Medical Marijuana

Iowa: Regulators approve adding PTSD as qualifying condition

Ask your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

On Friday, November 1, the board that oversees Iowa’s low-THC medical cannabis program recommended adding PTSD and intellectual disability with aggression to the program’s list of qualifying conditions. Now, the Iowa Board of Medicine must agree with these additions before they are added.

Expanding the list of qualifying conditions is an important victory for some patients. Unfortunately, the board rejected adding opioid dependency and Alzheimer’s disease as qualifying conditions.

Please ask your legislators to ensure that as many patients as possible who could benefit from medical marijuana have access!

The board also recommended that state legislators replace the current three percent THC potency cap with a purchasing limit of 4.5 grams of THC over 90 days. Removing the THC cap would significantly improve Iowa’s medical cannabis program, which is currently leaving most seriously ill Iowans behind.

It’s time for Iowa to have a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Take action by emailing your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Iowa and encourage them to do the same.

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Medical Marijuana

Iowa: PTSD patients needed to weigh in at Nov. 1 board meeting!

Ask your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

The Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board, which is charged with adding qualifying medical conditions to Iowa's low-THC medical cannabis program, will be meeting Friday, November 1.

If you are a patient suffering from PTSD, please consider attending the meeting to voice your support for adding PTSD as a qualifying condition.

When: Friday, November 1, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Iowa Laboratory Facility – 2240 DMACC Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023

Patients, don't miss this opportunity to have your voices heard. You can find more information on PTSD and medical-cannabis programs here. Supportive medical professionals are also encouraged to attend.

Please also write your lawmakers and ask them to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Unfortunately, by limiting patients to low-THC cannabis, Iowa's current program is leaving the vast majority of those who could benefit from medical cannabis behind.

Together, we can help Iowa patients access the medicine they deserve.

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Medical Marijuana

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy signs medical marijuana expansion

Today, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act into law. The bill is named after a pediatric cancer patient who passed away last year. Towards the end of Jake's fight, he relied on medical marijuana to ease the symptoms of the terrible disease. His family has since become advocates for medical marijuana reforms and helped spearhead this new law.

The new law will expand patient access to medical marijuana, by allowing more qualifying conditions and increasing the amount a patient can purchase in a month. It also creates a five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission to govern the medical marijuana program. A summary of the changes can be found here.

While the legislature didn't manage to pass legalization this session, it's only matter of time. Support for changing marijuana laws is growing every day. Just last week, New Jersey state senators held a press conference calling for decriminalization and expungement reform. Together, we can bring about marijuana policy reform in New Jersey.

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Medical Marijuana||Tax and Regulate

Nevada approves protections for workers, expands medical cannabis program

Lawmakers make major improvements to cannabis policy in 2019.

Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed into law three notable bills to improve cannabis policies this year. Here is a quick overview and why they are so important:

AB 132 prohibits most employers from denying applicants a job if cannabis shows up on a pre-employment drug test. This bill addresses a big concern — cannabis use can be detected for weeks after ingestion, meaning drug screens in no way correlate with impairment. So far, states have been generally unwilling to change employment standards, even when cannabis use is legal outside work hours. This bill is a major development for Nevadans, and MPP wants to see other states take notice.

SB 430 was signed into law last week and expands the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. The bill adds forms of autism, anxiety, and chronic pain — in addition to severe pain, which was already included. A key addition were those individuals who are "dependent upon or addicted to opioids," making medical cannabis an alternative to anyone at risk while taking prescription narcotic medication. This is part of a trend we see around the country, and it's great to see Nevada added to the list of states offering this important alternative.

AB 192 allows individuals to have their past convictions sealed if the conduct — such as marijuana possession — has been legalized or decriminalized. While this is not as expansive as completely removing the conviction, sealing can significantly reduce the stigma and collateral consequences lingering from the failed war on cannabis.

MPP is proud to have led Nevada's legalization initiative in 2016 and important improvements to the medical cannabis law in 2013. Today, lawmakers are making sensible improvements to those programs, and more importantly, the medical and adult-use programs continue to serve the state and its residents.

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Medical Marijuana

Minn.: Alzheimer’s approved for medical cannabis, other conditions rejected

Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Health approved adding Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis, but rejected opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, traumatic brain injury, and insomnia.

