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Montana Cannabis Industry Association http://www.mtcia.org Promoting the future through Cannabis Tue, 22 Jul 2014 01:33:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 MTCIA ACTION ALERT http://www.mtcia.org/2014/06/mtcia-action-alert/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/06/mtcia-action-alert/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 16:30:07 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1497 Dear Members:

 

In my last post, I mentioned that the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment defunding the DEA’s raids on medical marijuana establishments in states where it is legal under state law. That provision could be voted on in the Senate today. I am urging all members and their friends and family members to call Senators Tester and Walsh and ask them to support SA 3289. Also, please ask them to support SA3285. This amendment was introduced by Senator Walsh and prevents medical marijuana patients from sacrificing their gun-ownership rights simply because they medicate with cannabis. Collectively, these two Senate amendments, if passed, will send a strong message to the DEA to leave medical marijuana alone. When I called Senator Tester’s office last week, his staff had not heard from us on this issue. WE NEED TO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE.

 

PLEASE CALL THESE NUMBERS TODAY AND ASK OUR SENATORS TO VOTE FOR SA3289 AND SA3285

SENATOR TESTER: 202-224-2644

SENATOR WALSH: 202-224-2651

 

Yours in Solidarity,

 

Mort Reid

President, MTCIA

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US HOUSE VOTES TO CURTAIL DEA http://www.mtcia.org/2014/06/us-house-votes-to-curtail-dea-this-a-rewrite-from-last-blog/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/06/us-house-votes-to-curtail-dea-this-a-rewrite-from-last-blog/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 23:52:22 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1491 Dear Members:

 

On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed an historic amendment to defund DEA raids on medical marijuana establishments in states that have medical marijuana laws. This was a bipartisan vote with several Republicans, including House Representative, Steve Daines from Montana, joining the effort to rein in the DEA. The fate of the amendment now lies with the Senate, where, if passed, goes to the desk of the President for his signature. Now would be a good time to place a call to Senators Tester and Walsh urging their support for this very important amendment. Also, please consider calling Steve Daines and thanking him for his vote supporting this amendment.

 

When this amendment passes the Senate and is signed into law, it will usher in a new era where the DEA will no longer be free to conduct raids on medical marijuana establishments legally operating under state law. We will keep you updated when the amendment nears a vote in the Senate. We hope to see you in Butte on Saturday, June 7.

 

Yours in Solidarity,

 

Mort Reid

President, MTCIA

 

 

Senator Tester:  202-224-2644

Senator Walsh: 202-224-2651

Rep. Daines: 202-224-3121

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BUTTE MEETING RESCHEDULED http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/butte-meeting-rescheduled/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/butte-meeting-rescheduled/#comments Sat, 17 May 2014 19:32:23 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1457 Dear Members:

The MTCIA meeting previously scheduled for May 26th has been RESCHEDULED for SATURDAY, JUNE 7, at the LaQuinta Inn in Butte. The meeting time will be at 1:00 pm.

This change occurred by popular demand and is being made to accommodate the greatest number of providers who will be attending the meeting. We hope this new schedule will allow members, whom travel from distant towns, to attend without incurring an overnight stay in Butte.

We would like to receive an rsvp from those who plan to attend. You can offer a simple “yes” in the comment section of our web site with the number of attendees, or call James 670-0143 or myself 670-8854 .

The staff of MTCIA wishes you all a safe Memorial Day Holiday and we look forward to seeing you in Butte.

Yours in Solidarity,

Mort Reid
President, MTCIA

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STATEWIDE MTCIA MEETING SCHEDULED IN BUTTE http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/statewide-mtcia-meeting-scheduled-in-butte/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/statewide-mtcia-meeting-scheduled-in-butte/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 21:18:48 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1452 Dear Members:

There will be a statewide MTCIA-sponsored meeting scheduled for Monday, May 26, at the La Quinta Inn at 6:00 pm. in Butte. This is a very important informational and planning meeting designed to prepare the medical cannabis industry for the upcoming legislature. The topics for discussion will be:

A. Reorganization of MTCIA

B. Legislative bill draft items

We have 1 hour allotted for discussion of agenda items followed by 1 hour of Q & A. If you are a medical cannabis provider, your future livelihood is at stake. If you are a medical cannabis cardholder, your access to medical cannabis hangs in the balance.

We realize that Monday is the Memorial Day holiday and many of you have family events planned. We tried to plan this meeting so that the maximum number of people could have time off work to attend on such short notice. There is never a good time to leave your businesses and travel to these events. We chose Butte to host this event due to the central location of the majority of medical cannabis providers in Montana.

