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Pennsylvania: Hundreds of Doctors Registering for Medical Cannabis Program

Pennsylvania Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In the past month, more than 100 physicians in the Keystone State, have signed up to be involved in the medical cannabis program, according to the Pennsylvania Health Department.

Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement that the physicians have taken the first step to becoming approved medical marijuana providers by completing a practitioner registry on the Health Department’s website.

"Many physicians treat these patients every day and understand the impact this medication could have on their treatment," Dr. Levine said. "Once these physicians register and complete the required continuing education, they can be approved to participate in the program."

Massachusetts: Governor Appoints Senator Flanagan to Cannabis Control Commission

Massachusetts.png

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker named state senator Jennifer L. Flanagan as the gubernatorial appointee to the five-member Cannabis Control Commission, the commission charged with regulating both the adult use and medical marijuana industries.

Oregon: Governor, State Police Superintendent Stand Up for Legal Cannabis

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Oregon Governor Kate Brown defended Oregon's cannabis regulations by publicly discrediting an Oregon State Police analysis which declared the state remains a top black market producer of cannabis.

Criticizing the analysis, Gov. Brown detailed steps the state has proactively taken to establish strict rules. Gov. Brown and Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said that draft report was invalid and had incorrect data and conclusions. Gov. Brown noted that she also recently signed into law legislation that makes it easier to prosecute the unlawful import and export of marijuana products.

U.S.: American Legion Calls on Feds to Increase Veterans’ Medical Cannabis Access

Cannabis

The new American Legion resolution, adopted at the organization’s national convention, builds off a similar measure it approved in 2016 calling on the federal government to reschedule cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Today, the largest military veterans organization in the country, with more than 2.4 million members, called on the Trump administration to allow government doctors the right to recommend medical cannabis through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.).

California: Dr. Bronner's CEO, David Bronner, Discusses Cannabis Opportunities

David Bronner Industrial Hemp Freedom Fighter

"Cannabis is my daily meditation and ally, keeping me tuned to my higher, deeper self and connected with loved ones and the world around me." - David Bronner, CEO Dr. Bronner's

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Dr. Bronner’s, a leading natural products company located in California, has been a pioneering force with a strong focus on hemp consumer awareness for decades. The company sees a socially conscious opportunity in cannabis.

In 2000, Dr. Bronner’s started using hemp seed oil in its body care products, ranking as one of the first companies to make such a move. The company now showcases soaps, lotions, balms and other personal care products under the USDA National Organic Program.

Wisconsin: Senator Invests in Canadian Cannabis Farm Creating Conflict of Interest

Sen. Frank Lasee, Profiteer

Earlier this year, when the state senator voted to expand access to medical cannabis in Wisconsin, he was doing so as an investor of a Canadian cannabis farm embroiled in turmoil

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 2016, Wisconsin State Senator Frank Lasee of De Pere, bought $5,000 to $50,000 in the stock of Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp, according to public disclosures reviewed this week.

Vermont: First Ever Vermont Hemp Festival to be Held at Burke Mountain on Sept 9

Vermont Hemp Festival

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The first-ever Vermont Hemp Festival is planned for Sept. 9 at Burke Mountain Resort in rural, remote Northeast Kingdom. Eli Harrington and Monica Donovan, co-founders of Heady Vermont, chose to have their inaugural hemp conference in the because Northeast Kingdom has hemp history.

Harrington said, “Heady Vermont covers everything from statehouse happenings to artists to investigative reporting and the identities of the individuals who are changing the face of Vermont’s cannabis culture.”

Kansas: 16-Year-Old Running for Governor, Plans to Legalize

Jack Bergeson on Kimmel

Jack Bergeson, 16, a Wichita high school student, is running for Kansas governor

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Even though he won’t be able to legally cast a vote, Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old from Wichita, is running for Governor of Kansas in 2018. His political platform includes legalizing marijuana for social use.

“Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one,” said Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state’s office. “So there’s seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing.”

New York: Department of Health Proposes Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program

NewYorkMedicalMarijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This month, the New York Department of Health announced the issuance of new proposed regulations that would make changes to the state’s medical cannabis program. The department would reduce some of the burdensome security requirements for registered organizations, shorten the length of the medical cannabis course certifying practitioners must take, and allow additional types of medical cannabis products to be sold, among other things.

New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, has been criticized by patient advocate groups as unnecessarily restrictive, and initial patient registration numbers were extremely low compared to other state medical cannabis programs.

California: Court Blocks Federal Prosecution of Cannabis Farmers

California Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court blocked federal prosecutors from moving forward with a conspiracy case against a duo of Northern California cannabis cultivators because the pair was determined to be complying with California medical cannabis laws.

Sonny Moore and Anthony Pisarski, both Humboldt County farmers, plead guilty to federal allegations but sought an evidentiary hearing based on legislation that prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from cracking down on cannabis suspects who are otherwise following their state laws.

