medical marijuana

Oregon: Legislature Forcing OMMP Into OLCC And Will Make Patients Pay For It

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

SB 1057's latest amendments are on the schedule for another Public Hearing and Possible Work Session for the Tuesday, April 25th meeting of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legalization.

The Oregon Cannabis Connection reports that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission shall use the system developed and maintained for OLCC licensees:

1. To track the production, processing and transfer of cannabis by Oregon Medical Marijuana Program growers.

2. OLCC may conduct inspections and investigations, including inspections and investigations of OMMP grow sites.

This means that the OLCC will be in the backyard of every OMMP grower that is growing for more than two patients.

Patient-growers will be required to pay $2,000 annually to grow their own medicine at addresses where more than 12 plants are grown.

To protest these changes, contact the Joint Committee members. Their information can be found at: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Committees/JMR/Overview

West Virginia: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed the state's medical marijuana program into law yesterday, after giving a speech in which he said that "it took real bravery” on behalf of Del. Michael Folk “to stand up and to say, ‘No, the people – the people – need to be heard.’”

Folk, a Republican, pushed the West Virginia Cannabis Act to a full House floor vote when it appeared lawmakers were going to kick the bill to two committees. Supporters said the double committee hearing would have been a certain “death sentence” for the measure.

“Lo and behold the people did get heard,” Justice, a Democrat, said during the signing ceremony. “You see, I’m a real believer that if you’re going to be a legislator you can’t let your religious, or your racial, or whatever beliefs that you have transcend beyond you. You have to first and foremost rise above that and you’ve got to be a legislator first and foremost.”

“How can you turn your back on a loved one that was really suffering – and we had a vehicle to be able to help – and we just turned our back and said ‘nope, we’re not gonna do that’,” he said. “Well, to me, that’s not listening to the wise and it’s not being charitable and caring like we ought to be.”

Patient cards are expected to begin being issued on July 1, 2019. West Virginia is the 29th state to legalize medical cannabis.

Oklahoma: Governor Signs Bill Changing 'Marijuana' Definition To Exclude Fed-approved CBD

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has signed a bill removing any federally approved CBD product or drug from the state’s definition of “marijuana.” The move does little in helping to provide access to CBD therapies since no CBD-based drug or product has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

State Rep. Jon Echols said the measure “is the next logical step to expanding the state’s highly successful CBD program” and has helped “hundreds if not thousands” of Oklahoma citizens.

“In the history of the program there have been no reported incidents of abuse,” the Republican said in the report. “This non-intoxicating substance has literally changed the lives of many Oklahomans.”

“This makes it clear that if the FDA does approve a cannabidiol drug for use for medical treatment, that it would be legal,” Echols said.

Florida: Smoking Marijuana Not Allowed Under New Medical Marijuana Law

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Florida's House and Senate are making changes to the state's medical marijuana constitutional amendment enacted by voters last November, but neither body has any intention of allowing smoking, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Michael Minardi, a lawyer and medical marijuana advocate in Florida, said that the legislature ignores the wishes of the more-than 70 percent of voters who approved the law during the General Election.

“These are veterans. These are the elderly. These are seniors, and people with ALS or PTSD, who benefit [from] and use cannabis in a smoked form,” he said in the report. “What you are doing here, by creating this legislation when 71 percent of the people support it, is going against their will.”

State Sen. Rob Bradley, a Republican who has supported marijuana legislation in the state, said smoking provisions will not be included in the final version of the bill.

“There is agreement between the majority of the House and Senate that the smoking of cannabis is not an act that is consistent with a healthy life and not consistent with consuming medicine,” he said.

House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, who has proposed banning marijuana-infused edibles, called the current bill “a work in progress.”

Iowa: Legal Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Iowa Senate

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A bill legalizing medical marijuana for several ailments passed Monday night by the Iowa Senate, although it's not expected to win approval in the Iowa House.

Senate File 506 was passed on a 45-5 vote. It would allow patients with a variety of medical conditions to receive a medical marijuana card after getting written approval from a doctor. The card would enable patients to get medical marijuana from a dispensary in Iowa.

Sen. Thomas Greene, R-Burlington, a pharmacist who was the bill's floor manager, urged support for the measure. An estimated 12,555 Iowans have medical conditions that could benefit from medical marijuana, he said.

"We want Iowans to know we care about them here," Greene said.

Medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana would include: cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, AIDS or HIV, hepatitis C, glaucoma, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, any terminal illness subject to certain conditions, intractable pain, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, complex regional pain syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and any other chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its medical treatment approved by state officials.

