NACo Session on Medical Cannabis Offers Insight into Effects of Legalization

The National Association of Counties Annual Conference in Charlotte North Carolina featured a educational workshop, Medical and Recreational Marijuana Legalization: Impacts on Counties.

The workshop included a big picture discussion of the issues of transitioning to medical marijuana and recreational marijuana usage, and specifics including projected revenues from marijuana sales. County policy directors for the Washington and Colorado state county associations presented on the state/local roles in licensing, drug-free workplace policies, taxation and financing the regulatory structure and the difficulty in reconciling state legalization with the federal Controlled Substances Act. Some aspects that I thought were the most interesting included the level of fraud with medical marijuana, the need for zoning changes in agricultural zones, and the difficulties and limitations of local control.  Here are some bullets from the slides:

Medical vs. “Medical”

  • How do you create a system that is resistant to fraud?
  • What are the roles/responsibilities of the doctors?
  • What does patient access look like?
  • Who regulates the “bad” actors? State or local?
  • What happens when a well-child visit by social services reveals the presence of marijuana plants in the home?

What We Learned

  • Medical vs. recreational
  • Problems vs. process of setting up new markets
  • Difficult to monetize impacts to local government
  • Take the money
  • Local control is a two-edged sword
  • Message effectively

For more information:

Here is a link to a video of the workshop.

Here is a link to the power point from the workshop.

An article from NACo, Legal pot issues ‘slant’ westward, have implications for broader U.S.

JUST ADDED — This year’s MACo Summer Conference will also feature a Thursday session on medical cannabis — see more details on Conduit Street.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

For a schedule of educational sessions at MACo’s Summer Conference, please view the Registration Brochure.

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.