Archive for February, 2019

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts

February 28th, 2019

Massachusetts was one of the first 13 colonies of the United States and one of the first 10 states to legalize recreational marijuana. But it also maintains a robust medical marijuana program overseen by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission.

Some 60,000 patients, 7,000 caregivers, and nearly 300 registered healthcare providers are now reportedly part of the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program, which registers qualifying patients, personal caregivers and Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMD).

The program was established by Chapter 369 of the Acts of 2012, “An Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana,” following the passage of Ballot Question 3 in the 2012 general election. The MMJ Program is run by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). A Program ID Card is required to be considered in possession of marijuana for medical use.

Massachusetts Qualifying Conditions

A Massachusetts resident at least 18 years old who has been diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition may become a qualifying patient. The diagnosis needs to come from a certifying physician. Residents younger than 18 may qualify under limited circumstances. Article source: https://news.weedmaps.com/2019/02/how-to-get-a-medical-marijuana-card-in-massachusetts/

SC medical marijuana bill stalled until concerns are addressed

February 28th, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina senator says a bill aiming to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana will not move forward until lawmakers address concerns of stakeholders.

Members of the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee met Wednesday to discuss proposed legislation which would allow cannabis use for terminal, debilitating medical conditions such as cancer or chronic diseases that could be treated with opioids. It would allow patients to purchase up to 2 ounces (57 grams) of marijuana or its equivalent every two weeks, if prescribed by a doctor.

Lawmakers plan to amend the bill and hold it in committee until they have several more meetings to hear testimony from supporters of the bill and the medical community. They also want to hear from law enforcement officials who are hesitant to support legislation allowing marijuana for any use.

Subcommittee chairman Tom Davis of Beaufort said he heard directly from stakeholders and wants to implement their suggestions including changing the language that would make it explicitly clear that smoking cannabis would not be covered under the legislation.

“The reason why we’ve prohibited it here is again to underscore that this bill is a medical bill, and the optics of this matter,” Davis said. “It is very important that this bill not only in substance but that in appearance is more like medicine.”

The Republican lawmaker tasked committee lawmakers to focus their efforts on bill specifics, including investigating additional medical conditions that would qualify under the legislation and the financial implications of including a 6 percent sales

Article source: https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/sc-medical-marijuana-bill-stalled-until-concerns-are-addressed/article_14f50f73-22a3-53c6-83ba-cfb080cb16ee.html

Curious Capitol: Is medical marijuana moving forward in the legislative session?

February 28th, 2019

Editors Note: A source has remained anonymous in this article to protect their identity.

Medical marijuana has been proposed in the Texas Legislature in session after session, including the introduction of Senate Bill 90 by Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, in this session.

The bill, which expands the diseases that medical marijuana can legally treat, remains under review in the Health and Human Services Committee. 

So, when one of our readers asked us, “Is (medical marijuana) moving forward in the legislative session?” we looked into it as part of Curious Capitol, a series where we answer reader-submitted questions. 

Amongst other marijuana related legislation this session, SB 90 allows doctors to treat more debilitating and chronic medical conditions such as cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. Just before the 86th legislative session began, Sen. Menéndez said he wanted to restore doctor’s right to treat these conditions. 

“We’ll leave it up to the doctor to decide which patients need that particular medication and which ones don’t,” Menéndez said to the Texas Tribune. 

SB 90 was proposed two legislative sessions ago but made recent headway. On Jan. 18, SB 90 was referred to the Committee of Health and Human Services. Following review, committee chairwoman and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, will determine if the bill moves to be voted on the floor of the Senate. Sen. Kolkhorst declined to comment until after the hearing.

If the bill is approved, it moves to the Senate to be voted upon, where it could be thrown out or passed onto the House for the same

Article source: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2019/02/28/curious-capitol-is-medical-marijuana-moving-forward-in-the-legislative-session

1st North Dakota medical marijuana dispensary delayed a day

February 28th, 2019

The opening of North Dakota’s first medical marijuana dispensary has been delayed a day.

