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3 Strategies for Regulating Cannabis


Denver’s former licensing expert Judy Steele highlights key ingredients in the city’s successful cannabis regulation program   (Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Flickr) With 30 states that have legalized medical marijuana, and eight of those that have legalized recreational marijuana, Denver’s former cannabis licensing expert is offering authorities guidance to regulate the advancing industry.     Judy Steele, the former deputy director of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses (DEL), shared three strategies that helped Denver become the first U.S. city in 2013 to successfully regulate recreational marijuana. Steele, who is now Accela’s director of Cannabis Regulation, outlined the strategies in  a webinar last September  with the intent to assist localities that are launching marijuana licensing programs or improving their current cannabis licensing strategies.   When Colorado voters approved an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Steele said it required the city to pioneer new regulatory procedures, embrace an unprecedented level of collaboration and to deploy a new set of digital tools. Her hope, she said, is for other cities and local officials to benefit from  Denver’s efforts .   1. Align  L ocal  P rocedures with  S tate  P olicy...
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Building Capacity Gadget by Gadget


  This article was originally published in the  June issue of the Journal of Environmental Health , a publication produced by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).  Editor’s Note:  A need exists within environmental health agencies to increase their capacity to perform in an environment of diminishing resources. With limited resources and increasing demands, we need to seek new approaches to the business of environmental health. Acutely aware of these challenges, NEHA has initiated a partnership with Accela called Building Capacity. Building Capacity is a joint effort to educate, reinforce, and build upon successes within the profession, using technology to improve efficiency and extend the impact of environmental health agencies. The Journal is pleased to publish this bi-monthly column from Accela that will provide readers with insight into the Building Capacity initiative, as well as be a conduit for fostering the capacity building of environmental health agencies across the country. The...
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SaaS Means Security


SaaS Means Security Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are touted for their affordability, their propensity to modernize and their adaptability to scale services quickly throughout an enterprise. Yet a virtue that’s often overlooked is the power of SaaS to safeguard critical systems and data. In government this is especially true. City and state IT systems often fall into the crosshairs of hackers, and with tight budgets and limited staff, cybersecurity efforts can be daunting for agencies. This is one reason why many state chief information officers are migrating their services into SaaS services, like Accela’s Civic Platform. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) reported in its 2017 State CIO Survey that more than 80 percent of CIOs said they had migrated, or were in the process of migrating, legacy applications to the cloud. A full 63 percent of these respondents observed significant gains in cybersecurity. Further,...
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Building Safety Month: A Cause for Celebrating Community Development


This month, we celebrate Community Development agencies, who oversee the building and permitting codes that save lives and businesses. Accela software helps them do it . May is Building Safety Month , a public awareness campaign driven by the International Code Council (ICC) to highlight the different elements needed to build safe and sustainable structures.  As the ICC says, building codes save lives. We spend a significant amount of our lives inside structures, so having a safe place to live, work and play is crucial. Building codes, and the local Community Development municipal agencies that oversee and implement them, protect citizens and businesses from many dangerous events like fire, and extreme storms as well as from less visible dangers like indoor air pollution caused by dust, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), mold, formaldehyde and more. 1  They can also ensure that our offices, stores and homes are optimized for efficiency –...
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Herfie is Back and Springbrook is Standing Tall



Herfie is Back and Springbrook is Standing Tall By: Max Schnoedl This week, we shared some exciting news  with the local government financial community – we’re bringing Springbrook back, along with its beloved mascot, Herfie the cow. We believe that our 900 local government customers, together with many more of their peers across the US, should benefit from a modern, high-performance cloud offering to manage their finances, payroll and utility billing efficiently from coast to coast. We also believe in citizen-centric government, where communities are empowered by added financial transparency and can offer a seamless payment experience to their constituencies, in line with what they might expect from their everyday interactions with leading consumer brands. Having had the pleasure of working with our talented team at Springbrook for years, I am thrilled to now help implement new initiatives to engage more intimately with our customers, and invest to grow further...
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Expanding Cannabis Policy and Platforms to Support a Growing Industry






The last several election cycles have demonstrated quite a shift in American politics, particularly when it comes to cannabis regulation. Voters in 29 states have legalized medical cannabis, and nine of those states have legalized recreational cannabis use for adults as well. There has been plenty of activity at the federal level, which sometimes conflicts with state and local actions. The most recent spending bill keeps federal protection prohibiting Congress from using federal funds to prevent states from developing their own marijuana markets.                   State and local governments considering their regulatory approach should note that—although still something of a gray area—the law may be evolving in order to support taxation and reinforce programs of public safety, ethical business ownership and fair competition. A Coordinated Approach to Cannabis Regulation   There are variations in how this may be done—we typically see an integrated, multi-departmental process involving inspection and permitting by such agencies...
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