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Nevada: Information Session Set For Seniors and Veterans on Medical Marijuana

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The Grove’s Medical Director Dr. Sue Sisley, nationally recognized cannabis expert, discusses treating ailments & diseases with medical cannabis

Dr. Sue Sisley, renowned medical cannabis researcher and expert, will lead an information session on medical cannabis and its potential for treating a variety of ailments and diseases. This discussion will take place on Thursday, April 7, at the Pahrump Senior Center.

“Information will be presented to seniors and veterans who want to learn about the benefits of medical marijuana, especially if they have a condition that could make them eligible," Dr. Sue Sisley said. "We will also provide resources for obtaining your medical marijuana card.”

Dr. Sisley is the medical director for The Grove. She is also a member of the Nevada state medical marijuana commission (ILAC). Her 20-year work with veterans has been noted as groundbreaking. She is the SITE principal investigator for the only FDA-approved research using whole plant medical cannabis, which studies the risk and benefits of cannabis for combat veterans with treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Karma Holistic Health Foundation will be on site to walk applicants through the process of getting a medical marijuana card. This session is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Pahrump Senior Center
1370 W Basin Ave.
Pahrump, Nevada 89060

Nevada: Information Session on Science of Medical Marijuana Set For April 7

SueSisley[MattYork-AP]

Dr. Sue Sisley, renowned medical cannabis researcher and expert, will lead an information session on medical cannabis and its potential for treating a variety of ailments and diseases. This discussion will take place on Thursday, April 7 at the Pahrump Senior Center, Pahrump, Nevada.

“Information will be presented to seniors and veterans who want to learn about the benefits of medical marijuana, especially if they have a condition that could make them eligible," Dr. Sisley said. "We will also provide resources for obtaining your medical marijuana card.”

Dr. Sisley has been hired as the medical director for The Grove. She is also a member of the Nevada state medical marijuana commission (ILAC).

Her two decades of work with veterans has been noted as groundbreaking. Dr. Sisley is the SITE principal investigator for the only FDA –approved research using whole plant medical cannabis, which studies the risk and benefits of cannabis for combat veterans with treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Karma Holistic Health Foundation will be on site to walk applicants through the process of getting a medical marijuana card. This session is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7th 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Pahrump Senior Center - 1370 W Basin Ave, Pahrump, NV 89060

ABOUT THE GROVE

Global: Marijuana-Based Drug Found To Reduce Epileptic Seizures

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The first major clinical trial of an experimental drug derived from marijuana has shown that Epidiolex reduces epileptic seizures, the product's developer announced on Monday.

The shares of Big Pharma giant GW Pharmaceuticals more than doubled on Monday after the announcement.

GW said Epidiolex achieved the main goal of the trial, reducing convulsive seizures when compared with a placebo in patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare, severe form of epilepsy, reports Andrew Pollack at The New York Times.

If Epidiolex wins regulatory approval, as expected, it would be the first prescription drug that is extracted from marijuana. Marinol (Dronabinol), the THC capsules prescribed for nausea and appetite, use synthetic rather than plant-derived THC.

Epidiolex is a liquid containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis.

As many as one-third of the nearly 500,000 American children with epilepsy aren't sufficiently helped by existing Big Pharma drugs, according to GW. Parents of these children have, in desperation, tried medicinal cannabis extracts prepared by medical marijuana dispensaries.

U.S.: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Pushes Feds To Ease Restrictions On Marijuana Research

ElizabethWarren[AP-THCFinder]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to clear the roadblocks out of the way so that government-paid researchers can study marijuana -- and not just the negative side effects.

Warren is leading a group of eight Democratic senators who are urging federal officials to correct the "data shortfall" on potential health benefits of medicinal cannabis by making it easier to study the herb, reports Sarah Ferris at The Hill.

