Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Emerges as Top Issue in Kentucky Governor’s Race

October 29th, 2015 No Comments Matt Simon

Medical marijuana unexpectedly dominated much of the news coverage following a recent debate between the major party candidates for Kentucky governor, Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway.

Conway, Kentucky’s former Attorney General, tried to dismiss the issue from serious consideration. “I don’t want to hear from some hipsters out in Hawaii saying Kentucky needs medical marijuana,” he reportedly said. Bevin, on the other hand, acknowledged “there is unequivocal medical evidence” that medical marijuana is beneficial for certain conditions.

Matt Bevin

Bevin made it clear that he does not support legalization for adult use, but he also acknowledged that prohibition has been unsuccessful:

“We’re on the campus of a university,” the Republican said. Addressing the students in the audience of one thousand, he asked: “Is it not already easy for you to find this on the streets? Come on! Who are we kidding? The only people who can’t get it are the people who abide by the law!”

For information on how and where to vote in the election on November 3, visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections’ Voter Information Center.

Read more

Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Intractable Pain Advisory Committee Meeting Thursday

October 27th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

The Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis Advisory Panel on Intractable Pain will meet on Thursday to decide if intractable pain should be added to the list of qualifying medical conditions under the state’s medical marijuana law. While the public is welcome to attend the meeting, please note that public comment will not be taken on Thursday.

WHAT: Advisory Panel on Intractable Pain meeting
WHEN: Thursday, October 29, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. CT
WHERE: Amherst H. Wilder Center — Auditorium A, St. Paul

For the past two months, the Minnesota Department of Health has been hosting meetings across the state to solicit public feedback on whether intractable pain should be added. Reports indicate an overwhelming majority of attendees supported adding pain. They also accepted written comments from potential and certified medical cannabis patients, their caregivers and loved ones, health care practitioners, and other interested parties. Just this past weekend, the Star Tribune published an editorial urging the Department of Health to add intractable pain to the state’s medical marijuana law.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended the community hearings, submitted comments, and urged your friends and family to do so, too. These simple acts may soon mean a world of difference for some suffering neighbors.

Read more

Medical Marijuana, Research

Maryland Medical Marijuana Seminars This Week – Free for Physicians

October 20th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

Our allies at Patients Out of Time, in partnership with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association, pot-2015-logoare hosting two half-day seminars about medical marijuana and the endocannabinoid system this week — one in Columbia and one in La Plata. Registration is required and the events are free for physicians.

Medical Cannabis 101: The Physician’s Primer

Maryland Pharmacists Association
9115 Guilford Rd., Suite 200
Columbia, MD 21046
Thursday, October 22, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Click here to register

University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
5 Garrett Rd.
La Plata, MD 20646
Friday, October 23, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Click here to register

Both of these events will feature Dustin Sulak, D.O., who will touch on the literature on endocannabinoid physiology, clinical applications of cannabinoids, and share his experience overseeing 18,000 medical marijuana patients in New England. Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN, President of Patients Out of Time, will also speak on the history of medical cannabis and the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. Eric Sterling, a member of the Maryland medical marijuana commission, will speak at the Columbia event about the programs details. These events will be particularly beneficial for Maryland physicians, so please send this along to any doctors you know in the state.

You can visit Patients Out of Time for more information on the events. For more details on Maryland’s medical marijuana program, please visit the Medical Cannabis Commission’s website.

Read more

Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Work Group Issues Report Urging Swift Legislative Action

October 15th, 2015 1 Comment Becky Dansky
Rep. Dave Reed

At the beginning of the summer, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Dave Reed appointed a work group to develop recommendations for House medical cannabis legislation. Late last month, the group sent its recommendations to Leader Reed, and a bill is being drafted that incorporates them.

The work group recommendations included several favorable provisions such as vaporization for all patients, a minimum of 65 dispensaries, and a broad list of conditions including PTSD and chronic pain. While the recommendations are mostly reasonable, we would like to see as many dispensaries as possible and to see several other conditions such as lupus, wasting, nausea, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes included in the final bill.

