hemp in an exchange between universities and/or ag departments.
Section C has got to go. Under Q4 no laws may be made that restrict hemp. Why would we trade that for this bullshit? Why does one guy get to determine ‘reasonable’?
(c) Hemp products may be used only for the following: (I) research purposes; and (ii) commercial purposes deemed reasonable by the commissioner.
Section 118 makes it illegal to possess hemp without a ‘license’. Bullshit. Also restricts ‘personal planting of hemp’ where it is now legal to grow 6 cannabis plants. Bullshit.
Criminal background check and all that crap to grow hemp? Bullshit. Illegal to possess hemp seeds? Bullshit. GPS coordinates of location of grow? Bullshit.
Section 19 ($25,000 fine and 15 years in jail for using ill gotten debt to secure an ownership stake in a cannabis entity).
What the hell is this? What other industry has this encoded in law? If one uses stolen funds to say contribute to the reelection of a corrupt speaker of the house, is one then subject to special and harsh penalties? I think not. One is only guilty of stealing funds and bribing an official, there is no additional penalty because all speakers are corrupting and therefore feeding them increases corruption.
Not that it is a bad rule in and of itself, but it being placed here at the bottom of so much other crap makes it seem like hysteria. And the penalty is draconian. And section 4 adds forfeiture (we do not ADD to that stupid and unconstitutional law, we DELETE from it).
Why should the dispensaries be allowed to be for-profit? The previous law said they could not.
Section 32 is discrimination. Alcohol is not treated this way.
Section 34 has got to go. This is a slippery slope back to prohibition. No criminal penalties may be imposed on any cannabis violation, particularly the draconian and stupid rules about employee’s registering with the commission and requiring extensive background checks. Writing it into the law that in 2020 criminal penalties will be revisited is bad. The voters voted. Prohibition was repealed.
Will someone please explain that to the idiot that wrote this bill?
BILL OF ATTAINDER – A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them, often without a trial. As with attainder resulting from the normal judicial process, the effect of such a bill is to nullify the targeted person’s civil rights, most notably the right to own property (and thus pass it on to heirs), the right to a title of nobility, and, in at least the original usage, the right to life itself. Bills of attainder passed in Parliament by Henry Vlll on the 29 January 1542 resulted in the executions of a number of notable historical figures.
The use of these bills by Parliament eventually fell into disfavor due to the obvious potential for abuse and the violation of several legal principles, most importantly the separation of powers, the right to due process, and the precept that a law should address a particular form of behaviour rather than a specific individual or group. For these reasons, bills of attainder are expressly banned by Article I, section 9, of the United States Constitution(1787) as well as by the constitutions of all 50 US states.