Questions & Answers

One Unified Industry Voice Representing the Cannabis Industry’s Interests

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Southern California Coalition?

Southern California Coalition is the world’s largest, most inclusive cannabis industry trade organization representing every sector of the emerging cannabis industry in Southern California. Southern California Coalition’s mission is to ensure comprehensive cannabis policies are implemented in an inclusive and responsible way in the world’s largest cannabis market, Southern California.

What is Southern California Coalition’s mission?

Southern California Coalition’s mission is to ensure responsible cannabis policies are implemented in a comprehensive and inclusive way at the local, state and federal level. As SoCal’s largest, most inclusive unified voice, Southern California Coalition represents the most pre-ICO and Proposition D-compliant dispensaries, along with other industry leaders in cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, transportation, lab testing, and social equity advocacy in the world’s biggest market—Southern California. Southern California Coalition is continuing to work with elected officials and decision makers to ensure Proposition M is implemented in full in Los Angeles, and that this inclusive model is implemented and enacted in other cities, counties, states, and countries.

What types of members join Southern California Coalition?

Southern California Coalition represents stakeholders across all licensing categories including, dispensaries, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, transportation, lab testing, and social equity advocacy.

Why should people donate to Southern California Coalition?

Southern California Coalition members are on the front lines of a powerful and organized movement to promote and successfully implement, protect, and maintain sensible cannabis policies, along with safeguards to fairly license, regulate, tax, and enforce the legal sale of state-legal cannabis in a way that protects and benefits Southern California’s communities, minorities, citizens, law enforcement, municipal services, and workers.

By joining Southern California Coalition, you will be being politically represented and assured your voice and issues are heard by the right decision makers. Southern California Coalition members are part of the responsible and ethical legalization movement focused on ensuring the success of an inclusive, ethical and legitimate cannabis industry.  And without financial commitments from people like you, Southern California Coalition would be unable to continue its important work protecting our industry and its progress.

Why does Southern California Coalition support the legalization?

Southern California Coalition supports ending cannabis prohibition because a state-legal cannabis industry:

  • furnishes critically ill patients with access to life-changing treatments;
  • provides tens of thousands of jobs to hardworking, law-abiding citizens;
  • legalizing cannabis stops ineffective racially biased and unjust laws that don’t meet their stated goals and disproportionately impact minorities;
  • empowers responsible small- and medium-sized business owners; and
  • generates valuable economic development, jobs, and provides much needed revenues for local communities and strapped state budgets.

How is Southern California Coalition working to ensure cannabis laws are implemented in a responsible way?

As the City of Los Angeles prepares to replace Prop D in a way that is consistent with the State’s 2015 medical cannabis  legislative package (the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act), Southern California Coalition is working to ensure that Proposition M is implemented in full and that industry’s issues are addressed in a responsible way.

How many Americans support legalization?

According to an October 2016 Gallup poll, American support for legalizing cannabis is at 60 percent, the highest it’s been in 47 years, and a 2015 Harris poll found a staggering 81 percent of Americans support legalization of cannabis  for medical use.

How many states have legalized cannabis?

There are now 28 states and the District of Columbia that have chosen to create regulated cannabis  programs, including four of the five most populated states in the nation. More than 20% of the U.S. population lives in states that allow adults 21 and older to legally consume cannabis, and more than 60% of the population lives in a state where medical cannabis  access is legal.

How has support for legalization changed over the years?

Support has only grown as existing legal programs have provided access to life-changing treatments for critically ill patients, empowered responsible small business owners over criminal dealers and cartels, and generated valuable economic development, jobs, and revenues for strapped state budgets.

How popular are cannabis initiatives in the states?

Many of cannabis initiatives were approved by significant voter margins. All of them feature regulatory programs designed and administered by state and local government authorities, including licensing and tax collections.

What is the economic impact of the cannabis industry?

The legal cannabis industry in the U.S. was worth approximately $5.5 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $21.8 billion by 2020. Vivien Azer, a cannabis analyst with Cowen, believes the nation’s legal market will grow nine-fold over the next decade, with consumer spending on recreational and medical cannabis  hitting $50 billion by 2026.

Where is this value being created for the cannabis industry?

The vast majority of this value is being created by small businesses — entrepreneurial efforts built from the ground up, including not just cannabis cultivators and retailers, but also innovators in areas like energy-efficient equipment, software, and packaging.

It’s even more remarkable that cannabis businesses are still managing to help patients and customers, while creating jobs and tax revenue, despite facing a multitude of challenges due to conflicts between state and federal laws.

What challenges does the cannabis industry face?

Restrictions on banking access for cannabis businesses create threats to the safety of employees and communities and make accounting transparency more difficult.

Extreme federal taxation that treats law-abiding, tax-paying cannabis businesses like criminals stymies economic growth and limits businesses’ ability to serve patients and re-invest in their communities.

What are you asking Congress and the new administration to support legalizing cannabis?

We are urging Congress and President Trump to continue the policy of federal non-interference and work together to address the challenges that legitimate, state-sanctioned cannabis businesses face in accessing financial services and navigating the federal tax regime.

Why does legalization make sense?

Existing legal programs have provided access to life-changing treatments for critically ill patients, empowered responsible small business owners over criminal dealers and cartels, and generated valuable economic development, jobs, and revenues for strapped state budgets.

How does legalizing cannabis stop racially biased laws?

The majority of the people police arrest for cannabis  are not kingpins, but rather individuals with small amounts of cannabis.  Cannabis arrests are not evenly distributed across the population, but are disproportionately imposed on African Americans. According to the ACLU’s original analysis, cannabis  arrests now account for more than half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million cannabis  arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having cannabis . Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis .

What are the financial costs of cannabis prohibition?

The financial cost of cannabis prohibition is staggering and costs to individuals and their families are also substantial, even in the absence of incarceration.  It can mean the loss of a job, benefits, and one’s livelihood.  For our communities, cannabis arrests mean wasting money when it could be better spent.

How is legalizing cannabis good for the economy?

In a 2005 report by Harvard economics professor James Miron, which was endorsed by three Nobel Laureates in economics and 500+ economists, the combined savings and tax revenues from ending cannabis prohibition in a single year could be between 10 and 14 billion dollars.

Is cannabis more harmful than alcohol?

No. Cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, cannabis is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.

Does legalizing cannabis increase usage rates?

No. Decriminalizing cannabis and deprioritizing enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws leads to no significant increase in cannabis  use.

Why should we regulate cannabis?

The shift to regulated programs is having dramatic results on an underground market that steers billions in unregulated, untracked, and untaxed sales to criminal actors. In 2013, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized nearly 2.5 million pounds of cannabis  at the border. Just two years later, seizures were down by approximately one million pounds.

How many states have legalized cannabis?

There are now 28 states and the District of Columbia that have chosen to create regulated  responsible medical cannabis  programs, including four of the five most populated states in the nation.  Eight states and District of Columbia have passed sensible adult use initiatives.

What percentage of the U.S. lives in a state that has fully legalized cannabis?

More than 20% of the U.S. population lives in states that allow adults 21 and older to legally consume cannabis, and more than 60% of the population lives in a state where medical cannabis  access is legal.

How many Americans currently use cannabis?

cannabis  is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked cannabis  in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.

Is cannabis more dangerous than alcohol?

Cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, cannabis  is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.

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