Acreage Holdings was to open The Botanist in Fargo Thursday. The Health Department says it’s been changed to Friday.

Medical Marijuana Division Director Jason Wahl says the facility didn’t pass final city inspection until Wednesday, and it still needs to undergo the final stages of a state inspection Thursday.

The Botanist will sell medical marijuana produced by a Bismarck manufacturing facility. Wahl says that initially it will have dried leaves and flowers and two types of concentrates. Those are two of six forms allowed under state law. The dispensary will add more forms later.

Voters approved medical marijuana in November 2016. The state hopes to have dispensaries operating in North Dakota’s eight major cities by fall.

Article source: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/02/27/first-medical-marijuana-dispensary-in-north-dakota-delayed-a-day

Patients in Illinois medical-marijuana program frustrated by long wait

February 27th, 2019

SPRINGFIELD — Steps taken to streamline approvals for patients seeking medical marijuana in Illinois took effect too late to help a Taylorville man and possibly thousands of others caught in a deluge of applications last year.

Scott Wilbur, 61, waited almost three months for his application for the state’s medical-marijuana pilot program to be approved.

He received his approval letter Friday but said he had hoped to benefit sooner from the appetite-enhancing and anxiety-reducing properties of legal cannabis during treatment for nasal cancer that was diagnosed in mid-November.

“I guess the program works, but it worked slower than I wanted it to,” said Wilbur, a U.S. Navy veteran and retired Methodist minister. “Why are they being so tight with this program?”

Wilbur said he will use his membership in the program to patronize a Springfield dispensary and buy cannabis he can ingest or inhale with a vaporizer to deal with the aftermath of treatment that has left him depressed and uninterested in the Boost nutritional drinks in his refrigerator.

Wilbur applied for a marijuana registry card in late November, during the last quarter of 2018. That was when the state experienced a more than 50 percent increase in applications, according to Conny Moody, deputy director for health promotion and medical cannabis.

She attributed the increase to the “enormous interest in this program” that has been building since applications began to be accepted in 2014.

The surge took place before the state’s Opioid Alternative Pilot Program began in late January. That program, available only through

Article source: https://www.pjstar.com/news/20190227/patients-in-illinois-medical-marijuana-program-frustrated-by-long-wait

State agency shifts focus to rising medical marijuana demand

February 27th, 2019

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has temporarily closed its customer service center to free up more staff to respond to the high volume of applications for medical marijuana cards.

The number of applications received per week rose from 1,200 in September to around 5,000 in February, agency officials said. The agency’s policy requires a response to emails, requests and applications within 14 calendar days.

The authority has reassigned the call center’s three to five employees from working the phones to processing applications full-time, KFOR-TV reported.

Melissa Miller, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s spokeswoman, said the agency also hired extra staff to address the rising demand. The shift allows them to respond to 300-500 more applications daily.

Article source: https://newsok.com/article/5624155/state-agency-shifts-focus-to-rising-medical-marijuana-demand

Florida’s leaders taking baby steps on path to medical marijuana

February 27th, 2019

Baby steps.

Florida policymakers readily admit that’s the approach they’ve taken when it comes to dealing with pot, both before and after voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

Even a new governor — and with him, an administration that’s no longer hostile to the concept of cannabis as a cure — might not change that, at least during the legislative session that begins March 5.

The Republican-dominated Legislature, however, is on target to make one major expansion to the state’s cannabis laws.

Family doctors don’t often suggest medical marijuana – The

February 27th, 2019

If you know someone who has received a recommendation to use medical marijuana, odds are the recommendation didn’t come from a family doctor or primary-care physician.

The vast majority of recommendations in Ohio come from clinics that employ doctors solely to evaluate patients for medical marijuana, say people familiar with the industry.

