Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Making Progress on Medical Marijuana Provisions

October 2nd, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

A group of lawmakers in Pennsylvania is helping the state move closer to passing comprehensive medical marijuana legislation after they submitted a series of recommendations for the bill this week.

Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

The recommendations, prepared by 13 House members who had been discussing the issue since July, touched on subjects including how to license growers and sellers, and which medical conditions would qualify for a marijuana prescription.2000px-Seal_of_Pennsylvania

Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Republicans, said the next step would be using the guidelines to draft a bill that can garner enough support in the House.

“Hopefully, [it] passes by the end of the year,” Miskin said. 

The state Senate has already approved its own medical-marijuana bill, and State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery), a longtime proponent of medical marijuana, said he believed the upper chamber would support a House bill that reflected the recommendations that were made public this week by State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R., Centre).

Gov. Wolf is also supportive of medical marijuana, said his spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, and has for months encouraged legislators to get a bill to his desk.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please contact your legislators and ask the to support this sensible legislation.

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Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

Limited Marijuana Sales to Begin in Oregon Tomorrow

September 30th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

Beginning tomorrow, adults 21 and older in Oregon will be able to legally purchase limited quantities of marijuana and marijuana plants from certain medical marijuana dispensaries. This allowance, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Kate Brown,flagfrontbig gives adults a legal and regulated access point to purchase marijuana while the state develops the regulatory structure that will govern the marijuana market moving forward.

Individuals 21 and older will be allowed to purchase up to seven grams of marijuana and up to four seedlings from participating medical marijuana dispensaries. The state requires a dispensary to post a sign indicating whether they sell to recreational customers or if they limit sales to medical marijuana patients and caregivers, but it will not keep a list of dispensaries that have chosen to open their doors to all adults 21 and older.

Please remember that it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in public. Violators may be issued a Class B violation, which is akin to a traffic ticket. For more information, please visit the Oregonian’s FAQ page.

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Medical Marijuana

South Carolina Senate Subcommittee Advances Medical Marijuana Bill

September 29th, 2015 1 Comment Brendan Valentine

Last week, a South Carolina Senate subcommittee approved H 4037/S 672, sponsored by Sens. Tom Davis and C. Bradley Hutto.715px-Seal_of_South_Carolina_(Alternative).svg The bill would allow qualified patients to possess and use medical marijuana for a variety of conditions. It now moves on to the Medical Affairs Committee, which will meet again in January. It is hopeful to see the Palmetto State demonstrating openness to policies that will protect the sick and suffering from arrest for using medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, but passage of this legislation is by no means guaranteed.

Support for compassionate medical marijuana legislation continues to grow in South Carolina, and last week’s hearing demonstrates that the legislature is taking notice. If you are a South Carolina resident, please make sure your senator and representative know that you support compassionate access and that they should too.

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Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

Washington to Issue Additional Marijuana Retail Licenses

September 24th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

On Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced the adoption of emergency rules that will allow the agency to begin the process of licensing additional retail establishments that will sell both medical and adult-use marijuana.LCB Existing Washington retail stores can apply for a medical marijuana endorsement as well.

The application window opens October 12. The WSLCB has not capped the number of licenses they will approve initially. Please note that existing dispensaries “must be licensed by July 1, 2016 or face closure by local authorities.” The WSLCB also announced that medical cooperatives can register with the agency after July 1, 2016.

The emergency rules allow the WSLCB to move forward while giving officials and the public ample time to read, digest, and comment on the draft rules before they become final. Please visit the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s website for further details on licensure and to comment on the draft rules.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Patients and Lawmakers Demand Approval of Medical Marijuana Bill

September 24th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

On Tuesday, a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers, patients, and their families gathered at the State Capitol to demand swift action from the legislature in moving a medical marijuana bill that has been stalled for months.

Julie Michaels, front left, of Connellsville, and Jessica Hawkins, right, of Pittsburg, look on as Hawkins' son Lucciano, 2, right center, gives a hug to Michaels' daughter Sydney, 5, left center, as supporters gather at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building to promote the legalization of medical cannabis in Harrisburg, Pa. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.   Dawn J. Sagert -
Julie Michaels, front left, of Connellsville, and Jessica Hawkins, right, of Pittsburg, look on as Hawkins’ son Lucciano, 2, right center, gives a hug to Michaels’ daughter Sydney, 5, left center, as supporters gather at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building to promote the legalization of medical cannabis in Harrisburg, Pa. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. Dawn J. Sagert – York Dispatch

The Patriot-News reports:

In early summer, medical marijuana seemed on the verge of becoming legal in Pennsylvania.

But the effort, which supporters insist easily has enough votes to pass, now seems caught up in delays and stalling tactics, according to supporters who rallied Tuesday at the state Capitol.

One of the supporters was state Rep. Mike Regan, R-York County, a former federal law enforcement officer who said he represents a highly conservative district, and hasn’t received a single call of opposition from a constituent.

“This has got to stop being about politics and it has to start being about people,” he said. “I will not stop fighting until this is law.”

Regan also noted he spent much of his career arresting drug dealers. He said he is convinced medical marijuana is a safe and valuable medication, and won’t become a gateway to illegal drugs and more illegal drug use in Pennsylvania.

A medical marijuana bill introduced by state Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon County passed 40-7 in the Senate in May. In the House, leaders in early summer created a group to draft a bill that would pass the Republican-controlled House.

Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has come out strongly in favor of medical marijuana and has said he will sign a bill.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident and are tired of waiting for the legislature to enact compassionate, effective medical marijuana legislation, please contact your lawmakers and let them know the time to act is now.

