Amendment 64's Brian Vicente spreading state's medical marijuana message to Massachusetts

Categories: Marijuana, News

Press release about tonight's event in Massachusetts:
First-Ever Seminars on Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law

Presented by Legal Experts and Law Enforcement Group

Seminars Will Answer Questions for Potential Patients and Discuss Business Opportunities

WHAT: Now that Massachusetts voters have approved a new medical marijuana program, attorneys and law enforcement officers are holding seminars aimed at helping potential patients and business owners understand the new law. These seminars will explore all facets of the new law, including business basics and patient rights. Massachusetts and Colorado attorneys will explain the process of applying for, opening and running a medical marijuana business including sharing best practices from Colorado and other states. The first seminar is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Thursday, November 29, 6:00-8:00pm

WHERE: Cambridge Community Center, Community Room, 5 Callender Street, Cambridge

WHY: With only 35 licenses to be issued in Massachusetts, competition is expected to be fierce. "With 17 other medical marijuana states to learn from, Massachusetts medical marijuana businesses have the opportunity to be some of the most effective and responsible treatment centers in the country," said Shaleen Title, an attorney who directs the Massachusetts office of Vicente Sederberg. "These seminars will share the most successful practices for serving patients and communities."

In addition to business tips, the first seminar will cover how people with debilitating health conditions can become state-legal medical marijuana patients. A former MA state trooper from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Karen Hawkes, will show potential patients how to respectfully assert their legal rights during law enforcement encounters.

"The people of Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly for marijuana to be treated as a medicine," said Hawkes, who left law enforcement due to a stroke and chronic pain. "We hope to provide guidance so that medical marijuana patients are treated like any other patient and allowed to use their medicine in a safe and private way under a doctor's care."

An advanced seminar for potential business owners covering application tips, financials and more will be held on December 13, 2012. These seminars take place just weeks before the medical marijuana law takes effect on January 1, 2013.

More about the presenters:

Vicente Sederberg, LLC is the only national medical marijuana law firm dedicated to offering legal solutions for the medical marijuana community, specializing in business law, licenses, permits, and compliance. It has assisted in the formation -- and guided the compliant operation -- of hundreds of medical marijuana businesses. Its Boston office is now open. More info at

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, prison wardens, federal agents and others who fought on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learned firsthand that punitive prohibitionist policies only serve to worsen addiction and violence. More info at

Full text of Question 3:

Be It Enacted By The People And By Their Authority:

Section 1. Purpose and Intent.

The citizens of Massachusetts intend that there should be no punishment under state law for qualifying patients, physicians and health care professionals, personal caregivers for patients, or medical marijuana treatment center agents for the medical use of marijuana, as defined herein.

Section 2. As used in this Law, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:

(A) "Card holder" shall mean a qualifying patient, a personal caregiver, or a dispensary agent of a medical marijuana treatment center who has been issued and possesses a valid registration card.

(B) "Cultivation registration" shall mean a registration issued to a medical marijuana treatment center for growing marijuana for medical use under the terms of this Act, or to a qualified patient or personal caregiver under the terms of Section 11.

(C) "Debilitating medical condition" shall mean:
Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient's physician.

(D) "Department" shall mean the Department of Public Health of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

(E) "Dispensary agent" shall mean an employee, staff volunteer, officer, or board member of a non-profit medical marijuana treatment center, who shall be at least twenty-one (21) years of age.

(F) "Enclosed, locked facility" shall mean a closet, room, greenhouse, or other area equipped with locks or other security devices, accessible only to dispensary agents, patients, or personal caregivers.

(G) "Marijuana," has the meaning given "marihuana" in Chapter 94C of the General Laws.

(H) "Medical marijuana treatment center" shall mean a not-for-profit entity, as defined by Massachusetts law only, registered under this law, that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their personal caregivers.

(I) "Medical use of marijuana" shall mean the acquisition, cultivation, possession, processing, (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfer, transportation, sale, distribution, dispensing, or administration of marijuana, for the benefit of qualifying patients in the treatment of debilitating medical conditions, or the symptoms thereof.

(J) "Personal caregiver" shall mean a person who is at least twenty-one (21) years old who has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana. Personal caregivers are prohibited from consuming marijuana obtained for the personal, medical use of the qualifying patient.

An employee of a hospice provider, nursing, or medical facility providing care to a qualifying patient may also serve as a personal caregiver.

(K) "Qualifying patient" shall mean a person who has been diagnosed by a licensed physician as having a debilitating medical condition.

(L) "Registration card" shall mean a personal identification card issued by the Department to a qualifying patient, personal caregiver, or dispensary agent. The registration card shall verify that a physician has provided a written certification to the qualifying patient, that the patient has designated the individual as a personal caregiver, or that a medical treatment center has met the terms of Section 9 and Section 10 of this law. The registration card shall identify for the Department and law enforcement those individuals who are exempt from Massachusetts criminal and civil penalties for conduct pursuant to the medical use of marijuana.

