Cannabis Commerce Coming of Age NORML Conference 2011


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  • Social Equity
    UCC will help protect families harmed by the current cannabis prohibition;
    UCC believes the war on cannabis is unfairly targeting minorities and low-income people, and will help protect those who face this injustice;
    UCC will advocate for drug policy reforms;

    Economic Vitality
    UCC helps to build a vibrant cannabis industry with superior performance and financial standards;
    UCC leads the charge to classify cannabis as an herbal plant medicine and not a pharmaceutical drug;

    Environmental stewardship
    UCC believes that Hemp can save the Planet, and educates people about the uses of hemp for food, fuel and fiber;
    UCC is a socially responsible organization and runs in the greenest manner possible;
  • Cannabis Commerce Coming of Age NORML Conference 2011

    1. 1. Cannabis Commerce, Coming of Age NORML Conference, April 20-23, 2011 Presentation by Debby Goldsberry, United Cannabis Collective
    2. 2. Debby Goldsberry - Biography • 25 years of experience in cannabis law reform activism • 11 + year history as co-founder and director of Berkeley Patients Group medical cannabis dispensary • Co-founder of Cannabis Action Network and Americans for Safe Access, and former board member of Marijuana Policy Project • Twice awarded High Times Freedom Fighter of the Month • Recipient of the NORML Paula Sabine Award for the Importance of Women in Leadership • Steering Committee Member for the NORML Women’s Alliance • Columnist for High Times Medical Marijuana Magazine • Co-founder of the United Cannabis Collective, a new non profit medical cannabis dispensary
    3. 3. Short History of Projects • Co-produced and managed the “Hemp Tours” in the 1980’s and 90’s, coordinating events across the U.S. • Coordinate the grassroots “Get Out the Vote Campaign” for Prop. 215 in CA • Co-developed “Guidelines for Sensible Cannabis Use” • Directed the Berkeley Cannabis Consumers Union • Helped design and implement ASA’s “Know Your Rights Campaign” • Co-chaired Berkeley’s medical cannabis ballot measures R, JJ, and T. • Coordinated a winning recount campaign for medical cannabis in Alameda County • Was one of the “silent seven” who refused to testify against Ed Rosenthal in his federal trial
    4. 4. Remember the Magic Words: “I choose to remain silent and want to see my lawyer.” “I do not consent to a search.”
    5. 5. Berkeley Patients Group Accomplishments • Celebrating BPG’s 12th Anniversary this October. • National model for services based collective dispensaries • Survived DEA raid on sister group and asset forfeiture • BPG’s 10th anniversary, October 31, 2010 was declared “Berkeley Patients Group” by our city council • Donated close to one million dollars to drug policy reform groups including NORML, ASA, DPA, DPFCA, SSDP, and Flex Your Rights • Support local nonprofits including the Berkeley Free Clinic, CEID, Public Library Foundation, the Berkeley Education Fund, and Random Acts/ Oakland and Berkeley Fire Departments • Provide direct services to about 15,000 member each year, including dispensing safe medicine and other life enhancing services • Financially sustainable organization paying livable wages and benefits to more than 70 people
    6. 6. “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Ben Franklin
    7. 7. Mission, Vision, & Values We are all here at NORML to fight for cannabis law reform. We are not here just to get involved in manufacturing and distributing cannabis. We want people to stop being arrested for cannabis. As cannabis becomes legal, we want to be in charge of creating, implementing, and regulating these new laws.
    8. 8. Happy Jack Herer Day April 20th Hemp for food, fuel, fiber, and medicine
    9. 9. United Cannabis Collective Mission, Vision, Values Mission United Cannabis Collective (UCC) will operate dispensary clinics where patients and caregivers can obtain medical cannabis, in all of its varied forms, and essential life services that improve the health, housing, and safety of all collective members. UCC will use all funds in support of such programs, its financial sustainability and to help end cannabis prohibition. Vision UCC envisions an American society where patient and caregivers have an inalienable right to use, manufacture, and distribute medical cannabis, and where cannabis is legalized for all other rightful purposes as food, fuel, and fiber, as well as for spiritual and personal uses.
