Out of State Tourists Can Fund VT Cannabis Industry (Today)

[Eli Harrington - Thursday, February 18, 2016]

To harness the potential of cannabis in Vermont in a way that most fits our principles and truly represents the will of our people, we not only need more innovative input from creative citizen advocates, but the leadership and vision to consider bold ideas.  If that means kick-starting a theoretical cannabis consumer ID card to pay for implementation and reduce the financial burden on Vermonters, why not think outside the box?

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Vermontijuana Daily - Feb. 2, 2016 - Elevate the State

As we continue to update Vermontijuana, we're trying out a few new features this week, including a daily update with local, regional, and national stories of interest...share feedback @Vermontijuana on facebook. 

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Latest VT Cannabis News - Feb. 1, 2016

The weekend update includes editorials from VT growers and industry experts, Vermontijuana featured on the front page of the Freeps over the weekend; a not-so-subtle response from the State Police who busted a VT grower in Windham County; news of 184% growth in legal marijuana markets; and the VT Medical Marijuana program getting a D+ rating from Americans for Safe Access.  As always, Inform, Engage, Connect...ELEVATE THE STATE

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Cannabis Industry Expert: Take the Best from the West and Leave the Rest

Joe Veldon is a Vermonter who currently works in the legal cannabis industry as a cannabis breeder and cultivation consultant with clients in multiple states with regulated medical and 'adult use' markets.  He has participated in several community forums across Vermont to freely share his perspective and industry experience in the hopes of bringing the best aspects of regulation to Vermont.

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[UPDATE] Progress in Principle or Practice? Reform Update Moves Through Senate Judiciary

READ THE ENTIRE TEXT HERE.  

FIND & CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HERE.

A SINCERE THANK YOU AND TIP OF THE CAP TO THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL AND STAFF WHO DO THE WORK OF WRITING THE LITERAL REVISIONS TO THE BILLS & CONNECTING CONSTITUENTS...

Editorial: Principle, Progress, and "Progress"

[Friday, January 29, 2016 - Eli Harrington]

In hindsight, both the premise and promise of “The Vermont Way” of reforming cannabis were probably doomed from the start.  Writing that phrase and reflecting on how I thought about it and promoted it over the past six months feels uncomfortably like a hangover (from alcohol that is, reminder that it takes A LOT of consumption to feel weed the next day).

Lying in bed, then groggily traveling to work, it’s like a bad bar flashback: “With the flexibility of the legislative process, and all this time, we can skip the ridiculous ‘if’ questions and focus on the ‘how’.  If the would-be business people with political power want to empower the growers with cultivation power, we can all work together and do something truly progressive!"

Clearly, I was wasted, but damn that’s good local Kool-Aid.  

Shout out to OXBOW Creative, awesome local firm, and great video...check out isberniecrazy.com !

To be clear, I don’t believe that an ‘us or them’ approach is accurate or pragmatic, but the "suits vs. roots" dynamic is VERY real in the weed world, whether it’s Vermont, California, Florida, or anywhere else.  I spent hundreds of hours with the Vermont Cannabis Collaborative and witnessed them having real conversations around the state—they and other advocates are not the ‘enemy’ and I appreciate the education myself and many others received working with them.

I also strongly believe that that group and others were alarmingly and suspiciously quick to sacrifice principle for ‘progress’ in terms of true common sense commerce.  Cops know exactly how they’ll use revenues, but no precise ideas how revenues could help VT farmers or protect working landscapes?.  Grassroots advocates also have good reason to be angry: the will of the people participating in this process were almost immediately overridden by the will of Dick Sears, and this is far from providing merit-based economic opportunities.

The big question for the members of the public who care enough to contact their lawmakers is, “is this bill worth supporting as a principled step forward, or is it building a foundation upon disproportionate policing and oligopoly?"

By Noon, we’ll all have a much better idea about what comes next as far as next steps.  Iour stance, than advocating hard, and if I'm not convinced this is a good bill, I'd be willing to stand up for principle and watch the state take another year--or biennium--to build on this.  Regardless of my own personal/business platform, I'm 100% sure that we'll continue forward together with both grassroots democracy and calling each other carpet-baggers and Tories...ya know, the Vermont Way.