“It is important that we make a concerted effort to understand how this drug works and how it can best serve patients through appropriate methods of use and doses, like any other prescribed medicine,” wrote the Senators in a letter to government officials. The letter was sent to the heads of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy – all of which have some control over cannabis-related rules.

Since marijuana is still inexplicably classified as a Schedule I substance under federal law -- meaning it supposedly has no medical value and a high potential for abuse -- it remains difficult to study. Researchers are forced to go through multiple layers of approval to even test the stuff, and under current rules, it can only be grown at the University of Mississippi by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Global: One World Cannabis To Offer Alternative Treatment For Chronic Pain

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OWC Pharmaceutical Research Corp., an Israel-based developer of cannabinoid-based therapies targeting a variety of different indications, announced on Wednesday that it "is offering new and alternative hope to patients diagnosed with chronic pain."

The company's wholly owned subsidiary, One World Cannabis Ltd., has already filed two provisional patent applications with the USPTO related to the development of two unique formulations that include cannabis extracts and a new delivery system to treat fibromyalgia and migraines, and has begun researching and developing new cannabis-based therapies to help alleviate the suffering of patients experiencing enduring pain.

The news comes about after the FDA recently announced to increase existing heart attack and stroke warnings for both over-the-counter and prescription non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are typically used to treat chronic pain. The cannabis-based novel treatment employed by One World Cannabis could be an alternative to NSAIDs to treat long-lasting pain and fever from many different long- and short-term medical conditions.

In addition, the cannabis-based treatment will provide physicians, as well as patients, with the ability to control and administrate optimal dosage, thus offering an alternative to current delivery systems that are not acceptable to scientists and physicians, such as smoking marijuana, edibles and oil extracts with no substantial dosage control, according to OWC.

U.S.: Senators Tell Federal Agencies To Remove Barriers To Medical Marijuana Research

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FDA and NIDA officials express support for ending NIDA’s DEA-mandated monopoly on marijuana available for research purposes

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

At a Wednesday hearing, Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand pressed federal officials to eliminate political barriers that are preventing research on the potential medical benefits of marijuana. The hearing, “Cannabidiol: Barriers to Research and Potential Medical Benefits,” was held by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

Officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) echoed the Senators’ concerns and expressed support for removing barriers to research that have been created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

NIDA has a DEA-mandated monopoly on the supply of marijuana available for research purposes, which is grown at the University of Mississippi. Researchers have repeatedly criticized the DEA for refusing to license additional marijuana producers, which they say is preventing the study of marijuana’s medical benefits and the development of marijuana-based medicines.

They have also criticized the poor quality and low potency of the scant marijuana that is currently available, which they say further hinders meaningful research. A DEA administrative law judge ruled that licensing additional producers would be in the public interest, but the DEA has refused to follow the non-binding ruling.

Puerto Rico: Cannabis Treatment Helps 9-Year-Old Boy Speak His First Words

KalelSantiagoWithParentsAbielAndGladys[YahooParenting]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Kalel Santiago of Puerto Rico is just 9 years old, but he hasn't had an easy nine years. At just 10 months old, he was diagnosed with the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma, and he spent more than two years going through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Then he was diagnosed with severe, non-verbal autism.

"While he was in the hospital, we noticed he didn't speak at all and had some behavior that wasn't right, like hand flapping, and walking on his toes," said Abiel Gomez Santiago, Kalel's father, from their home in Aguada, reports Beth Greenfield at Yahoo Parenting. "But we waited until he was 3 and cancer-free to look at his behavior."

Abiel and his wife Gladys did a crash course in autism. They tried various therapies, and eventually happened upon a treatment that would change their lives: hemp oil, rich in cannabidiol (CBD), which has anecdotally been shown to dramatically ease symptoms of both epilepsy and autism.

They began giving their son twice daily doses of a CBD oral spray, and the results were startling -- Kalel started talking in just two days after a lifetime of silence.