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh To Host Big Medical Marijuana Conference

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Sponsors who are preparing for next weekend's World Medical Marijuana Conference and Expo are expecting about 1,500 attendees from across the U.S. for the Friday-Saturday event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, in downtown Pittsburgh.

The conference will feature former NFL players Ricky Williams and Marvin Washington, plus talks by medical, business and legal experts. Workshops on the lengthy schedule range from classes on cooking with cannabis to a look at how technology will shape medical marijuana’s future.

“This conference is for anybody interested in medical cannabis. They could be an investor, someone interested in a new career, a provider or a patient,” said Melonie Kotchey, chief operating officer and co-founder of Compassionate Certification Centers along with Armstrong County physician Bryan Doner.

Compassionate Certification Centers is a medical marijuana marketing and consulting company based in Delaware but whose principals are in southwest Pennsylvania. It currently works with one medical practice in Miami with plans to add three more outside Pennsylvania in coming months.

Admission prices for the World Medical Marijuana Conference range from $50 for an adult exhibit hall only ticket each day up to $698 for Saturday's exhibit hall, workshops and CME credits. Children’s tickets are $10.

Arizona: Appelate Court Strikes Medical Marijuana Campus Ban

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 law amending the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) to prohibit the use of medical marijuana on college campuses is unconstitutional. NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono.

"By enacting A.R.S. § 15-108(A), the Legislature modified the AMMA to re-criminalize cardholders' marijuana possession on college and university campuses," the Court opined. "The statute does not further the purposes of the AMMA; to the contrary, it eliminates some of its protections."

The Court argued that campuses and universities possess the authority to enact their own individual policies restricting medical marijuana use, but that lawmakers cannot do so.

The decision overturned a medical-marijuana cardholder's 2015 felony conviction for the possession of a small quantity of marijuana while attending Arizona State University.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office has not yet publicly stated whether they intend to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Ohio: Madeira Says 'No' To Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The city of Madeira, Ohio - a suburb of Cincinnati - has decided to allow no medical marijuana dispensaries within its limits.

Madeira City Council passed an ordinance by emergency to prohibit the sale of medical marijuana within the city at its April 10 meeting.

“Medical marijuana may or may not have its merits but I don’t think Madeira would be ... appropriate for a dispensary to be located,” said Councilman Scott Gehring.

The ordinance goes into effect immediately since Council passed it by emergency. State laws regulating medical marijuana in Ohio go into effect on September 8.

A moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries was approved within the city in August. Law Director Brian Fox advised against continuing the moratorium and drafted the legislation for the prohibition. He also drafted legislation to limit dispensaries to certain areas.

“I am not outright opposed to medical marijuana dispensaries and the possibility that we might have residents that would very much appreciate and value having close access to that. But it seems that there are still a lot of unknowns in how this will be enforced and what that would mean,” Councilwoman Nancy Spencer said.

Mayor Melisa Adrien said she would like to see how dispensaries operate in other communities before allowing them in Madeira.

Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana Rules For Doctors Released

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Pennsylvania has issued proposed rules for doctors practicing under the state's medical marijuana program, which is expected to start up in 2018. The program will cover 17 chronic conditions, allowing cannabis to be dispensed as pills, oils, a liquid that can be vaporized, and topicals.

The rules require physicians to complete a four-hour training program on medical marijuana but they cannot advertise their ability to make recommendations. The rules are designed to dissuade doctors from becoming “stereotypical pot docs” that will issue recommendations to almost anyone for a set price, according to Becky Dansky, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Participating doctors must also sign up to the state registry, which could limit participation.

“Asking them to put their name on a list increases the odds of those doctors not participating,” she said in the report. “And when doctors don’t participate, patient access is hindered. A better option would have been to require registration of doctors who are submitting a significant number of recommendations per month.”

The Department of Health is seeking comments on the proposals.

Maryland: House Fails To Pass Amended Bill Adding Five Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A plan to add five medical marijuana cultivation licenses in Maryland was defeated in the House of Delegates after Republican lawmakers delayed the vote right up until midnight, which marked the official end of the legislative session. The measure was pushed by Legislative Black Caucus chairwoman Del. Cheryl Glenn as part of her efforts to create equity in the state’s medical marijuana licensing program.

The bill was passed last week, but was returned to lawmakers for amendments. The revised bill did not receive another vote by the full House, which was required for its survival.