    10. 10. UCC Core Believes and Values SOCIAL EQUITY • Collective dispensaries are health clinics and community centers; • UCC will apply accepted methodology to establish purity and potency of all cannabis medicine; • UCC will provide essential life services to members; • UCC strives to end all sanctions against medical cannabis; • UCC will educate members and the public about the many uses of cannabis and the harms of prohibition; • UCC will train activists to fight the cannabis prohibition effectively and efficiently; • UCC wants all those people in prison for cannabis “crimes” to be freed; • UCC will help protect families harmed by the current cannabis prohibition; • UCC believes the war on cannabis is unfairly targeting minorities and low-income people, and will help protect those who face this injustice; • UCC will advocate for drug policy reforms; • UCC will listen and be responsive to the concerns of members and our community. ECONOMIC VITALITY • UCC works for the sensible implementation of California’s Compassionate Use Act; • UCC helps to build a vibrant cannabis industry with superior performance and financial standards; • UCC leads the charge to classify cannabis as an herbal plant medicine and not a pharmaceutical drug; • UCC advocates for reasonable taxes and licensing fees; • UCC will cultivate and manufacture cannabis medicines with the highest standards of quality; • UCC will build a financially self-sufficient organization; • UCC promotes transparency throughout the medical cannabis industry; • UCC works to strengthen local economies, by developing unique public-private partnerships in each community; • UCC fights to reserve the rights of all members to cultivate and manufacture medical cannabis; • UCC supports members’ self-sufficiency; • UCC promotes being good neighbor; • UCC is resilient. ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP • UCC believes that Hemp can save the Planet, and educates people about the uses of hemp for food, fuel and fiber; • UCC is a socially responsible organization and runs in the greenest manner possible; • UCC educates members about our personal responsibility to preserve the planet and about green methods to employ in their homes, schools, and businesses.
    11. 11. Backlash Against Canna-business • We do not want to be the MacDonald’s and Burger King of medical cannabis. • Each community is different with different laws and needs.
    12. 12. Two Types of Business Models Socially responsible businesses – for profit businesses that form for a mission and donate excess funds to that purpose Nonprofits that have a strong business plan - medical cannabis organizations will not survive without understanding the basic principles of business
    13. 13. Private - Public Collaborations • The medical cannabis industry is expanding due to partnerships between stakeholders, local governments, and community organizations. This helps Cities fill budget deficits, creating jobs, and funding nonprofit organizations. • In places like Oakland, CA, as schools recover from bankruptcy, where the Police are understaffed, and nonprofit groups are left with huge funding gaps, Cities are moving forward with another medical cannabis ordinance. • At Berkeley’s 2010 budget hearings, the City spoke about the need to expand the medical cannabis industry. Facing a 14 million-dollar deficit in 2011, Berkeley fast tracked a process to create permits for one new medical cannabis dispensary and for six collective manufacturing facilities. • Partnering with local nonprofit groups is essential. The Center for the Early Intervention on Deafness and the Berkeley Free Clinic depend on annual donations from BPG. BPG’s active membership in the Chamber of Commerce lead our chapter to call for medical cannabis to be excluded from workplace drug testing. • Become union employers, as groups like UFCW 5 (Local 420) make sure workers will get single earner wages. and that Cities implement these ordinances and create level playing fields for potential applicants.
