The latest in marijuana news, culture and politics
  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    New medical marijuana rules approved in Vermont

    After a long three month review period, the Legislative Committee in Vermont has approved the delivery of medical marijuana and hemp to patients on the Vermont Marijuana Registry. The Department of Public Safety, which oversees the state's marijuana registry, has declared that the state's four dispensaries now have the option to grow medical marijuana and ensure that it gets to their patients via a safe delivery service. Cannabis products will have to be in a secure locked container while being transported to patients by permit cardholders. This move made by the Green Mountain State is said to go into effect within the next 45 days. Lindsey Wells, program administrator for the marijuana registry, said the need for the delivery rules stem from a 2014 statute, which states the department "shall adopt rules establishing protocol for the safe delivery of marijuana to patients and caregivers." Many of the same rules that dispensaries have to follow will remain in effect with delivery, she said.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    An Overview of California's New (And Improved) Medical Marijuana Laws

      During a recent seminar hosted in Santa Monica, Governor Brown signed three new bills into law which will compromise the California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). These bills call for big changes in the medical marijuana space as the industry will soon be moving away from its current unregulated gray areas to a new state law regulated medical marijuana program.   While these three bills have different functions, they contain the same types of language regarding aspects of medical marijuana control. Assembly Bill 266 focuses on MMRSA's overall regulatory and licensing set up for medical marijuana companies. Assembly Bill 243 focuses its attention on regulating marijuana cultivation for medical use and on California's environmental concerns regarding marijuana cultivation. Lastly, Senate Bill 643 focuses on setting standards for licensed medical physicians who recommend marijuana to patients.   These bills mean that California will be getting the “robust regulations” the federal government requires from the states for the Department of Justice to be even minimally disengaged from what goes on with cannabis within the state. These bills also mean that California will be entering a new era where the Department of Justice (hopefully) finally cools its heels in the Golden State.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    New Jersey Sees A Fifth Medical Marijuana Dispensary Open

    New Jersey's governor would ban marijuana everywhere given the chance, but residents of his state agree with most Americans that medical marijuana should be accessible to all who need it. Unfortunately, the state's law is still very limited in both qualifying conditions, and access to purchase marijuana itself. Last week, the state opened it's fifth medical marijuana dispensary, and per state law, will only be able to open one more. The newest dispensary is currently only taking appointments, but plans to eventually grow enough to serve about 3,000 patients. The sixth and final dispensary is still awaiting to be approved for it's license. The list of qualifying conditions is very short, patients aren’t allowed to grow their own medicine, and the only legal way that they can obtain medical marijuana is by visiting a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Up until recently, there were only four dispensaries for the entire state. A fifth one opened this last week.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    Idaho prepares to let 25 sick children use marijuana extract

    23 States and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and 15 more have legalized the use of only CBD oil, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been known to hault seizures in epileptic children. Idaho was on their way to legalizing this miracle drug, but was stopped with Gov. Butch Otter's veto. Later, the Governor signed a similar but much more restricted bill that would allow up to 25 children with persistent seizures to try the drug for the first time. Once the bill reaps positive results in a few weeks after the children are able to start treatment, hopefully the state will join their neighbors in legalizing the proper medication for these very ill kids. Up to 25 Idaho children with persistent seizures will soon have access to an experimental drug derived from marijuana, but experts say far more children could benefit from the treatment. An April executive order from Gov. Butch Otter is allowing the very limited use of the non-psychoactive drug. Otter signed the order after vetoing less-restrictive legislation that would have allowed the marijuana extract to be used in children with severe seizure disorders.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    Pain patients are driving the plea to expand Minnesota's medical marijuana program

    Minnesota is one of the few medical marijuana states where chronic pain is not on the list of qualifying conditions. Pain patients make up 93% of Colorado's medical marijuana customers, and 71% of Arizona's. Minnesota currently only has 9 conditions that qualify for medical marijuana including terminal illnesses, seizure disorders and Crohn’s disease. The state currently only serves 618 patients due to the strict qualifications, but expanding the program's qualifying conditions could bring in tens of thousands more. While the patients are limited, medical marijuana shops are seeing the lack of sales, but with hopes of an expanding program there is potential for the business to grow. Just months after the first Minnesota cannabis clinic opened its doors, Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger is debating whether to add intractable pain to the shortlist of conditions that qualify Minnesotans to legally medicate with marijuana. Pain patients like 2-year-old Elisa — born with a rare genetic condition that causes her skin to blister and tear — make up the majority of patients in many of the states with medical cannabis programs.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    Croatia legalises marijuana for medical use

    After a 37-year-old multiple sclerosis patient was arrested for growing marijuana for personal use, the country of Croatia has developed their own medical marijuana program that will allow patients to register for 30 days at a time to purchase a max of 7.5 grams of marijuana. Marijuana and cannabinoid based drugs can now be prescribed for patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and AIDS. The country's black market can see marijuana sold anywhere from $350-700 for 10 grams, but pharmacies hope to have legal marijuana ready for sale in the next few weeks. "For us, patients, cannabis is one of the most important plants for our lives and health," Luksetic told AFP, hailing the legalisation. "Everyone should have the right to choice and self-cure." Luksetic's case encouraged several patient and doctor associations to speak out about the use of such oil and other marijuana-derived products in helping to treat certain diseases.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    University of Illinois lab prepared to perform tests on medical marijuana

    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

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    Detroit Approves Ordinance To License Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

    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.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    New rules for Medical Marijuana Registry Program

    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.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    Marijuana as Medicine

    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.  

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    Rules for marijuana shops debated at Detroit hearing

    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.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2015

    Rauner won't add ailments to medical marijuana pilot program

    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.”

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