Archive for February, 2019

Gov. Tony Evers Proposes Medical Marijuana Legalization

February 18th, 2019

Gov. Tony Evers will propose legalizing medical marijuana in his state budget address later this month, the governor announced Monday.

The push for medical legalization will be accompanied by several other marijuana-related proposals, including legalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, establishing expungement procedures for people with marijuana possession on their criminal records and bringing state laws on cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, in line with federal standards.

“I believe and I know the people of Wisconsin overwhelmingly believe that people shouldn’t be treated like criminals for accessing medicine that can change or maybe even save their lives,” the governor said at a Capitol press event Monday morning.

Under the governor’s proposal, individuals would be able to use marijuana to treat medical conditions, as long as they have authorization from a physician. Marijuana has been used to treat conditions and side effects to conditions including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and seizures.

A number of advocates joined the governor for his announcement at the state Capitol, including military veteran Steve Acheson, who has advocated for medical marijuana legalization in Wisconsin for several years.

Acheson is an Iraq War veteran who has used marijuana to treat pain related to a spinal injury and PTSD. He said using the drug allowed him to stop taking a cocktail of prescription medications.

“Really, the only option that was provided to me was pills,” Acheson said of his previous treatment. “I was on seven

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Parents: Keep medical marijuana dispensaries away from children

February 18th, 2019

IMAGE: About 3/4 of parents say dispensaries should not be near schools; 1/2 concerned about the risks of people driving while impaired near children’s areas.
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Credit: C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With medical marijuana now legal in about two-thirds of U.S. states, there’s growing concern about how dispensaries may impact surrounding neighborhoods and communities.

And parents in a new national poll overwhelmingly agree on one place dispensaries should not be allowed: anywhere near children.

Seven in 10 parents think they should have a say in whether dispensaries are located near their child’s school or daycare and most say they should be banned within a certain distance of those facilities, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.

Highest on the list of concerns was the risk impaired drivers may pose to children – with nearly half of parents saying this was a significant worry. A recent study found that more than half of people taking cannabis for chronic pain report driving while high.

“Medical marijuana has become legal in the majority of states but there is wide variation in state and local policies that regulate the location and operation of dispensaries,” says poll co-director Sarah Clark, M.P.H.

“The majority of parents feel strongly that they should give

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Gov. Evers pushes for legal medical marijuana in budget

February 18th, 2019

MADISON (WKOW) – Monday morning Governor Tony Evers will announce his plans to reform marijuana laws in Wisconsin. It’s part of his budget proposal due this month.

According to a recent Marquette Law School poll, 59 percent of Wisconsinites agree with marijuana legalization.

With his budget, Governor Evers is starting with decriminalization and medical marijuana legalization.

For Representative Melissa Sargent, it’s a promising sign.

“To have a governor who has actually heard the voices of the people in the state of Wisconsin as he’s putting together his budget, I believe that it is very much an example of something that is going to represent the will of the people in our community,” Sargent said.

It may not be so simple.

A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said the Republican senator opposes medical marijuana and the governor will face an uphill battle.

Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August of Lake Geneva, said at an event in January, the medical marijuana debate is such a big issue it should be addressed on its own.

“There has been talk about this being the first step to something. That makes me feel like if there’s a first step, there must be other steps,” August said. “So I guess the whole plan should probably be revealed before we talk just about a little piece of it.”

Sargent, who has introduced a bill to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, says most budget deliberations are challenging, but she is hopeful.

“I do know that here in the Capitol building there are a number of my colleagues

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Pa. medical marijuana sales top $130M in program’s first year

February 18th, 2019

– State officials say Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program provided the drug nearly 600,000 times during its first year of sales.

The Wolf Administration said Friday that more than 83,000 people have purchased medical marijuana at the 45 dispensaries that are up and running.

Statewide medical marijuana sales totaled $132 million in the past year.

More than $2 million in state taxes were paid by grower-processors.

About 1,000 doctors are currently approved to certify patients for the program.

Pennsylvania’s 2016 medical marijuana law permits its use for a list of conditions that include AIDS, autism, cancer, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Medical marijuana brings jobs to Erie

February 17th, 2019

Rise Erie, Calypso Enterprises have hired local people since receiving their permits.

Medical marijuana is a growing business in Erie.

Calypso Enterprises is preparing to open its growing and processing facility on May 1 at 910 Downing Ave. Calypso, led by Erie businessman Samuel “Pat” Black, will employ up to 30 people at that point and plans to hire a total of 65 within the next two years.

Rise Erie, the region’s first medical marijuana dispensary, began selling its products to customers in April. The business, located at 2108 W. Eighth St., currently employs 15 people and officials said they might hire one or two more employees in the near future.

“We have been seeing increased sales since we opened,” said Tim Hawkins, president of Rise Erie’s parent company, GTI of Pennsylvania. “There is a need for this product in the Erie region.”

Medical marijuana became legal in Pennsylvania after Gov. Tom Wolf signed the Medical Marijuana Act in April 2017. Rise Erie and Calypso each went through an extensive licensing process to be able to receive permits to operate.

Legalizing medical marijuana has allowed people with any of 21 diseases or medical conditions to buy the flowers, ointments, vaping liquids, creams and pills as long as they have a medical marijuana identity card from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The economic impact has also been felt. More than 1,500 people applied for Calypso’s first 20 job postings.