“He surprised us in school by saying the vowels, A-E-I-O-U. It was the first time ever,” Abiel said. “You can’t imagine the emotion we had, hearing Kalel’s voice for the first time. It was amazing.

Alabama: FDA Gives Approval For Marijuana Oil Study

UAB(logo)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The federal Food and Drug Administration has given the University of Alabama at Birmingham the go-ahead to study the use of cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative, to treat seizures.

The university on Wednesday received FDA letters authorizing two studies, one for children and one for adults, according to UAB spokesman Bob Shepard, reports Kim Chandler at the Associated Press.

Parents of children with severe seizure disorders convinced the Alabama Legislature last year to pass a bill authorizing UAB's Department of Neurology to perform a study of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive component of marijuana.

Shepard said the FDA had requested some changes in the studies; those will go before a university review board next month, he said.

"It's hard to put in words the feelings you have as a dad with a daughter that could benefit from this," said Dustin Chandler. The legislation had become known as "Carly's Law" after Chandler's three-year-old daughter, who started having seizures at just eight weeks old.

Carly was eventually diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder CDKL5. Chandler, a police officer in Pelham, frequently appeared before the Legislature to advocate for the bill.

Wisconsin: Law Allowing Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil For Seizures Remains Unusable

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Two months after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into a law a measure allowing the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a marijuana derivative used to quell seizures without getting patients high, nobody has yet been able to access the medicine.

The bad situation is due at least in part because of obstacles foolishly written into the legislation at the last minute, reports Dana Ferguson at the Journal Sentinel.

"It is frustrating," said Amylynne Santiago Volker of the roadblocks between her nine-year-old son, Nicholas, and the experimental treatment. "It's there in paper, but we can't access it."

Unfortunately, Wisconsin's "CBD-only" law appears as useless as most of the rest passed recently by state legislatures who want to be seen as "doing something" in the face of overwhelming popular support for medicinal cannabis, without having the courage to pass an actual medical marijuana law which could help actual patients.

Gov. Walker on Friday told reporters he "wasn't sure" if his administration could do anything to free up access to CBD, but if more could be done through state legislation, Walker claimed he was "committed to working with lawmakers" to do so.

Pennsylvania: GOP Lawmakers Balk On CBD-Only Medical Marijuana Bill

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Parents in Pennsylvania who want to treat their children's seizures with a marijuana derivative were hopeful after Governor Tom Corbett announced last month he could support a medical study of cannabidiol (CBD). But the program can't begin until the state's House Republican majority supports the move -- and timid GOP party leaders are opposing it, despite the fact that legislatures in states as conservative as Alabama and Mississippi have approved similar legislation.

A majority of GOP members of the House still oppose such a study, according to a spokesman,and don't support authorizing Gov. Corbett's plan to allow children with intractable seizures who are not helped by standard therapies to have supervised access to cannabidiol (CBD), a component of marijuana that does not produce a high, reports Karen Langley at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Republican state representatives said they believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- not the states -- should decide what is medicine, according to spokesman Steve Miskin, putting the lie to GOP claims of supporting "states' rights."

"That is where the majority of members of our caucus stand," claimed the apparently cold-hearted Miskin. "They do not believe the state should approve pot -- marijuana -- of any sort. At this moment there are no plans to move any type of legislation to legalize the use of any derivative of marijuana."

U.S.: Sativex Gets Fast Track Designation From FDA For Cancer Pain

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Big Pharma continues its moves to take over the medical marijuana industry. GW Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom, on Monday announced the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to Sativex, an oral spray containing THC and CBD in a 50:50 ratio, for the treatment of pain in patients with advanced cancer.

Sativex is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for this indication, according to a press release from GW Pharmaceuticals.

The FDA's Fast Track program facilitates the developmental process for drugs intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that have the potential to address "unmet medical needs." A drug program with Fast Track status is given greater access to the FDA for the purpose of speeding up the drug's development, review and potential approval.