The staff of MTCIA were graciously invited to attend a providers’ meeting in Bozeman last week. The providers there were very supportive of MTCIA and pledged $18,000 toward our legal bill with the Goetz Law Firm. We hope the providers in other parts of the state exhibit the same generosity in paying our legal costs which keep us all in business.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Yours in Solidarity,

Mort Reid

President, MTCIA

 

 

 

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MTCIA BILLINGS( date change) http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/mtcia-billings/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/mtcia-billings/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 00:20:39 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1444 MTCIA meeting may 15 th 6pm clock tower inn 2511 1st ave. north billings mt.

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MEETINGS SCHEDULED http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/meetings-scheduled/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/05/meetings-scheduled/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 19:43:15 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1441 Dear Members:

 

There is a meeting for medical marijuana providers scheduled in Bozeman Thursday, May 8 at the Residence Inn by Marriott, 6195 E. Valley Center Road, 6:30 pm.

We are in the process of scheduling a MTCIA meeting in Billings on Thursday, May 15. The time and place will be announced in a later posting. .

With the primary elections approaching, we have much work to do in preparation for the upcoming legislature. We will avail ourselves for meetings in the Butte, Missoula and Flathead areas as requested by providers and members in those areas. These will be important strategy meetings with much information disseminated for our members.

The staff at MTCIA would like to thank our members for their continued support and donations. We wish you a happy Mothers Day weekend.

 

Yours in Solidarity,

Mort Reid

President, MTCIA

 

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MTCIA UPDATE ON HEARING http://www.mtcia.org/2014/04/mtcia-update-on-hearing/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/04/mtcia-update-on-hearing/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:35:57 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1432 Dear Members:

 

Yesterday,  a hearing was held in Judge Reynolds’ Courtroom regarding motions that were filed for partial summary judgments in our lawsuit against the State of Montana. Judge Reynolds heard oral arguments from plaintiffs and defendants as they related to key provisions of SB 423. Those provisions included:

1. Limit on number of cardholders a provider could serve (3)

2. Warrantless searches by law enforcement

3. Providers not receiving compensation for services rendered

4. Doctors being investigated by Montana Board of Medical examiners for making more than 25 referrals in one year

5. Ban on advertising by providers

Our legal team did an exemplary job of arguing on our behalf to permanently enjoin those provisions of SB 423. The arguments by the state’s attorneys were also vigorous and technical. Both parties agreed to vacate the May 20 hearing if all of the motions for partial summary judgments were ruled upon. Judge Reynolds did say that he would take as much time as he needed in sorting through the legal arguments presented to him.

MTCIA can apply some reasonable “guestimates” as to the timeframes involved in the process of issuing the judge’s rulings. If the judge finds that he cannot reasonably issue his findings within the constraints imposed upon him by the Montana Supreme Court as it relates to any or all of the issues, he will schedule a hearing. We estimate that we will know by June if a hearing will be scheduled. That hearing date may be sometime during late Summer or early Fall. Any rulings that result from that hearing may not happen until the legislature convenes in January 2015. At that point, it will be crucial to get a workable bill passed in the legislature. If we get favorable rulings on all of the issues, the state will automatically appeal to the State Supreme Court. I don’t have to remind you of the costs and possible outcome that such an appeal will have on our case.

We currently owe our attorneys more than $27,000. That does not include yesterday’s hearing costs. We will need to know within the next two weeks whether to instruct our legal team to continue working on our behalf or drop our case against the state. If we are not paid up to that point, I will instruct our attorney to withdraw MTCIA as a plaintiff in this case.

There are currently 300 providers registered with the Montana DPHHS. If the legal costs were shared equally among all those providers it would be $90 each. If the costs were equally shared among the 8000 cardholders, it would cost $3.37 each.

Our board members work tirelessly WITHOUT pay to insure that cardholders have safe access to medical cannabis and that providers are able to remain in business. We are asking that you reciprocate that support by paying the legal expenses so that we can continue to protect your interests.

Our staff wishes you all a happy Easter weekend.

Yours in Solidarity,

Mort Reid

President, MTCIA

 

 

 

 

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UPDATE ON MTCIA LAWSUIT AND FUNDRAISING STATUS http://www.mtcia.org/2014/03/update-on-mtcia-lawsuit-and-fundraising-status/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/03/update-on-mtcia-lawsuit-and-fundraising-status/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 18:33:12 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1402 Dear Members:

There have been many recent inquiries regarding the status of the current MTCIA lawsuit and the hearing scheduled for May 20. We are still on-schedule for the upcoming hearing and are very well-positioned for a favorable ruling from Judge Reynolds on our injunction.

