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Accelarate 2018 Convenes Govtech Thought Leaders to Assist State and Local Governments


  The annual event paints a new vision for Governing the Future and seeks to assist agencies and departments with next generation tools and tactics. The rapid shift in technology, regulation and an upsurge in urban populations are presenting governments with unprecedented challenges. Advances in technology have heightened citizen expectations for 24/7 support and private sector speed. The sharing economy and the legalization of cannabis have stirred new licensing and permitting obstacles; while at the same time, denser neighborhoods have increased pressure on departments to deliver the same services on a larger scale. To aid governments with these and other challenges Accelarate, Accela’s annual govtech conference , will converge innovators from across the public sector in Atlanta on Oct. 10-13 to provide insights and strategies under the theme of Governing the Future. Keynotes, workshops, panel sessions and networking opportunities will explore the current issues affecting government and how leaders can leverage digital...
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Michigan Issues First Medical Marijuana Licenses

medical marijuana
State leadership used Accela's Civic Solution for Cannabis to process the applications This month Michigan achieved a major milestone in cannabis regulation with the release of its first set of medical marijuana licenses. On July 12 the state's Medical "Marihuana" Licensing Board granted licenses to four large grow and transport operations based in Chesaning, Ann Arbor and Lansing. Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) used Accela's Cannabis Solution to process the requests and the hundreds that are still more under review. The state estimates that medical marijuana will become a $700 million industry and a driver of economic development. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press Andrew Brisbo, the director of LARA's Bureau of Medical "Marihuana" Regulation said that the state is eager to begin the next phase of the regulatory process, issuing licenses to additional growers and testing facilities. Issuing licenses to the testing facilities represents...
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County Leaders Uncover New Opportunities for Food Recovery



Local leaders are showing how technology and collaboration can fight hunger and reduce waste The challenge I’m about to describe is not new. In fact, your own county may be attacking this matter already, and there are organizations like ReFED, the Food Recovery Network, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the EPA and others that are heavily invested in solving the issue with education and science-based recommendations. For this, we are grateful and acknowledge these good works, and yet, acknowledge the matter is still a proving-ground for local leadership. WASTE FOOD The challenge I refer to is food waste, and the problem of food waste streams. A waste stream is a specific category of waste, defined by its sources and its terminus. One waste stream of note is food. It originates in our homes, schools, groceries, and restaurants. It too often ends up in a landfill. According to the USDA, approximately...
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How to Answer the Hard Questions on Cannabis Control


Greg Felix, Accela’s vice president of strategic solutions, talks about tips and trends for cannabis regulation at CannaWest 2018 There are a lot of unknowns in the emerging world of legalized marijuana as governments try to identify their biggest challenges, decide state and local roles, and understand how technology will support regulation. To provide insights on these pressing questions, on Thursday Accela’s Vice President of Strategic Solutions Greg Felix spoke to the Stratton Report at  CannaWest, the annual conference dedicated to solutions in cannabis compliance, testing and product safety. With Accela’s pioneering efforts to enable cannabis permitting and licensing in California, Colorado and Michigan, Felix offered insights on key issues affecting the industry and how governments might overcome obstacles. “The greatest challenge right now is for governments to address this rapidly expanding legalization of cannabis across the country,” Felix told the Stratton Report. “This is causing government agencies to scramble...
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Agencies Advance Cybersecurity, Recruitment and Cost Savings with SaaS


  Accela and Microsoft define key benefits of SaaS and how it can revitalize and safeguard citizen services Technology should solve government problems, not create them.   That was the overarching message of Accela’s Chief Product Officer Troy Coggiola and Microsoft’s Executive Director for State and Local Government Solutions Kim Nelson as they spoke about the potential to cut costs, improve cybersecurity and attract talent through  Software-as-a-Service  (SaaS) solutions.    The two spoke at Accela’s June 13 webinar,  Why SaaS has Become the Standard for Government Agencies , that spotlighted some of the underlying forces driving the public sector to the cloud and how cities and local agencies can use SaaS solutions to rethink IT management and enable modern, high performance applications for residents.   “Our [government customers] repeatedly reiterate their goal to serve their citizens and improve their communities, helping their communities thrive,” Coggiola said. “The one thing that they do not typically talk about is the desire to manage a server farm, or data center, or do upgrades, or develop security practices, or all the other bits and pieces that come along with keeping software up and running in a...
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Michigan Ready to Issue First Medical Marijuana Licenses


The state’s more than 500 digitally processed applications act as a model for modernization and revenue generation With the first medical marijuana licenses expected for release on July 12 and 546 applications already processed, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced Wednesday that licenses can be distributed as soon as approval is given by the state’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board. LARA’s Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation used technology found in Accela’s Civic Application for Cannabis Regulation to process hundreds of medical marijuana license applications that were submitted since December 2017. The bureau’s Director Andrew Brisbo said the licensing system aided the state to handle the demands of applicants in an uncharted and developing industry. “Accela offered an out-of-the-box solution for the essential back office and customer-facing functions we knew were essential for a successful launch,” Brisbo said. “The system allowed us to be creative in our approach to...
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