"The award of Fast Track designation for Sativex represents important recognition by the FDA of the potential of this medicine to address significant unmet needs in the treatment of cancer pain," said Justin Gover, CEO at GW Pharmaceuticals. "Sativex is the only non-opioid treatment currently in Phase 3 development for patients who do not respond to, or experience negative side effects with opioid medications.

"We are fully committed to delivering the first FDA-approved cannabinoid medicine for these patients who currently have nowhere else to turn," Gover said.

GW is developing Sativex in the U.S. in collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Wisconsin: Senate To Vote On Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil Bill For Children With Seizures

WisconsinRep.RobbKahl

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Wisconsin Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill which would legalize a marijuana byproduct, cannabidiol oil, that doesn't make users high, but may relive seizure disorders in children.

The CBD oil bill falls well short of legislation to legalize medical marijuana, reports Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, legalizing only one cannabinoid from the plant. The Wisconsin Assembly last week approved the CBD bill on a voice vote, sending it to the Senate.

The bill was moved out of the Senate Health Committee on Thursday, where Chairwoman Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) tried to block it from being voted upon because she opposes the legislation. The proposal was instead placed in a committee where it could be scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate's last session on Tuesday, April 1.

The bill would go to the desk of Republican Gov. Scott Walker if passed by the Senate.

Rep. Robb Kahl (D-Monona) sponsored the CBD oil bill after a constituent, Amylynne Volker, told him about her son, Nic, who has about 100 epileptic seizures per day. "God bless them!" Volker said, when she learned the measure is poised to move forward.

Volker said the good news was a great way to celebrate her birthday on Friday. "It's pretty incredible and awesome," she said. "It's almost the best birthday present I could get." She said she already had a doctor in mind if the bill passes.

Kentucky: Lawmakers Advance Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil Bill

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill which would legalize the use of marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat seizures associated with severe forms of childhood epilepsy, unanimously passed a key committee in the Kentucky Legislature on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 124, which passed the Kentucky Senate last week, would allow children with severe seizures to be treated with CBD oil, a non-psychoactive marijuana extract, reports Mollie Reilly at The Huffington Post. Under the language of the measure, patients would be treated as part of FDA trials (which of course could introduce long bureaucratic delays into the process) or under the recommendation of state research hospitals.

The measure cleared the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee on a unanimous vote during Wednesday's hearing.

Rita Wooton, who said her four-year-old son Eli suffers from up to 40 seizures a day, was moved to tears by the bill's advancement. "When I started this roller coaster ride two months ago, I never thought this would be feasible for any of us," Wooton said, reports Theo Keiteh at WAVE. "We're just really super excited that this is coming here -- soon."

The bill now goes to the full House, where Democratic Speaker Greg Stumbo said it should have easy sailing.

Arizona: State Senator Blocks Federally Approved Medical Marijuana PTSD Study

AZSenKimberlyYeePhoenixRepublican

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The much-talked-about proposed federally approved study about using marijuana to treat military veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) made headlines when it got a green light from the federal FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. It even passed the Arizona House of Representatives (the study would be done at the University of Arizona). But one Arizona State Senator, Kimberly Yee, a Republican from Phoenix, has stopped the study in its tracks.

The study, which organizers say is aimed at veterans suffering from PTSD who have not been helped by other treatments, would not be funded with state tax money, but rather through the sale of medical marijuana cards, reports Steve Krafft at Fox 10 News.

Senator Yee, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, the recipient of the bill, had a hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday, but Yee said she would not let them consider the study.

Yee is ignoring the testimony of veterans like Ricard Pereyda, who served as a military policeman in Iraq and now suffers from PTSD. He says cannabis helps him cope with the disorder.

"There are a hundred scenarios in my head at any time and using cannabis quiets that; it allows me to go through my day being productive," Pereyda said.

U.S.: Federal Government Approves Medical Marijuana Research For PTSD

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana advocates won a big victory on Friday when the Obama Administration opened the way for a University of Arizona scientist to research whether cannabis can help military veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The move could lead to more studies into the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis.