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Medical Marijuana

Michigan Official Rejects Autism as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Program

August 28th, 2015 2 Comments Morgan Fox

On Thursday, a Michigan official denied an application to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in the state.

Detroit Free Press reports:

The decision followed three years of efforts by parents of autistic children, their lawyers and supporters to have Michigan become the first state to specify that marijuana could be used to treat autism.

Mike Zimmer, appointed in December as director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs — LARAlara — said he was concerned that an approval would apply not just to serious cases of autism but to all cases. And he said that parents applying to use medical pot would need the approval of two medical doctors, yet there was no requirement that either doctor be experienced in treating autism.

No state specifically allows medical cannabis for autism, although California and Washington, D.C., allow using the drug for any condition that a medical doctor believes it may help, said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit group that favors legalizing marijuana.

A bill that would broaden Michigan’s medical marijuana act to allow other forms of medical pot — House Bill 4210, sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto — has been in the House Judiciary Committee since February, after a similar bill failed to pass last year.

While this is disappointing, it does provide a road map of sorts for a successful application next time. Hopefully, autism sufferers will soon be able to access medical marijuana in Michigan.

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Medical Marijuana

First Las Vegas Dispensary Open

August 25th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

Nevada patients who have been waiting for years for a licensed dispensary to open in the Las Vegas area finally have some good news. On Monday, doors opened to the Las Vegas area’s first dispensary — Euphoria Wellness. Over 70% of Nevada’s medical marijuana patients are located in Clark County and,Nevada-StateSeal.svg until now, they had nowhere to purchase their medicine.

In 2000, voters overwhelmingly supported an initiative that made Nevada one of the earliest states to adopt a medical marijuana law. It took the Nevada Legislature another 12 years to pass a law permitting regulated businesses to provide Nevadans with safe access to cannabis. The first store opened a few weeks ago in Sparks — a little over two years after the bill allowing dispensaries was passed.

The delays have been very frustrating for patients, but hopefully this is a sign that Nevada is finally getting its act together and implementing the medical marijuana law in an appropriate manner.

For more information on the medical marijuana program, visit the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

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Medical Marijuana

MN Dept. of Health to Hear Public Input on Adding Intractable Pain as Qualifying Condition

August 24th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Legislatureminnesota-department-of-health-logo approved a bill requiring the state’s Department of Health to recommend by January 1, 2016, whether intractable pain should be added as a condition that qualifies for medical cannabis. The department is currently seeking public input on this question and has created two opportunities to share your thoughts.

First, the department is accepting written comment on including intractable pain. There is currently no deadline for submitting comments. However, potential patients, their caregivers, and supportive health care practitioners should submit their comments soon so they can be taken into consideration early in the process.

Second, the department will be hosting listening sessions around the state to take public testimony on including intractable pain. The first two will be held this week:

Wednesday, August 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Rochester Public Library

Thursday, August 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Kandiyohi Health and Human Services building in Willmar, Minnesota

Additional events will be held across the state in September and October. We will let you know when and where they will be closer to the date.

More than 15,000 Americans die each year from prescription opiate overdoses. Patients deserve a safer — and often more effective — alternative. Please check out our talking points and let the department know it’s time to stop leaving intractable pain patients behind.

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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Board of Physicians Meeting on Wednesday

August 17th, 2015 No Comments Becky Dansky

On Wednesday, August 19, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians will meet to discuss adding complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) to the list of conditions covered under the state’s medical marijuana law.

Complex regional painCT DCP Logo syndrome is a chronic pain condition that usually arises following a brain injury or a trauma. The symptoms of CRPS are prolonged or excessive pain and changes in skin color, temperature, and swelling of the affected area. It typically affects arms, legs, hands, and feet and is thought to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. Medical marijuana could provide much needed relief to Connecticut patients suffering with CRPS.

Earlier this year, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection added four new conditions to the list of qualifying medical conditions. It agreed with the Board of Physicians to include sickle cell disease, post laminectomy syndrome (“failed back syndrome”), severe psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. If the board recommends including CRPS, it is likely the Department will follow that recommendation. Please join advocates on Wednesday to show your support for CRPS patients.

The meeting is open to the public and will take place at 8:00 a.m. at 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, in Room 126.

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Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Towns to Hold Medical Marijuana Forums

August 17th, 2015 No Comments Matt Simon

It appears that New Hampshire is finally ready to move forward with its process of approving medical marijuana dispensary locations. The good news is that a DHHS spokesman has said “we do have several sites that are fairly well finalized.” However, the law requires that a public hearing be held in each town where dispensaries or cultivation facilities are being planned.

As part of this process, the Department of Health and Human Services is holding public meetings to consider local input. If you live in or near one of these towns, please attend and speak up in favor of allowing the proposed dispensary or cultivation facility to move forward!

Here are the details for each public hearing:

Peterborough: Tuesday, August 18 — 5:00 p.m. at Peterborough Town House, 1 Grove Street

(NOTE: This location has been proposed for a cultivation facility only, not a dispensary. It’s worth pointing out that patients and caregivers who live in or near Peterborough will have to drive all the way to Merrimack or Lebanon to obtain cannabis.)

Lebanon: Wednesday, August 19 — 7:00 p.m. at Lebanon City Hall, 51 North Park Street

Merrimack: Tuesday, August 25 — 7:00 p.m. at Merrimack Town Hall, Matthew Thornton Room, 8 Baboosic Lake Road

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