Have a Heart Compassion Care shares those foundations and has joined Team Compassion in an effort to reconnect low-income patients with serious illnesses with access to medicinal cannabis - at no cost!
While the passing of state regulations in California did not intend to leave medical cannabis patients in this situation, they impose taxes on cannabis products, even if the product is to be donated at no cost. Under current law, compassionate-care cannabis providers face thousands of dollars in taxes for the cannabis they distribute free of charge. Many compassionate-care programs have been forced to close, the ones who continue their programs are faced with very significant financial costs. This leaves low income and terminal patients in situations where they may have to choose between buying food, or buying medicine.
SB-34, or The Compassion Cannabis Tax bill (formerly SB-829), is a bill being reintroduced in California that would better enable non-profits and licensed retail outlets to donate free medicinal cannabis to patients in need by revising the taxes on donated cannabis products while still being tracked and traced.
Team Compassion was started by Josef Airone, who is also the founder of one of San Francisco’s longest running compassionate-care nonprofits, Sweetleaf Collective. Sweetleaf has helped over 150 patients and donated over 100 pounds of cannabis to medical cannabis patients in California since 1996. They have recently been forced to postpone their services under the current tax structure, which could make them liable for $50,000 - $100,000 in taxes for donated product that they receive no compensation for. Josef and co-authors of the bill: Senator Scott Wiener (11th Senate District, San Francisco & San Mateo), and Nancy Skinner (9th Senate District, East Bay) are spearheading SB-34.
California was the first state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 with Prop. 215. Without this legislation, many patients will be left behind. Let’s keep the spirit of compassionate access alive by showing support for SB-34!
Click the links below to read more about SB-34 and Sweetleaf Collective:
California Senate Bill 34 - Cannabis Donations