The work group did not reach a consensus in certain areas where one outcome is clearly preferable for patients. For example, patients should receive immediate legal protections, and the legislation should not include a sunset provision.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please contact your representative today and ask them to act quickly to pass the strongest possible program for Pennsylvania patients.

Read more

Medical Marijuana

Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Recommends New Conditions Again

October 15th, 2015 2 Comments Chris Lindsey

The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board agreed last week to recommend adding eight new medical conditions to Illinois’ medical cannabis pilot program. The conditions are chronic pain syndrome, autism, osteoarthritis, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain due to trauma, chronic post-operative pain, intractable pain, and irritable bowel syndrome.

The department previously rejected the advisory board’s recommendation that it approve 11 conditions. At the time it noted that the program was not yet fully up and running, but now with at least one dispensary opening this month, that reasoning no longer applies. Just yesterday, Harbory in Marion, Illinois became the first dispensary to open in the state.

These changes would significantly improve the state program. The medical cannabis program recognizes only a narrow range of conditions, and Illinois is in the minority of medical marijuana states when it comes to options for patients with serious pain. In addition, an increasing number of medical marijuana states recognize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Seriously ill patients in Illinois should not be left behind. The state should listen to its team of experts and adopt these conditions without delay.

If you are an Illinois resident, please send a clear message to the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health and ask him to add these conditions without delay.

Read more

Medical Marijuana

Historic California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bills Await Governor’s Signature

October 8th, 2015 11 Comments Morgan Fox

In September, California lawmakers approved a series of bill that would establish a statewide regulatory framework for California businesses that produce and distribute medical marijuana in the state. AB 243AB 266, and SB 643 create standards for licensing businesses as well as testing, packaging, labeling, and tracking marijuana products, among other things.

Gov. Jerry Brown

The bills establish a new agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, which will oversee the system and work with other agencies that will be involved in licensing key areas of activity, such as cultivation and testing. The bureau will develop detailed rules by January 2017, and businesses will begin to apply for state licenses in January 2018, at which point the current system of collectives and cooperatives will be phased out. Medical marijuana businesses will need to obtain local approval to continue operating.

In 1996, California became the first state to adopt a law that allows seriously ill patients to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The law did not include a regulatory structure, resulting in a patchwork system in which some communities allowed medical marijuana providers to operate under local regulations while others opted to prohibit such operations entirely.

Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sunday to sign the bills.

Read more

Medical Marijuana

Michigan House Approves Medical Marijuana Regulation Bills

October 8th, 2015 5 Comments Chris Lindsey

Three bills that would add much-needed guidelines for medical marijuana businesses passed on a vote in the Michigan House today. These bills would establish clear, statewide protections for dispensaries, ensure patients can legally access non-smoked medical cannabis products, and establish tracking requirements for businesses involved in medical marijuana production.

As we approach the end of the year, time is running short. If you are a Michigan resident, be sure your senator knows you support quick passage.image-michigan-cropped

The changes appearing in these bills are long overdue. HB 4209 provides the basic framework, including a business licensing system and testing and labeling requirements, among other provisions. HB 4210 makes critical changes to the definition of “medical marijuana” so that non-smoked forms can be available to patients. The third bill, HB 4827, establishes production and inventory tracking requirements.

Last minute improvements were made — most notably a reduction in a proposed tax on medical cannabis sales. The proposed tax of 8% (in addition to the standard state sales tax) was lowered to 3%. While this provision and others are still not perfect, the vast majority of the proposed new system is reasonable and similar to other regulated programs around the country.

Read more

Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Making Progress on Medical Marijuana Provisions

October 2nd, 2015 3 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.

The 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.

Read more

Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

Legal Adult Marijuana Sales to Begin in Oregon Tomorrow

September 30th, 2015 5 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.

Read more

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.

Read more