We are in the process of transferring our website management from Modwest in Missoula to Zee Creative in Billings. When we complete that transfer, we will post the PDF files of the complete record of the issues that are being litigated so that you can review the case history in it’s entirety. The transition of the website domain to new management has been a nightmare. We offer our apologies for delays in answering inquiries and blogs. We will be updating our website information and hope to be able to respond to your inquiries in a more timely fashion when our website work is completed.

We currently owe our attorneys $38,000. That figure is estimated to climb to $65,000-$80,000 by the end of the hearing process. Several people have asked when the legal costs will end. The answer is that it won’t end until we have a workable bill passed by our state legislature. We are working feverishly to develop a coalition of lawmakers who will get our bill passed. I can tell you from personal conversations with some of our lawmakers that they are watching with interest the events that are occurring in Colorado and Washington as it relates to both medical and recreational marijuana. The successes or failures of those industries will have a profound influence on the future marijuana laws in Montana.

We are in urgent need of funds to continue paying our attorneys. We will be ordering collection boxes for providers to put in their storefronts so that cardholders can contribute to the legal fund. Currently, the providers are bearing the brunt of contributions for our attorneys. We are also printing informational brochures and stickers for those who donate to MTCIA. MTCIA’s administrative costs consume less than 1% of our total donations. 99% of the donations received in the past year has gone to our attorneys. We must keep the momentum going so that our lawmakers recognize our industry as legitimate, tax-paying Montanans.

Yours in Solidarity,

Mort Reid
President, MTCIA

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A special thanks to the Bozeman and Butte providers http://www.mtcia.org/2014/02/a-special-thanks-to-the-bozeman-and-butte-providers/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/02/a-special-thanks-to-the-bozeman-and-butte-providers/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 19:58:16 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1394 Dear Members:

It has been too long since we have had good news to report. Our funding drive in Bozeman and Butte-Silver Bow Counties has netted a total of $31,000 toward our legal fund. This is a victory for MTCIA and the medical marijuana providers and patients that we serve. Since the 2011 attempt by our legislature to shut down the industry, we have demonstrated our perseverance and determination by collecting over $380,000 in donations which were paid to our legal team. We are an industry that has withstood the most draconian federal raids in the history of our country and the narrow-minded attempt by an over-reacting legislature to kill the industry. Through all of the adversity that has beset our industry, we have stood firm in our resolve toward serving our patients.

On the federal level, there has been movement towards allowing the banking systems to begin handling our accounts so that we are not forced to do business on a “cash only” basis. There is a bipartisan effort taking place in congress at this very moment that would reschedule marijuana and provide more legal protections for marijuana providers who are in compliance with the laws of their states. These are all very encouraging events that add to the momentum of our industry.

There is still much work to be done. We must stay focused on keeping our industry from being shut down by the actions of the 2011 legislature. We still have a hearing scheduled in May. That hearing will determine whether we will keep the court-ordered injunctions in place that allow us to continue serving our patients. I have read the briefs, depositions and motions filed by our legal team and have a high level of confidence that we will have a positive outcome. There are still risks to our industry by actions of a negative Supreme Court.
From time to time we must take pause to consider the gains we have made as an industry. We have been allowed, by the court, to remain in business for nearly three years since SB423 went into effect. Reliable polls have consistently shown that more than 78% of Americans favor medical marijuana and 55% favor legalization for recreational use. Our momentum is picking up speed and this is cause for celebration. I will leave you with that thought and wish you all a happy Valentine weekend.

Yours in Solidarity,

Mort Reid
President, MTCIA

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Lawsuit update http://www.mtcia.org/2014/01/lawsuit-update-2/ http://www.mtcia.org/2014/01/lawsuit-update-2/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 01:56:52 +0000 http://www.mtcia.org/?p=1380 Dear Members:

I have just recently received a notice from the Goetz Law Office informing me that MTCIA is now in arrears of $28,000 due to a high volume of legal activity in the month of December. You will recall that in May of last year we were given an estimate of the legal costs which would take us through the hearing in May of this year. That estimate was $50,000. We have paid that amount to the law firm that is representing us in the law suit against the State of Montana. However the original estimate was primarily based on the assumption that the state’s arguments would be redundant and without much additional evidence.

That assumption proved to be incorrect. The state is bringing in “the big guns” in the form of high profile “expert witnesses” and is engaged in a vigorous effort to shut our industry down for good. Our legal team has had to respond in kind with some very expensive expert witnesses of our own. It is for this reason that our legal costs have skyrocketed beyond our original estimates.

I have received assurances from our legal team that we are very well- positioned for the upcoming hearing on May 20. We do, however, need to pay the attorneys asap so that they can resume preparing for the hearing. You can donate via paypal on the MTCIA website or mail money orders to:

MTCIA
1120 Yale Avenue
Billings, MT 59102

Thank you for your support.

Yours in Solidarity,

Mort Reid
President, MTCIA

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