The state of Missouri has several initiatives in the works to legalize mariuana in one form or another. The most promising effort at the moment is led by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, who needs to gather 28,000 signatures by May 2016 to bring medical marijuana to the general election ballot for next year. A separate initiative is seeking to legalize marijuana "for personal, medical, and commercial purposes," and to release inmates sentenced for non-violent marijuana crimes. Both efforts are seeing positive feedback from residents, though some believe the state has a much better shot at medical legalization first. Burlison said he believes there is a reservoir of support for legalizing marijuana in Springfield and that most of the people he's approached have responded positively to the petition. He added some people are reluctant to sign a petition because it might be seen by their employer or used to their detriment in some way.
Illinois is getting closer to giving patients access to medical marijuana, but not before it goes through proper testing. A lab at the University of Illinois in Chicago has been approved by the state to start testing incoming marijuana for harmful microbes, fungus, pesticides, potency, and more. Another lab was also approved for testing but lost funding due to the state's low registered patient count. More patients are expected to completely register after sales begin, hopefully leading to more growth in the states industry. Larsen says the lab has the equipment and employees to do the five tests that the state requires. UIC will test marijuana for harmful microbes, poisons from fungus, pesticides and solvents. It will test its potency too
For several years now, Michigan has allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in a "legal gray area" and now many of the shops will have the ability to gain a license to legally sell marijuana to patients. A 6-1 vote gave the city of Detroit the ability to create guidelines and regulations for the shops to operate under, including penalites. This news is great for many, but it also means that some shops will be forced to close or move as their location or other aspects of the shop will not meet new regulations. Whether dispensaries are legal or not according to the State of Michigan, one thing is for sure – medical marijuana dispensaries are not going away in Detroit. They are here to stay, and the sooner laws reflect that fact the better off Detroit will be. It sounds like Detroit regulators are recognizing that fact, as it seems that they have approved an ordinance that would license medical marijuana dispensaries.
The marijuana industry has varying rules and regulations for each state, including the use of pesticides which becomes a necessity when growing crops on such a large scale. A lawsuit is being filed by two marijuana users in Colorado, that could effect the way marijuana growers treat their plants. Eagle 20 EW is a pesticide commonly used on grapes and hops, but a dispensary in Denver has used it on their marijuana which has caused some concern. The chemical has been shown to release a toxic gas when burned, but after withholding 60,000 plants, the crop passed the state's lab tested standards and has been released for sale. The lawsuit alleges that LiveWell, a pot company in Denver, should be penalized for using a pesticide that was not listed by the state as safe for use on marijuana. The state of Colorado lists pesticides that are approved for use on food and tobacco crops, but it doesn't specifically outlaw Eagle 20 and other pesticides.
Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana, and now that the industry is being taken more seriously on a bigger level, the state has new regulations for patients growing their own medicine. A patient must be registered to grow marijuana in their own home at a max of 7 plants, and each plant must be tagged with the patient's registration number and expiration date of medical card. PTSD has been added to the list of qualifying conditions for the state, giving many veterans easier access to helpful treatments. A patient's primary care provider is no longer necessary to be certified for medical marijuana. Any physician with a valid Hawaii medical license and controlled substance license can register a patient for medical marijuana. Patients no longer need their primary care physician to be the certifying physician for the program. To participate, a physician with both a valid Hawaii medical license and valid Hawaii controlled substance license must certify that a patient has a debilitating medical condition and that the potential benefits of using medical marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the treatment of their particular condition.
During the month of August, Colorado sold over $100 million in marijuana to both the medicinal and recreational markets. Recreational sales came in at $59.2 million for the month and medical cannabis sales brought in $41.4 million. With $100.6 million in combined sales, this makes August the most lucrative month ever, up from a mere $46.9 million in total sales during the first month of legal recreational sales back in January of 2014. In way of taxes, Colorado fetched $11.2 million in taxes for August alone, with $3.3 million of tax revenue going to school construction projects. “For August, Colorado collected $11.2 million in recreational taxes and fees and $2.0 million in medical taxes and fees, bringing the 2015 cumulative revenue total to nearly $86.7 million. In 2014, total marijuana revenue was $76.2 million.”
