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New regulations for medical and recreational marijuana businesses will go into effect today.

Renewal fees for medical marijuana licenses have decreased, and the way in which retail marijuana grow facilities are categorized has changed to be more specific; plant numbers are broken into smaller unit sizes.

Overall, it’s now more expensive to set up a dispensary that serves medical patients rather than one that sells only recreational cannabis. Initial application fees for medical centers range in cost from $6,000 to $14,000 and are separated into three tiers. After the initial application fee, businesses must pay additional licensing fees that need to be renewed annually.

Smokenhagen Coffeeshop/Facebook

Scandinavia may never be the same. Police in Copenhagen on Friday shut down Denmark’s first cannabis “coffeeshop” cafe. At Smokenhagen, customers could buy marijuana over the counter, get a receipt, and smoke it openly right there in the cafe.
During the raid, the police confiscated all the cannabis, but the shop is expected to reopen again soon, reports Danish website
Smokenhagen Coffeeshop openly sells cannabis following the Dutch model.

Floris Leeuwenberg
Cannabis coffeeshops are an integral part of Dutch culture, and have been for decades. A Dutch cannabis consumers group, WeSmoke, says the shops are worthy of preservation as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Netherlands, for reasons known only to the conservative government, seems intent on barring foreigners from its world-famous “coffeeshops” where cannabis is sold. That’s wholly nonsensical, since the shops are a major source of tourist dollars for Amsterdam and most of the other cities where they operate.
But curtailment of the shops — or even complete closure, which could be one of the repercussions of the new rules — would be more than an economic loss to the Netherlands, according to one Dutch pro-cannabis group. It would be a tragic loss of cultural heritage, as well.
Because of that, the Dutch cannabis consumer association WeSmoke has asked that the coffeeshops of the Netherlands be included on UNESCO World Heritage Site list, giving them protection as the unique cultural icons they are.
“World Heritage Sites are commonly understood to be culturally and/or natural important heritage that can be considered irreplaceable, unique and property of the entire world,” said Dimitri Breeuwer of WeSmoke. “This is why we can only conclude the unique Dutch coffeeshop, the very center of the cannabis legalization policies belongs on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.”

The Portland Mercury

When the state’s looking for “additional revenue,” keep an eye on your money. ​Oregon residents applying for medical marijuana cards will have lighter pocketbooks this month. State fees for the card applications took a dramatic jump on October 1 — and as usual, low-income patients who rely on food stamps and the Oregon Health Plan will be hit the hardest.

Annual application and renewal fees for the cards were $100, with a discounted low-income rate of $20. Now the annual fee is $200 and the discounted rate is $100, reports Peter Korn at Pamplin Media Group.

Graphic: Medical Marijuana Hut

​Budget-strapped Oregon lawmakers may have decided to tap the state’s popular medical marijuana program for an estimated $7 million to fund other health programs, doubling the annual fee charged medical marijuana patients from $100 to $200.

If there’s a silver lining to that cloud, it’s the fact that in so doing, the legislators have also decided to reject a whole pile of bills that would have made it much harder for people in the state to get a medical marijuana card. Some members of Oregon’s medical marijuana community, even as they cry foul at the doubling of patient fees, believe it may move the state one step closer to their goal of bringing medicinal cannabis into the mainstream economy, reports Jonathan J. Cooper at CNBC.
“It’s not good for patients,” said Christine McGarvin, a member of the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee. “I do appreciate the politics of it.”

Graphic: Voter Political Blog

​​With more than 2,000 people in Colorado applying for licenses to run state-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries, growing facilities or related businesses before the past weekend’s application deadline, the state made $7.34 million from application fees alone.

More than 700 applied specifically for dispensary licenses, far exceeding the number expected by state officials, who estimated that only half of the state’s roughly 1,100 pre-existing dispensaries would apply for licenses.
State officials will now conduct background checks on applicants before awarding licenses, which are expected to generate additional millions in annual revenue for Colorado.
“This outpouring of applications is another sign of how willing and eager marijuana business owners are to be taxed, regulated, and given equal treatment to other legitimate establishments, said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).


​A Superior Court in California has ordered the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to pay $69,400 in attorneys’ fees to a medical marijuana advocacy organization.

The Merced Superior Court on Thursday ruled the DMV must reimburse Americans for Safe Access (ASA). The attorneys’ fees award results from a lawsuit filed by ASA in November 2008 against the DMV for its policy of unjustly revoking drivers’ licenses of qualified medical marijuana patients.

The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open in Gilroy, Calif.

​Gilroy, Calif., Councilman Perry Woodward has called for a “full refund” of legal fees from the city’s contracted law firm after learning that Gilroy’s assistant city attorney advised the neighboring City of Los Altos to take a “diametrically opposed” stance on banning marijuana dispensaries, reports Jonathan Partridge at the Gilroy Dispatch.

Woodward urged the council to demand restitution for all legal fees paid to hired attorney Linda Callon of San Jose-based law firm Berliner-Cohen in connection with regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. According to the Dispatch, the councilman has sent emails to fellow council members, city administrators and Callon herself.
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