February 27, 2017

Amber Langston, Author at MARIJUANA POLITICS

Amber Langston

Amber Langston board member and deputy director of Show-Me Cannabis is an outspoken advocate for social, economic and environmental justice. Ms. Langston served as the campaign manager for Columbia, Missouri’s two successful municipal cannabis initiatives in 2004 while studying rural sociology at the University of Missouri. Amber has served as an outreach director and international liaison for Students for Sensible Drug Policy in Washington, DC, as field support for Americans for Safe Access in Oakland, CA, and as media liaison for California’s Proposition 19 to tax and regulate cannabis in November 2010.

The Netherlands Moves Towards Improving Cannabis Cultivation Laws

Seemingly everyday (even when there might be some concerning news), cannabis policy is moving forward around the globe.

On Tuesday, the Dutch lower house of parliament voted to open up their cannabis laws. This follows on the heels of news that Dutch medical marijuana exports to Germany will increase.

The Netherlands, long known as a global leader on leniency in drug policy, cannabis policy and cannabis culture specifically, seems to be making motions to finally regulate production of cannabis. Though lenient policies have previously allowed sales and possession of small amounts of cannabis for decades, production and transportation has remained prohibited, forcing “coffee shops” which dispense the substance to rely on the illegal market, and risking criminal consequences in its acquisition.

However, hurdles remain before the proposed policy could become law. The Senate must still also vote in approval, and currently there is no majority party there or support for the new legislation. This weeks vote comes in advance of a national election on March 15th, putting seats and votes in swing. Yet many of the country’s leaders remain in opposition.

According to Bloomberg political feelings are mixed:

“With just three weeks to go until general elections, 77 of the 150 lower-chamber lawmakers supported a bill put forward by the Democrats ’66 party to introduce government regulation of cannabis cultivation. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals did not support the legislation in The Hague Tuesday, though Labor, their coalition partner, backed the measure, which will now go to the Dutch upper house.

“‘Soft drugs are part of Dutch society, but the current system doesn’t work, and this bill will fix that”, Vera Bergkamp, the D66 lawmaker who introduced the bill, said during an earlier debate in parliament in The Hague. Her proposal aims to regulate the production and supply of marijuana through a closed system to so-called coffee shops that sell the drugs to customers.

“…The Association of Dutch Municipalities strongly advocates regulation, as the authorities in many cities have become fed up with problems caused by those frequenting coffee shops. They’ve moved to restrict the number of outlets and have imposed strict rules to keep nuisance to a minimum for residents. Recent shootings at coffee shops in Amsterdam and fires in places where weed is grown illegally have added force to the argument for further government intervention.”

A concern for public safety and a desire to legitimize community-supported business are universal reasons to bring cannabis out of the criminal market. As politicians finally catch on to popular sentiment, more bills formally legitimizing the cannabis industry are being introduced and debated throughout Europe and the world.

One place for certain to learn where the Netherlands and other countries are moving in the opening of cannabis markets is the International Cannabis Business Conference. Come be part of the future of the global cannabis market on April 10-12 in Berlin, Germany!

This blog was originally posted at www.internationalcbc.com and has been republished here with special permission. 

Early Bird ICBC Ticket Pricing Ending February 1st!


The time has come again for the event of the season – The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is San Francisco is just around the corner on February 17th!


This year, activist, musician, actor, and humanitarian Henry Rollins joins the line-up as ICBC’s Keynote Speaker, along with four-time NBA champion John Salley, who will perform a live celebrity interview onstage. John Salley will also attend the exclusive ICBC After Party at Pier 23 starting at 9 pm on February 17th – free for ICBC tickets holders only!

For those who purchase the ICBC all-inclusive ticket, you’ll have a chance to meet Henry Rollins and John Sally, along with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and legendary cannabis crusader Tommy Chong, at a special VIP All-Star Reception on February 16th from 6-8 pm at the Hilton Union Square. Music will be provided by DJ Domino of the Hieroglyphics. Only about 20 tickets are left until the VIP event is sold out so you’ll wanna act fast!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to be a part of the California cannabis industry’s networking event of the year! Experts and entrepreneurs from all angles of the cannabis community will be represented, from producers, wholesalers, and distributors to ancillary businesses, scientists and social change agents. We hope to see you there!


This blog was originally published at www.internationalcbc.com and has been reposted here with special permission. 

Some California Dispensaries Already Selling Recreational Marijuana

Girl Scout Cookies - Top 10 Marijuana Strains of 2016

Legalization of cannabis is one thing, but regulation is another.

Since the passage of Prop 64 in California this past election, ganjapreneurs have been busy touring the state and researching opportunities to start a new business in an exciting new market. Investors are chomping at the bit to find a the right algorithm of advisors, growers, marketers and the like to apply for and win licenses. Ensuring that one has access to the right minds, the right inputs, and the right networks will be essential to becoming a player in the cannabis world.

But for some, the market has been there all along, as have the consumers and the networks. The profits from a grey market are just as attractive as profits from a black market, and Californians are watching the process unfold, as the Cannifornian reported:

Of course, some dispensaries sold weed to just about anyone long before Prop. 64 passed. But the legalization law seems to have made these shady players even more brazen. A search on Weedmaps.com turned up many shops that now openly state they’ll sell everything from infused gummy candies to concentrated waxes after verifying only the buyer’s age, not his or her medical status.

“‘I think that they’ve gotten more emboldened,’ said James Wolak, captain of the Narcotics Bureau for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “People feel like now that it’s legal, anything goes. And that’s just not the case.'”

Legalizing cannabis means straddling the transition of strong and existing underground market structures to regulation, oversight, public influence and governmental interference. There is clearly tension between illegal operators and those willing to investment millions of dollars to be compliant.

While other states have taken the lead on changing legalization of cannabis from a medical system to a full adult-use market, California obviously has unique aspects which will affect the outcomes of the next few months. There will be regulatory challenges and obstacles, but those who can survive the hurdles will have the huge opportunity to participate in the world’s sixth largest economy. It will certainly be rewarded to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming rules that the California cannabis industry will have to abide by.

Want to know more and learn how you can navigate the largest cannabis market in the world? Come be a part of the conversation at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, for a one-day only event at the San Francisco Hilton Union Square on February 17th, 2017, where you will have the chance to ask questions of California’s Cannabis Czar firsthand. Early bird prices end on February 1st!

This blog was originally published at www.internationalcbc.com and has been reposted here with special permission.