Marijuana is federally illegal, and under schedule 1 is considered to have no medical value despite 23 states and the District of Columbia legalizing medical marijuana. Marijuana is widely accepted as treatment for many different conditions such as, epilepsy, chronic pain, loss of appetite, nausea, MS, diabetes, gloucoma, and even PTSD. The federal prohibition of marjuana has caused countless of it's own problems, and now several bills are in the works to keep state legalized marijuana safe from federal interference. Cannabis has been a life-saving drug for many families allover the US, and for many, including children with epilepsy, it's the only drug that can massively improve their condition. Researchers are finding that the location of our receptors on the body that receive the cannabinoids have much to do with the desired medical effects. Sets of receptors in the immune system are linked with marijuana's well known anti-inflammatory effects, as well as a set in nerve centers dealing with pain perception. Recent studies are showing that certain cannabinoids not only treat symptoms of cancer, but can slow and even shrink cancerous tumors. To this day, there has never been a recorded case of a fatal cannabis overdose. High concentrations of signal-blocking cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain may explain why cannabinoids appear to quell seizures. Receptors are similarly dense in regions that control movement, promote appetite and combat nausea, which may explain why marijuana seems to relieve muscle spasticity and boost appetite. Although cannabis has many side effects – dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, inceased appetite, diminished short-term memory, anxiety and impaired reaction time among them – no fatal overdose has ever been reported. That's likely due to the relative absence of cannabinoid receptors in the brain stem, the region that controls heart rate and breathing.
The city of Detroit held a public hearing this week attended by concerned residents and medical marijuana patients alike. The subject of discussion being the newest proposal for the cities' 150 medical marijuana shops. New regulations would prohibit drive-through and 24hr shops. Some are concerned about the many shops that have opened since legalization, but if the proposal passes, a dispensary will not be allowed within 2,000ft of another dispensary, and within 1,000 ft of a church, school, or public park. Jamaine Dickens, a consultant working with 420 Dank, a dispensary on Gratiot with drive-through service, said the stores are getting a bad rap. Dickens said the shops are providing legal medicine to people with illnesses. He said there have only been a few shootings in recent years involving dispensaries. "As a lifelong Detroiter, I can tell you I expect more than three shootings at gas stations and coney islands in one month," he said.
After the first week of Oregon's legal recreational marijuana market of course there are concerns by some around the state about children's safety and making sure drivers stay sober. Everyone was able to voice their opinion at an Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Some are urging strong regulation of marijuana edibles and the packaging, while others are more worried about taxing the drug unreasonably high as to deter users from the legal market. Regulating edibles has proven to be especially complicated in Washington and Colorado, each home to state-regulated marijuana markets. Regulators aim to protect consumers, especially inexperienced ones, but they also want to limit accidental ingestion by children who could mistake them for regular candies and treats.
The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board in Illinois approved a list of ailments to qualify patients for medicinal marijuana, but Governor Rauner's administration rejected several of the conditions including osteoarthritis, migraine, anorexia nervosa, PTSD and more. Gov. Rauner thinks that adding PTSD before the market has begun is a bad idea, but many frustrated veterans have expressed their disappointment for the lack of attention to their needs. “In my opinion this is a direct disrespect and disregard to all those who have fought for this country,” said Sandy Champion, whose husband, Jim Champion, is an Illinois veteran who has multiple sclerosis and is a member of the medical cannabis advisory board. “It is because of 9/11 that many of our veterans and civilians are suffering from PTSD. They gave their lives, health and freedom to serve us and today our governor, who is the head of our state, let them down.”
A small town in Illinois has been very welcoming of the state's new medical marijuana program. Despite being a dry city with no liquor stores, many are happy to have medical marijuana available in the town, increased revenue, and more jobs. Local developers even sold the new cannabis growers a large cornfield for half price as incentive to choose the town. The marijuana industry in Illinois hopes to expand, but must wait for the demand to grow larger than the 3,000 accepted medical marijuana patients in the state. Down a country road, tucked behind the New Holland tractor dealer and the Pioneer seed plant, the history-making cannabis crop is being cut and dried behind the locked doors of a giant warehouse. By mid-October, strains with names like Blue Dream, OG Kush, Death Star and White Poison will be turned into medicine in many forms: oils, creams, buds for smoking, edible chocolates and gummies.
A proposed policy from the Colorado Medical Board, would change medical marijuana in the state and possibly eliminate the industry. New rules would make doctors perform a physical evaluation on patients wanting to recieve or renew their medical card, as well as determine a risk of drug abuse, a pain assessment, treatment history, and much more including pregnancy testng for all women of child bearing age. Some have claimed that the intention of the bill is not to hurt the medical market, but why would patients go through such extensive evaluation and questioning when they can simply pay the recreational tax for the same meds. About 106,000 people in Colorado carry medical marijuana cards, and “if we can’t renew their cards, they’re going to grow their own, go to the underground market or go to the recreational stores,” Hogan said. “Some people are reading this saying, ‘Oh, it’s not a big deal.’ It is a big deal.” The draft language recommends a patient evaluation that includes a physical examination; a risk assessment for drug abuse; a pain assessment covering the pattern, duration and past and current treatments; lab testing as necessary; possible urine screens and consultations with the patient’s other doctors — and 14 categories of documentation.