Any licensed physician can apply to become certified to recommend marijuana. However, a 2016 State Medical Board of Ohio survey showed that most doctors were reluctant to recommend cannabis. Limited research on medical marijuana and the fact that the drug is still illegal at the federal level were among the biggest reasons for their reluctance. Of the roughly 375 doctors certified to write recommendations, only about half have done so. Ohio has more than 46,000 licensed doctors.

Clinics fill the gap.

“Marijuana-specific clinics fill a huge need,” said Dr. Joel Simmons, who runs the Ohio Herbal Clinic, a Near East Side cannabis clinic.

While the clinics, many of which have out-of-state owners, have some critics, patient advocates say primary-care doctors are the ideal source for marijuana recommendations.

Those doctors better understand a patient’s needs and medical history, said Mary Jane Borden, co-founder of the Ohio Rights Group, which advocates for users of medicinal cannabis.

When Ohio lawmakers wrote the state’s medical-marijuana law, they hoped that family physicians would be writing most recommendations, Borden said.

Medical-cannabis users interviewed for this article, however, said their regular doctors wouldn’t write recommendations.

“I don’t think the legislators realized how

Article source: https://www.the-review.com/news/20190226/family-doctors-dont-often-suggest-medical-marijuana

State agency shifts focus to rising medical marijuana demand – KXII

February 26th, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has temporarily closed its customer service center to free up more staff to respond to the high volume of applications for medical marijuana cards.

The number of applications received per week rose from 1,200 in September to around 5,000 in February, agency officials said. The agency’s policy requires a response to emails, requests and applications within 14 calendar days.

The authority has reassigned the call center’s three to five employees from working the phones to processing applications full-time, KFOR-TV reported.

Melissa Miller, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s spokeswoman, said the agency also hired extra staff to address the rising demand. The shift allows them to respond to 300-500 more applications daily.

“We focused our staff efforts on processing those applications,” said Miller. “So, we’ve temporarily shut down the call center to make sure we can process those applications in a timely manner.”

Oklahoma has issued over 65,000 medical marijuana cards since voters approved medicinal marijuana last June.

The decision briefly eliminates a widely used customer service. The call center answered around 1,000 medical marijuana inquiries every week before closing in early February.

Jerry Flowers, owner of Urban Wellness Dispensary in Edmond, said the change has his phones buzzing with questions about licensing because customers don’t know who to ask.

“The lack of efficiency that the OMMA is working at is causing a lot of problems for a lot of dispensaries,” said Flowers. “It’s creating a little bottleneck.”

Flowers said the closure of the call center is especially restricting

Article source: https://www.kxii.com/content/news/State-agency-shifts-focus-to-rising-medical-marijuana-demand-506397371.html

Missouri just posted rules for medical marijuana patient cards. Here’s the FAQ. – Springfield News

February 26th, 2019

In late February, Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services posted its first draft of rules for the medical marijuana system that state voters overwhelmingly approved as a constitutional amendment in Nov. 2018.

The first batch of draft rules lists requirements and responsibilities related to ID cards for the program. State officials are writing other medical marijuana rules, too.

The rules are just drafts at this point, not finalized regulations. The state is asking for public input at forum meetings and online. The rules must be completed by early June, when applications and forms for the program go out, according to a timeline published by state officials.

The News-Leader reviewed the draft rules for patient cards, as well as the text of the constitutional amendment, and wrote this set of frequently asked questions.

Marijuana in Missouri:

  • Missouri’s medical marijuana amendment took effect. Here’s what to expect.
  • Springfield drafting new rules for medical marijuana zoning
  • Missouri collected $3 million in medical marijuana license fees. From whom? That’s secret.

I’m a patient. When can I apply for a Missouri medical marijuana card?

The state has until June 4 to make application forms and instructions available to the public. It will start taking applications for ID cards

Article source: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2019/02/26/missouri-medical-marijuana-cannabis-weed-pot-card-rules-news-leader-faq/2952208002/