Glenn has called on legislative leaders to hold a special one-day session specifically to consider the measure. “It’s not important to me what the speaker’s reasons or justifications were,” Glenn said in the report. “What is important is to understand where this leaves the black community: It leaves us outside of the medical cannabis industry, and that is absolutely unacceptable.”

The legislation would have put an end to lawsuits against the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission by minority-owned medical cannabis companies who say the commission did not follow the law which requires regulators to “actively seek and achieve” racial and ethnic diversity in the industry.

Iowa: Medical Marijuana Bill On Fast Track In Senate

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Legislation is moving quickly through the Iowa Senate that would authorize the use of medical marijuana to provide help for patients with cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and several other ailments.

Senate Study Bill 1190, The Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act, was approved Wednesday morning on a 3-0 subcommittee vote and it cleared Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday afternoon.

Sen. Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, said the bill could be approved by the full Senate as early as Monday. The measure would then be sent to the House for consideration.

“This is not just a statement bill. We would like to get this through the House and down to the governor’s desk," said Schneider, a supporter of medical cannabis. Lawmakers would need to act soon, however, because the 2017 session could end next week.

New Mexico: Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has vetoed her third marijuana-related bill this session, stopping a bill that would have expanded the state’s medical cannabis program. Last month she vetoed two pieces of legislation that would have allowed for industrial hemp production in compliance with the 2014 Federal Farm Bill.

The legislation would have added 14 qualifying conditions to the medical cannabis program, including post-traumatic stress disorder, opioid use disorder, and chronic pain. The law would have also permitted reciprocity in the program for non-residents. The measure would also allow medical marijuana patients to be eligible for organ transplants, an issue that has created controversy after a recent Maine medical marijuana patient was denied a kidney transplant because of his use of cannabis.

Martinez included a statement with the rejection of the medical marijuana reforms. In that message, she said it is the responsibility of the Department of Health and the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to add conditions to the qualifying conditions list and that adding conditions via legislative action “would eliminate an important responsibility of the Board.”

Maryland: Registration For Marijuana Patients And Caregivers Begins

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Patients and potential caregivers in Maryland can now sign up for medical marijuana licenses with a doctor’s approval that they meet one of the qualifying conditions under the law.

Registration began yesterday for those whose last names start with the letters A through L; registration for those whose last names start with the letters M through Z will begin on Apr. 17; and open registration begins on Apr. 24.

“Medical cannabis is currently not available in the state of Maryland,” the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission website states. “The industry is still being constructed and we expect availability by the end of summer 2017 depending on industry progress. The Commission will make a public announcement once medical cannabis becomes available to the public.”

Arizona: Phoenix Medical Marijuana Dispensary Robbed At Gunpoint

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Police in Phoenix, Arizona are looking for three suspects for the armed robbery of a medical marijuana dispensary.

According to police, the robbery occurred around 10:00 p.m. on March 26 at Bloom Dispensary near 44th Street and Washington in Phoenix.

One suspect walked through the business and attempted to leave a door unlocked for two accomplices that were seen waiting behind the dispensary. Employees were able to re-lock the door, preventing the suspects from being able to enter.

About one hour later one of the suspects that had been waiting behind the business returned and confronted employees with a gun.

Police say the employees were taken to the back room and forced to surrender money from the business. That suspect then fled in an unknown direction with the money.

All three suspects are described as black men aged between 25-35, 6 feet tall and weighing 180-200 pounds.

Phoenix police are asking anyone with information to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

West Virginia: Medical Marijuana Legislation Passes House, Goes To Governor

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Medical marijuana legislation has passed the House of Delegates in West Virginia and has been sent to Gov. Jim Justice who is expected to sign the bill, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports. The bill does not allow smoking or edibles, however, and the state will not begin to issue industry licenses until at least July 1, 2019.

The measure, which passed 74-24, allows access to the medical marijuana program for patients suffering from wasting syndrome, anorexia, cachexia, chronic pain for which standard medication does not relieve, severe nausea and muscle spasms, seizures, “refractory generalized anxiety disorder,” post-traumatic stress disorder, and those admitted to hospice care.

Patients would be required to be certified by the Bureau for Public Health and could obtain a 30-day supply of medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary. Under the measure, the state would permit 10 cultivators and 30 dispensaries. Growers would be subject to a $50,000 initial fee and $5,000 renewal fee. Dispensaries would be required to pay a $10,000 fee per dispensary location and a renewal fee of $2,500. A 6 percent tax will be added onto sales.

If Governor Justice signs the bill, West Virginia will become the 29th state with access to medical marijuana.

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