The 2014 Rohrabacher-Farr amendment is a budget rider, co-authored by California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher which prevents enforcement and prosecution in medical cannabis states by halting federal funding for such projects.

Texas: Congressman Hosts Public Hearing on Reducing Penalties for Cannabis

Texas

HB 334, which was introduced in the special legislative session, would replace criminal penalties for low-level cannabis possession with a civil citation

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Wednesday, Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Joe Moody held a public hearing to discuss reducing state cannabis possession penalties to support HB 334, which Rep. Moody introduced in the special legislative session in July.

U.S.: Congressmen Urge AG Sessions to Reconsider DOJ Policies on Asset Forfeiture

U.S.: Congressmen Urge AG Sessions to Reconsider DOJ Policies on Asset Forfeiture

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On August 4, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) sent the following letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to express concerns and objections to his proposal to expand the Department of Justice’s civil asset forfeiture program. The letter also urges AG Sessions to reconsider his newly-announced policies.

Washington: Governor Inslee Gives Statement on AG Sessions’ Reefer Madness

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On July 24, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated that “Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a crime.” The AG singled out Washington state and said it was not following the law and fueling a war.

Minnesota: PTSD Patients Allowed to Obtain Medicinal Cannabis

Minnesota

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Minnesota residents who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are permitted to buy medical cannabis from the state’s dispensaries, as of August 1st, under the state's medical marijuana program.

In 2016, Minnesota approved PTSD as a qualifying condition, but patients weren’t permitted to obtain medical cannabis to treat their disorder until August 1st.

Only 105 patients with PTSD had started or completed the registration process in the month leading up to legal sales, despite the addition of the illness to Minnesota’s list of qualifying conditions, according to state data.

Michigan: Proposal to Legalize Cannabis on Pace to Make 2018 Ballot

Michigan Cannabis 2018

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for recreational use in Michigan is gaining momentum as the group raises more money and claims to have gathered more than half of the signatures needed to put the issue before voters in 2018.

The proposed law would decriminalize the possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana in public and allow for up 12 plants to be grown per household.

U.S.: Congresswoman Introduces Bill Allowing States to Effectively Regulate Cannabis

US House of Representatives

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized some form of cannabis and more are expected to vote on legalization in 2018. Yet, cannabis possession or use for any purpose is still prohibited under the federal Controlled Substances Act, leaving every participant in the state markets — including cancer patients — at risk of prosecution.

On July 28, Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-WA) reintroduced the State Marijuana And Regulatory Tolerance (SMART) Enforcement Act (H.R. 3534) to protect medical patients, recreational users and small businesses in states that have legalized and regulated cannabis from being prosecuted now or in the future.

Ohio: Former NFL Players, Troy Smith, Eric Metcalf, Look to Open Cannabis Dispensary

Smith - Metcalf

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Former NFL players Troy Smith and Eric Metcalf are pursuing one of the 60 dispensary licenses that Ohio will be issuing later this year. Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner who was a fifth-round pick of the Ravens, has said that head trauma he suffered while playing football is one reason he’s involved in cannabis dispensaries.

"Sports is a great thing to watch when you're snacking on chicken wings, but it's dead serious. We need to pay more attention to it and be more delicate," Smith said, adding that he is certain medical cannabis can be helpful to people with brain injuries.

Illinois: Cards Against Humanity Donates $70K To Legalize Cannabis

Cards Against Humanity

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Cards Against Humanity, a popular adult-themed party card game company out of Chicago, is putting some cash behind efforts to legalize recreational cannabis use in Illinois.

To date, Cards for Humanity has donated $70,000 to the Marijuana Policy Project’s (MPP) efforts to legalize cannabis in Illinois.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D), Sponsor of a bill to regulate cannabis for adult use, is a fan of the card game.

New York: Dept of Health Adds Organizations to Medical Marijuana Program

New York Cannabis - Times Union

As of August 1, 2017, there are 25,736 certified patients and 1,139 registered practitioners participating in the program and the number of certified patients has increased by 10,744 or 72 percent since the addition of chronic pain in late March

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The New York State Department of Health yesterday announced that it has authorized five additional registered organizations to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana in New York State, an initiative aimed at improving patient access and the geographic distribution of dispensing facilities across the state. The newly approved organizations are Citiva Medical, Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, New York Canna, PalliaTech NY and Valley Agriceuticals.

U.S.: Attorney General Sessions Seeking to Revive D.A.R.E. Program

Jeff Sessions D.A.R.E.

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is advocating to reinstate the D.A.R.E. program, an ineffective anti-drug curriculum launched in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department during the Reagan administration.

"Marijuana laws in America are broken," said Sen. Cory Booker, reintroducing a bill that would let some state cannabis laws supersede federal prohibition.

"D.A.R.E. is, I think, as I indicated, the best remembered anti-drug program today," AG Sessions said while speaking at the Drug Abuse Resistance Education International Training Conference in Texas earlier this month. "In recent years, people have not paid much attention to that message, but they are ready to hear it again."

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