    14. 14. United Cannabis Collective - Co-Founder Biographies Ali R. Kashani has over 25 years experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors primarily developing mixed-use real estate projects in the Bay Area. Mr. Kashani is the founding executive director of one of Bay Area’s premier nonprofit developers of service-enriched affordable housing for low and very-low income families. After receiving his MNA (Master of Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco), Mr. Kashani founded Affordable Housing Associates ( and led AHA into a financially viable, resilient and entrepreneurial developer of a range of housing products including emergency shelters, transitional housing and permanently service-enriched housing for families in extreme poverty. Mark Rhoades, AICP, has over 20 years of experience as a land use planner in both public and private sectors. Between 1998 and August 2007, he served as City Planning Manager for the City of Berkeley. As Berkeley’s City Planning Manager and Zoning Officer, Mr. Rhoades was responsible for both policy development and implementation. Mr. Rhoades had final review and approval authority for Berkeley’s three medical cannabis dispensary applications in 2000, the first of which was Berkeley Patients Group. Subsequent to those approvals, Mr. Rhoades established the process and standards by which the City considers new medical cannabis facilities. Mr. Rhoades is a former a member of Berkeley’s Medical Cannabis Commission, one of only a few such commissions in the United States.
    15. 15. Medical Cannabis Masters of Business Administration • Organizational formation – by-laws, mission, vision, values • Accounting and financial management • Budgeting • Marketing and public relations • Government relations • Human resources management • Operations management • Competitive strategy • Information technology • Ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship • Real estate and land use • Nonprofit management • Strategic philanthropy and social enterprise • Corporate social responsibility • Licensing, permitting, and land use issues
    16. 16. Intense Competition for Permits Laws allowing permits for dispensing and manufacturing medical cannabis have passed in Cities and States around the U.S. We need to work hard to get good implementation ordinances. We need to assure the cost of applying and the taxation schemes proposed are reasonable and based on fair market estimates. We need to make sure the permits get into the hands of people who share our longstanding values. Collaborations are essential.
    17. 17. Self Regulation of the Medical Cannabis Industry Many industries are self regulated by 501-C3 organizations, including: • Emergency rooms – Joint Commission • Pharmaceutical drugs – United States Pharmacopeia • Electricity – Underwriters Lab • Skydiving, deep sea diving, and the coffee industry
    18. 18. Proposed Areas of Self Regulation • Nomenclature – industry terms and definitions, naming of medicines, labeling, packaging • Contaminants screening – decide what pesticides, fertilizers, and ok for medical cannabis and what pests we are concerned about, and then determine how we will test for impurities • Potency monitoring – determine which cannabinoids and terpines matter for potency and medicinal effect and how to test for them, but do we need to use testing labs for potency monitoring • Safe handling processes – set standards based on standards for herbal plant medicines and not based on the FDA model for pharmaceutical drugs. • Testing labs – how do we assure that medical cannabis testing labs use standardized processes and that test results are accurate
    19. 19. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs We do not want patients busted for bad laws. The medical cannabis industry need to create science based PR campaigns to promote user responsibility and to quell the fears of the public. UCC will work with Harborside Health Center, NORML, and any other group interested in promoting self-regulations for the prevention of DUID.
    20. 20. Beware the Fed’s Be Prepared In Advance • Know the magic words, “I choose to remain silent, and want to see my lawyer” and “I do not consent to a search” • Understand your rights before a Grand Jury • Educate your community about jury nullification • Create safety nets to prevent busts and snitching, and make sure to have a good attorney • Only cultivate the numbers of plants that match the number of years you are willing to go to prison for because of mandatory minimum sentencing laws • Help grow the industry through strength in numbers • Support our cannabis prisoners of war
    21. 21. Fear of the Loss of Institutional Memory We need to make sure that people in the future do not forget the atrocities of the War on Drugs, and that the essential skills we all developed to fight this oppression are preserved for history. Book project with Steve Bloom from Celebstoner: “The Fight to End Reefer Madness”
    22. 22. In Conclusion • Hemp is fun, it is good for creativity, and it helps us not “sweat the little things” • Hemp should be legal for food, fuel, fiber, and medicine, and spiritual and personal uses • Stakeholders like us are changing the cannabis laws, and we need to implement and regulate these laws ourselves. • We need to get cannabis manufacturing and dispensing permits into the hands of people who support our values.
    23. 23. United Cannabis Coalition Fundraising & applying for medical cannabis manufacturing and dispensing permits in Oakland, Berkeley, and Albany, CA. MANY THANKS TO NORML and HAPPY 4OTH ANNIVERSARY!!