(M) "Sixty-day supply" means that amount of marijuana that a qualifying patient would reasonably be expected to need over a period of sixty days for their personal medical use.

(N) "Written certification" means a document signed by a licensed physician, stating that in the physician's professional opinion, the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient. Such certification shall be made only in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship and shall specify the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition(s).

Section 3. Protection from State Prosecution and Penalties for Health Care Professionals

A physician, and other health care professionals under a physician's supervision, shall not be penalized under Massachusetts law, in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, for:

(a) Advising a qualifying patient about the risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana; or

(b) Providing a qualifying patient with written certification, based upon a full assessment of the qualifying patient's medical history and condition, that the medical use of marijuana may benefit a particular qualifying patient.

Section 4. Protection From State Prosecution and Penalties for Qualifying Patients and Personal Caregivers

Any person meeting the requirements under this law shall not be penalized under Massachusetts law in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, for such actions.

A qualifying patient or a personal caregiver shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution, or civil penalty, for the medical use of marijuana provided he or she:

(a) Possesses no more marijuana than is necessary for the patient's personal, medical use, not exceeding the amount necessary for a sixty-day supply; and

(b) Presents his or her registration card to any law enforcement official who questions the patient or caregiver regarding use of marijuana.

Section 5. Protection From State Prosecution and Penalties for Dispensary Agents.

A dispensary agent shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or civil penalty, under Massachusetts law, for actions taken under the authority of a medical marijuana treatment center, provided he or she:

(a) Presents his or her registration card to any law enforcement official who questions the agent concerning their marijuana related activities; and

(b) Is acting in accordance with all the requirements of this law.

Section 6. Protection Against Forfeiture and Arrest

(A) The lawful possession, cultivation, transfer, transport, distribution, or manufacture of medical marijuana as authorized by this law shall not result in the forfeiture or seizure of any property.

(B) No person shall be arrested or prosecuted for any criminal offense solely for being in the presence of medical marijuana or its use as authorized by this law.

Section 7. Limitations of Law

(A) Nothing in this law allows the operation of a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft while under the influence of marijuana.

(B) Nothing in this law requires any health insurance provider, or any government agency or authority, to reimburse any person for the expenses of the medical use of marijuana.

(C) Nothing in this law requires any health care professional to authorize the use of medical marijuana for a patient.

(D) Nothing in this law requires any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of employment, school bus or on school grounds, in any youth center, in any correctional facility, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.

(E) Nothing in this law supersedes Massachusetts law prohibiting the possession, cultivation, transport, distribution, or sale of marijuana for nonmedical purposes.

(F) Nothing in this law requires the violation of federal law or purports to give immunity under federal law.

(G) Nothing in this law poses an obstacle to federal enforcement of federal law.

Section 8. Department to define presumptive 60-day supply for qualifying patients.

Within 120 days of the effective date of this law, the department shall issue regulations defining the quantity of marijuana that could reasonably be presumed to be a sixty-day supply for qualifying patients, based on the best available evidence. This presumption as to quantity may be overcome with evidence of a particular qualifying patient's appropriate medical use.

Section 9. Registration of nonprofit medical marijuana treatment centers.

(A) Medical marijuana treatment centers shall register with the department.

(B) Not later than ninety days after receiving an application for a nonprofit medical marijuana treatment center, the department shall register the nonprofit medical marijuana treatment center to acquire, process, possess, transfer, transport, sell, distribute, dispense, and administer marijuana for medical use, and shall also issue a cultivation registration if:

1. The prospective nonprofit medical marijuana treatment center has submitted:

(a) An application fee in an amount to be determined by the department consistent with Section 13 of this law.

(b) An application, including:

(i) The legal name and physical address of the treatment center and the physical address of one additional location, if any, where marijuana will be cultivated.

(ii) The name, address and date of birth of each principal officer and board member.

(c) Operating procedures consistent with department rules for oversight, including cultivation and storage of marijuana only in enclosed, locked facilities.

2. None of the principal officers or board members has served as a principal officer or board member for a medical marijuana treatment center that has had its registration certificate revoked.

(C) In the first year after the effective date, the Department shall issue registrations for up to thirty-five non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers, provided that at least one treatment center shall be located in each county, and not more than five shall be located in any one county. In the event the Department determines in a future year that the number of treatment centers is insufficient to meet patient needs, the Department shall have the power to increase or modify the number of registered treatment centers.

(D) A medical treatment center registered under this section, and its dispensary agents registered under Section 10, shall not be penalized or arrested under Massachusetts law for acquiring, possessing, cultivating, processing, transferring, transporting, selling, distributing, and dispensing marijuana, products containing marijuana, and related supplies and educational materials, to qualifying patients or their personal caregivers.