Scientists have for years been frustrated by the federal government's intransigence when it comes to approving marijuana research -- unless the study is designed to find harms, rather than benefits, of cannabis. The Arizona study had long ago been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but under federal rules, such studies can only use federally grown marijuana from the University of Mississippi, report Evan Halper and Cindy Carcamo at The Los Angeles Times. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which oversees that pot farm, is hostile to any studies aimed at examining the benefits of cannabis; NIDA normally only funds studies to find its hazards.

"This is a great day," said Suzanne A. Sisley, the Arizona researcher, who is clinical assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona's medical school. She has been trying for three years now to get the study approved.

"The merits of a rigorous scientific trial have finally trumped politics," Sisley said. "We never relented."

New York: Top Health Official Says Medical Marijuana Plan Active Within A Year

NewYorkHealthCommissionerNiravShah

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New York's medical marijuana program will be functioning within a year, according to the state's top health official. However, it remains to be seen if his far-fetched predictions of a federal supply of cannabis will come true.

Health Commissioner Nirav Shah was grilled by legislators on Monday as part of a budget hearing on Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to use a little-known 1980 state law to allow a limited number of hospitals to provide marijuana to chronically ill patients, reports Jon Campbell at Lohud.com.

"My goal is to get this up and running as soon as possible, and using federal sources for product, we can get it up and running within a year," Shah said.

The plan has faced skepticism from lawmakers and activists who support medical marijuana, including Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) and Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), who sponsor a bill that would legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes and create a network for its distribution.

The 1980 law Gov. Cuomo plans to utilize allows New York to permit medical marijuana on a limited basis "for research purposes" and for it to be distributed through 20 hospitals.

Assemblyman Gottfried pressed Shah on the specifics of the research plan, which Shah claimed will focus on the therapeutic effects of cannabis on patients, and not on ways to grow or distribute marijuana.

New York: Gov. Cuomo Proposes Unworkable Medical Marijuana Program

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Marijuana Policy Project urges Gov. Cuomo and state legislators to adopt pending legislation that would actually allow people with serious illnesses to access medical marijuana

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday during his State of the State address that he will be issuing an executive order to initiate the establishment of a medical marijuana program in New York. The proposal will likely be unworkable because it is expected to rely on federal agencies’ cooperation and/or hospitals violating federal law, according to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the nation's largest marijuana policy organization.

"We're pleased to learn Gov. Cuomo is among the 77 percent of Americans who recognize the legitimate medical benefits of marijuana," said MPP Director of State Policies Karen O'Keefe. "Unfortunately, his plan will not allow New Yorkers to access or use medical marijuana anytime soon."

"Twenty states and our nation's capital have enacted laws that protect patients from arrest and provide them with a legal means of acquiring their medicine," O'Keefe said. "If the governor and legislators agree that medical marijuana can help people battle serious illnesses, they can and should adopt a system that will actually allow them to use it."

Arizona: Marijuana Research Allowed At Universities... If Feds Approve

(Graphic: All Hat No Cattle)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Without comment, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into law a bill to allow possession of marijuana on college and university campuses for research. The measure, which takes effect later this year, was made necessary by a bill which Brewer signed last year, officially disallowing pot on campuses (yeah, good luck enforcing that one).

The bill Brewer signed on Tuesday, while leaving intact the ban on marijuana on college campuses, creates an exception for research approved by the FDA, the DEA or the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

And there's the bottleneck. Don't hold your breath, because the DEA never approves research requests, and the NIDA will only approve research designed from the outset to prove the bad effects of marijuana; no medical marijuana research is funded through that notoriously anti-pot agency.

Brewer's spokesman, Matthew Benson, claimed the governor never intended to interfere with legitimate research when she signed the earlier bill, reports Howard Fischer at Capitol Media Services.

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