If passed, SB 829 would exempt qualifying compassionate care programs from state cultivation and excise taxes.
September 25th, 2018 (San Francisco, CA) – SB 829, a bill with overwhelming support from politicians and voters, is currently on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. It is uncertain if he will sign it. He has until the end of the week to make it law. This bill will remove all taxes to free medical cannabis given away to low income terminally ill Californians.
Sweetleaf Collective is a donation based charity organization that has been providing free medical cannabis to HIV/AIDS and Cancer patients in California, San Francisco and Los Angeles, since medical cannabis became legal in 1996. However, due to an oversight in how Proposition 64 was drafted, legalizing adult-use cannabis on January 1, 2018, Sweetleaf and other compassionate care programs serving medical cannabis patients are now being forced to pay high taxes on a product that is neither bought nor sold.
This has effectively crippled numerous donation programs leading to mass closures, cutting the flow of free medical cannabis to 1000’s of financially disadvantaged individuals with medical illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, and other life-threatening conditions. This had led Sweetleaf Collective to partner with other compassion projects to fix the issues limiting access of compassionate cannabis to low-income Californians.
Sweetleaf is leading a social media campaign urging governor Jerry Brown to sign SB 829 into law because lives are on the line. Find Sweetleaf on Instagram @sweetleafbayarea.
“These new laws make no distinction between commercial (for sale) and non-commercial (free to those in need) cannabis. Free cannabis that is given away is being taxed like it is being sold. Some people have chosen to work outside of the law to continue providing cannabis to patients without a permit. People are calling this black market philanthropy. Some groups like Sweetleaf have created a supply chain within the regulated market using permit holders who support compassionate cannabis for legally licensed patients.” – Joe Airone, Founder of Sweetleaf Collective
Sweetleaf believes the association of compassion projects working on this bill has been incredibly dynamic, creating positive momentum. Active Veteran’s groups have personally spoken with many of the politicians involved in these committees. Originally California state Republicans had stated that they would vote no on this bill, but after veteran’s groups like Operation EVAC with Ryan Miller and Weed for Warriors with Sean Kiernan met with them, there was a change in perception as to the importance of medical marijuana use. Fortunately most of the Republican assemblyman were veterans themselves and now understand that this is not a “Republicans voting no on a cannabis” issue, but a “Veterans voting yes for a Veterans’” issue.
The bill needs to be signed this month, which means there isn’t much time left. This issue is incredibly important to patients all across the state of California, and if passed, terminally ill people will once again be able to receive free cannabis. This can help reduce suicide rates among Veterans suffering from PTSD, reduce deaths among children suffering from epilepsy, help cancer patients, and many more financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions
Join in and support SB 829!
About Sweatleaf Collective
The Sweetleaf Collective began in 1996 in San Francisco, California, the birthplace of medical marijuana and the cannabis compassion movement. When they began, Sweetleaf provided cannabis to 5 AIDS patients. Now they provide free medical cannabis to more than 150 low income terminally ill patients. Sweetleaf remains committed to providing compassionate access to undeserved communities. Sweetleaf delivered cannabis to these patients homes by bicycle, as many of them have mobility issues and are housebound.