Section 10. Registration of medical treatment center dispensary agents.

(A) A dispensary agent shall be registered with the Department before volunteering or working at a medical marijuana treatment center.

(B) A treatment center must apply to the Department for a registration card for each affiliated dispensary agent by submitting the name, address and date of birth of the agent.

(C) A registered nonprofit medical marijuana treatment center shall notify the department within one business day if a dispensary agent ceases to be associated with the center, and the agent's registration card shall be immediately revoked.

(D) No one shall be a dispensary agent who has been convicted of a felony drug offense. The Department is authorized to conduct criminal record checks with the Department of Criminal Justice Information to enforce this provision.

Section 11. Hardship Cultivation Registrations.

The Department shall issue a cultivation registration to a qualifying patient whose access to a medical treatment center is limited by verified financial hardship, a physical incapacity to access reasonable transportation, or the lack of a treatment center within a reasonable distance of the patient's residence. The Department may deny a registration based on the provision of false information by the applicant. Such registration shall allow the patient or the patient's personal caregiver to cultivate a limited number of plants, sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply of marijuana, and shall require cultivation and storage only in an enclosed, locked facility.

The department shall issue regulations consistent with this section within 120 days of the effective date of this law. Until the department issues such final regulations, the written recommendation of a qualifying patient's physician shall constitute a limited cultivation registration.

Section 12. Medical marijuana registration cards for qualifying patients and designated caregivers.

(A) A qualifying patient may apply to the department for a medical marijuana registration card by submitting:

1. Written certification from a physician.

2. An application, including:

(a) Name, address unless homeless, and date of birth.

(b) Name, address and date of birth of the qualifying patient's personal caregiver, if any.

Section 13. Department implementation of Regulations and Fees.

Within 120 days of the effective date of this law, the department shall issue regulations for the implementation of Sections 9 through 12 of this Law. The department shall set application fees for non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers so as to defray the administrative costs of the medical marijuana program and thereby make this law revenue neutral.

Until the approval of final regulations, written certification by a physician shall constitute a registration card for a qualifying patient. Until the approval of final regulations, a certified mail return receipt showing compliance with Section 12 (A) (2) (b) above by a qualifying patient, and a photocopy of the application, shall constitute a registration card for that patient's personal caregiver.

Section 14. Penalties for Fraudulent Acts.

(A) The department, after a hearing, may revoke any registration card issued under this law for a willful violation of this law. The standard of proof for revocation shall be a preponderance of the evidence. A revocation decision shall be reviewable in the Superior Court.

(B) The fraudulent use of a medical marijuana registration card or cultivation registration shall be a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in the house of correction, or a fine up to $500, but if such fraudulent use is for the distribution, sale, or trafficking of marijuana for non-medical use for profit it shall be a felony punishable by up to 5 years in state prison or up to two and one half years in the house of correction.

Section 15. Confidentiality

The department shall maintain a confidential list of the persons issued medical marijuana registration cards. Individual names and other identifying information on the list shall be exempt from the provisions of Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. Chapter 66, section 10, and not subject to disclosure, except to employees of the department in the course of their official duties and to Massachusetts law enforcement officials when verifying a card holder's registration.

Section 16. Effective Date.

This law shall be effective January 1, 2013.

Section 17. Severability.

The provisions of this law are severable and if any clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this measure, or an application thereof, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or application adjudged invalid.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Amendment 64's Brian Vicente on how act might be challenged, why he doubts it will be."

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Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Of course, the CDHPE won't be able to stop PTSD patients in a few weeks, however, they'll still risk plenty of trouble from the VA, if they're veterans and expect medical services, from what I hear.

Connie Megel Long
Connie Megel Long

Yes, it's just a matter of time before its passed at a federal level.


Thanks and blessings to the wonderful Brian Vicente,Mason Tvert & Ms Shaleen have helped change the world. Please put the petal to the metal these next few years.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

So now that lyin' Brian Vicente has dropped the festering turd A64 into the Colorado Constitution, he's off to find other fools and tools stupid enough to implement similar bogus, ineffective and dysfunctional scams in other states?

Good Fucking Riddance!

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, you lying bald-headed fuck-knuckle.


THIS IS NOT JOURNILISM!!! This is an advertisment for a law firm.  Michael what is the state doing with this new Constitutional amendment?  And won´t we have to change the Constitution of Colorado, just like we did, if we really want to legalize cannabis? So, to legalize cannabis in Colorado, because you constantly said it was legalization, and becasue you are a poor journilist, we will have to gather 86,000 more signatures and vote on legalization again in a general election.  But hey 1oz scraps that will stand just like Medical Marijuana was unconstitutionally regulated away, did you report on the blue sky rulling?  Keep telling your self Westword, you have journilists and are a real source of information, I am sure if you say it enough it will come true. The Campagin to Regulate Marijuana Like Alochol, except we are going to regulate it like Medical Marijuana.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen will we fill those prison beds? You can't expect the marginally-educated and under-paid correctional officers staffing most of our 30+ prisons to actually guard the really bad guys do you? We could actually have to close a prison or two (gasp) and that's unacceptable. The frightening thing is where will they get the bodies to fill the space? You can bet they will.