“A lot of people are interested in the long hours and hard work involved in getting a company

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Medical marijuana clinic opens in KC – News

February 17th, 2019

Only a few months after the passage of Amendment 2 in Missouri, the first clinic specializing in medical marijuana in the region has opened up shop in Kansas City.

A grand opening was held on Wednesday in the office at 415 Delaware St., Ste. 4W where the public and other industry experts could meet the staff of the Green Clinics.

Founder and CEO Emily Branch said she always has helped people and has a background in law, but the loss of her father led her to want to help other people in his condition.

“About five years ago, my father contracted a pretty significant gastrointestinal disorder,” Branch said. “He ultimately passed, he was 90 pounds when he passed, and I would’ve given anything to be able to give him something to make him feel better.”

She assembled a team of two doctors and a cannabis expert in order to provide an alternative treatment to people in the area.

“Traditional medicine is wonderful, it helps a lot of people, but it has its limits like with anything and we believe that patients should have legal, regulated access to cannabis so that patients can know what’s in the products,” Branch said.

No marijuana is kept in the clinic and patients meet with physicians in order to determine if and how marijuana could help them. They can receive a referral card from the doctor.

Dr. Mark Scott said his experience in medicine and as a veteran has led him to an interest in treating with cannabis.

“I’ve treated probably close to

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Medical marijuana has detractors despite favorable ordinances | News

February 17th, 2019

City councilors clung closely to the language of a state question approved by voters in June that legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma, adopting ordinances that fostered growth of the fledgling industry. 

That policy helped the city sidestep legal challenges from industry advocates and sparked an enthusiastic response among entrepreneurs eager to enter the business. There are others in Muskogee who have resisted the change that accompanied legalization of medical marijuana, an initiative that garnered support of 57 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the June primary election. 

The resistance in Muskogee mainly has come from church officials and congregants who have expressed concern that dispensaries could attract more crime in neighborhoods where vandalism and theft already cause problems. While State Question 788 provides for a 1,000-foot buffer between public or private school entrances and any retail marijuana establishment, there are no similar provisions for churches.

The voter-approved initiative petition prohibits municipalities from “unduly” changing or “restricting zoning laws” in a way that prevents “the opening of a retail marijuana establishment.” A Muskogee ordinance that regulates business permits for medical marijuana-related businesses adheres to zoning provisions set forth in SQ 788. 

The permitting structure has created some friction for Board of Adjustment members, who have fielded requests for variances to zoning regulations. They have approved most requests, but denied two requests primarily due to the proximity to churches. 

One applicant whose request for a variance to the local commercial zoning restrictions was denied subsequently sought to rezone property that has been vacant for more

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Is Fairhaven home to the best medical marijuana dispensary in the state?

February 17th, 2019

FAIRHAVEN — As Fairhaven pushes toward recreational marijuana sales, the town’s only dispensary, Bask, has been nominated for quite an honor.

Bask, Inc. (Bask), a registered marijuana dispensary in Fairhaven, was recently nominated as the “Best Medical Dispensary” by the New England Cannabis Network (NECANN).  The nomination comes as Bask prepares to celebrate its one-year anniversary of opening the doors to patients in Massachusetts and is finalizing applications to serve the Adult-use market.

In February of 2018, Bask officially opened its doors medical cannabis patients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts. 

According to a release, the Bask team is grateful for the nomination, and made sure to note that it is the only dispensary from Southeastern Massachusetts nominated for title of Best Medical Dispensary. “As a locally owned and operated business, to have Bask put the SouthCoast on the map, competing against dispensaries in Boston and Worcester, means a lot to our team and the support from our community” said Bask CEO, Chapman Dickerson.

According to NECANN, the New England Cannabis Community Awards are designed to shine a spotlight and show appreciation for the cannabis community as a whole throughout New England.  These awards offer a chance to recognize people and organizations who have made great contributions to the cannabis industry and communities throughout New England.  The winners will be announced during the NECANN Conference March 22nd, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

Other organizations nominated for awards include Veterans Alternative Healing, which works with Bask to help Veterans reduce use of prescription opiates and provide

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Trump issues signing statement on medical marijuana provision of funding bill

February 16th, 2019

Marijuana Moment is a wire service assembled by Tom Angell, a marijuana legalization activist and journalist covering marijuana reform nationwide. The views expressed by Angell or Marijuana Moment are neither endorsed by the Globe nor do they reflect the Globe’s views on any subject area.

President Trump said during his 2016 election campaign that he supports the right of states to legalize marijuana and that he personally supports medical cannabis. But in signing a federal spending bill into law on Friday that contains a rider preventing the Justice Department from interfering in state medical marijuana laws, the president went out of his way to make clear that he reserves the right to ignore the cannabis provision.

“Division C, section 537, provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories,” he said in a signing statement. “I will treat this provision consistent with the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

While the passage is a bit hard to parse on its own, here’s what you need to know:

Presidents typically use signing statements to flag provisions of laws they are enacting which they believe could impede on their executive authorities. By calling out the medical cannabis rider, Trump is making clear that his administration reserves the right to

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First year of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana sales: Plenty of patients, a trickle of taxes

February 16th, 2019

“Before Gov. Murphy took over, there were only 17,000 patients in New Jersey and only 500 doctors,” said Jeff Brown, assistant commissioner for medicinal marijuana at the New Jersey Department of Health. In late 2018, the state doubled the number of permits to marijuana companies. The permits will allow six additional cannabis-growing facilities and dispensaries to open this year. The state legislature in Trenton is considering a bill that would legalize all forms of marijuana for adult recreational use.

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