Many thanks to Sensible Minnesota and to all the advocates and health professionals who were involved in petitioning to expand the program! Their dedicated work (with an assist from MPP) also resulted in the addition of intractable pain, PTSD, autism, and sleep apnea.

Under state law, Alzheimer’s disease patients will be able to apply for medical cannabis starting next summer.

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Medical Marijuana

Iowa: Medical marijuana regulators vote to keep the THC cap, add autism

Urge your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

On Friday, November 2, the board that oversees Iowa’s medical marijuana program voted unanimously against recommending legislators to remove the current 3% THC limit on products.

Additionally, the board voted to recommend that the state add autism to the list of qualifying conditions, but rejected expanding the program to add ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and ganglioglioma.

Unfortunately, Iowa’s low-THC approach leaves behind thousands of patients who could benefit from medical marijuana.

Please ask your legislators to ensure that as many patients as possible who could benefit from medical marijuana have access!

Check out our full summary of Iowa’ low-THC program here. Five dispensaries across the state will be open to registered patients on December 1. You can also find a wealth of information on medical marijuana here.

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Medical Marijuana

Minn.: State seeks public input on adding qualifying conditions

Please consider voicing your support for expanding Minnesota’s medical marijuana program! 

On Wednesday, a medical marijuana review panel will meet to discuss the petitions to add opioid use disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, panic disorder, and psoriasis as qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program.

What: Public meeting on adding conditions, including an opportunity for public comment

When: Wednesday, October 24, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Where: Room 300N, State Office Building, 100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155

You can check out MPP’s letter in support of adding opiate use disorder here, in case you want to make any of the same points.

If you are unable to attend, you may also submit written comments in support of adding one or more conditions.

Separately, Election Day is fast approaching! You can vote early in person until Monday, November 5. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy reform: Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson (R) opposes legalization but supports medical marijuana.

Don’t miss this opportunity to voice your support for marijuana policy reform, and be sure to get out and vote!

 

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Medical Marijuana

Rhode Island: Dept. of Health approves medical marijuana for autism

Great news! The Department of of Health has announced that Rhode Island families can now access medical marijuana to treat autism. The decision was issued this week after a petition was filed in April to add autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

The announcement imposes some stipulations for physicians interested in recommending medical marijuana for patients with ASD, including that they first try FDA-approved medications and CBD products. The statement can be read in full here.

The Health Department held a public hearing on ASD and medical marijuana in August. At the hearing, Nicole Cervantes, a mother of a son with ASD, testified that CBD had significantly improved her child’s condition. “He has been able to focus more,” she said. “He no longer bangs his head.”

In recent years, families across the country have spoken out about how medical marijuana has helped minimize the worst symptoms of ASD. Rhode Island now joins seven other states that make some allowance for medical marijuana in the treatment of autism.

This is a great step forward for Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program. Let’s keep working to make further improvements to the state’s marijuana policies.

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Medical Marijuana

NY: Medical marijuana program adds acute pain management as qualifying condition

On Monday, September 24, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that adds acute pain management to the list of approved conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid use. This new law formalizes regulations the New York State Department of Health issued in July, which added opioid replacement and opioid use disorder to the list.

This is great news for patients! Access to medical marijuana is no longer limited to those suffering from chronic pain. This bill and regulations allow more patients who could benefit from medical marijuana a safe and effective alternative to highly addictive opioids.

Find more information on New York’s medical marijuana program, including the list of qualifying conditions and how to register, here.

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Medical Marijuana

New Jersey Announces Major Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program

Yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to announce numerous changes to the medical marijuana program in New Jersey that will greatly improve patient access. These include:

  • Approving additional qualifying conditions under a process that was begun in 2016 — including chronic pain and opioid use disorder — which will help reduce opioid dependence and overdose.
  • Setting up a process to add additional businesses and remove the vertical integration requirement, which will increase competition and therefore reduce prices for patients.
  • Eliminating the physician registry, so that all doctors who wish to do so can recommend medical cannabis to their patients without jumping through hoops.
  • Removing the 10% THC cap imposed by regulation, because some patients need products with more THC for the most effective treatment.

In addition, the Department of Health’s report recommended additional changes, which would have to be made by the legislature. These include increasing the amount of cannabis that patients can purchase each month and allowing patients of all ages to purchase edibles if that’s their preferred delivery method.

You can read the Department of Health's full report here. MPP will continue to work with the administration as it implements these changes,

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