Why waste time with the 'medical marijuana' Brian?  That shit was just stupid in Colorado.  Colorado used mmj as a stepping stone to real legalization which makes more sense because everyone can get legally high, not just patients.  'Medical marijuana' is dead in Colorado and shouldn't be promoted in other States.  Just go right to legalization which is what the people really want.  No one wants to go to a doctor, register with the State, etc.... Any worthwhile marijuana must come from capitalism, not non-profit.  There is no incentive to produce fine cannabis, and the general public don't but the 'medical marijuana' scam anymore.  Let's use our limited resources to legalize cannabis, not medical marijuana.


Doesn't this guy look like one of Patrick Sullivan's victims ?


If Vicente wrote this why is it that Massachusetts requires centers to be non-profit unlike our system?

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

Cololrado coincidentally was also the first state to repeal alcohol prohibition and then it spread to other states.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@charlottesodetani   "Did you know that there’s a station in Denver that only plays songs about dope?"

It's called Rap "music" ... been around for a while.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  ... the CDPHE can't stop them now ... they've been using under the "decriminalized" recreational statute that's been in place for 35+ years now.

Too bad that A64 throws ALL PTSD Veterans under the legal bus who happen to be under twenty one years old -- old enough to serve and get maimed for the country, but not worthy of ANY legal protections under A64 according to the scumbags who wrote, promoted and voted for it.

A64 = Epic Fail.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


*** Federal Grand Jury Digs Into Mendocino Marijuana Growers ***

Maybe it's the helicopters flying overhead from April to November, or maybe it's their cash crop. Whatever it is, marijuana growers love rumors. And a big one -- that the United States attorney had convened a grand jury, and was poking around state-legal medical cannabis operations, looking for crimes to prosecute -- has turned out to be true.

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed the Mendocino County sheriff, requesting all records related to the sheriff's defunct marijuana licensing program, according to the Ukiah Journal.

Growers paid the sheriff up to $6,500 to license and inspect their gardens, which were then marked as legal with zip ties. They also registered their address and their GPS coordinates, one grower told SF Weekly. All that information will soon be in the hands of United States Attorney Melinda Haag.

*** Government Regulation and Registration WORKS !! ***



It seems like the only folks who have a voice anymore are these marijuana lawyers. They get all the recognition even if they are doing wrong.


@CoreyDonahue I tend to think of Westword as entertainment with a hint of journalism.  It keeps the news entertaining I guess.  No matter what gets reported on pot anyways, the news can change in a day which is why there is so much to be written about involving cannabis.  Cannabis has brought out the best, brought out the worst, but most important brought us all together.  Let's all get high and have fun!


@tutonehcc Vicente has made all his money off MMJ, charging people to tell them what to do, then defending them when they do it. As far as he is concerned, MMJ is his roots and it's spreading, and he's got to cash in while he can. If he goes straight for legalization, he would be the first, we don't even have legalization after 12 years of MMJ. As for non-profits, they are capitalism at its finest. The trick is to create a "management" company, that can make a profit, to manage the non-profit. All the money the weed business makes, above overhead, is paid to the management company, so the business comes out at zero, and the managers come out rich. Many people who operate non-profits get paid extremely well. It's time for Vicente and Tvert to spread out now, the idea is to pretend they help people, while receiving corporate checks, and creating gray areas instead of legalization so they can still cash in. Vicente doesn't want weed legalized, that would put him out of work, he wants weed to seem less scary, so more high-rollers with the cash he demands take the risk, and he can charge for services before and after the bust, instead of just after, like most defense attorneys.

Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay The old canard is rehashed again. I think I've pointed out at least twice, on the age issue, that I agree with you. As for what we have for now, it is what it is, and my comment was not incorrect.

ASK a PTSD Veteran over 21 if he feels more free now, without the specter of a pot violation going onto his record...and no, I didn't vote for it, but I remember specifically pointing out that I'll maximize every new semblance of freedom that I can, and I will encourage others to do the same.

Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@tutonehcc @CoreyDonahue I'd consider it "socially tone-deaf" to slap Westword writers and editors in the face, given their ample coverage of cannabis issues, LONG before the Denver Compost dared to do so much as register a politically correct peep. Part of being a reputable news source is also daring to cover non-PC current events instead of insisting the fragile sensitivities of the public cannot handle it.



Well said!! The lawyers did that to me!

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