Archive for the ‘news’ category

Medical marijuana: Florida House seeks to intervene in ‘monumental’ case

July 16th, 2019

“The (constitutional) amendment was a monumental change of the law, in allowing the distribution of a drug that is illegal under federal law, illegal under Florida law except to the extent that it’s authorized by the amendment, and a circuit judge has declared this regulatory scheme invalid. How can the House not be allowed to intervene on the merits of that determination?” Thomas asked Katherine Giddings, a lawyer representing Florigrown.

Article source: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/politics/os-ne-florida-house-medical-marijuana-lawsuit-20190716-nx7wnmx5nbanpfgay2qzmogteu-story.html

Court Rules Florida Medical Marijuana Regulations are Unconstitutional

July 16th, 2019

A Florida appellate court ruled that the state’s approach to regulating marijuana is unconstitutional, possibly allowing more providers to jump into a market positioned to become one of the country’s most lucrative.

If the ruling stands, it could force state officials to lift existing caps on how many medical marijuana treatment centers can operate in Florida.

The July 9 ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee was another setback for Florida officials trying to regulate the burgeoning marijuana industry more tightly. It mostly affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the caps and operational requirements violated the voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in 2016.

Ever since, the law has been a subject of debate in the legislature and courts. It was unclear whether Florida officials would appeal the ruling.

Florida now has more than 240,000 people registered with the state to legally use medicinal marijuana, according to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. They are served by 142 dispensaries across the state, the majority operated by about a half-dozen medical marijuana treatment centers that grow their own crop, process it and sell it – a business model known as vertical integration.

That business model and the limited number of treatment centers were points of contention for Tampa-based Florigrown, which sued the state after being denied a license.

“The system in Florida was broken even before it got off the ground,” Florigrown CEO Adam Elend said. “It’s a big victory for us and a big victory for Florida … and the patients

Article source: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/07/16/532342.htm

Enrollment Up In New Mexico’s Medical Marijuana Program

July 16th, 2019

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Patient enrollment in the state’s medical marijuana program has increased by nearly 10% since the start of the year.

Medical marijuana provider Ultra Health on Monday highlighted growth in the market for medical cannabis as the state overhauls cultivation limits, in a statement.

The Department of Health says the number of active patients increased to 74,100 at the end of June. That represents a 1% increase over May enrollment and a 35% expansion since June 2018.

New Mexico’s medical marijuana industry is expressing mixed opinions about a proposal to limit production to 1,750 plants per producer and whether it helps ensure adequate supplies to patients.

New Mexico prohibits recreational marijuana. Newly added qualifying conditions for medical marijuana prescriptions include opioid use disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorder.

Article source: https://www.krwg.org/post/enrollment-new-mexicos-medical-marijuana-program

Measured expansion of medical marijuana the right approach

July 16th, 2019

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Article source: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/opinion/measured-expansion-of-medical-marijuana-the-right-approach/article_bfe7e9c0-a3f6-11e9-9aad-83e9ff0cd38f.html

For Military and First Responders, the Struggle for Medical Marijuana Access is Severe

July 15th, 2019

Veterans have become a vocal, visible source of advocacy for medical marijuana research and legalization. The glaring needs have reached crisis proportions with soaring rates of suicide, opioid abuse, and untreated mental health issues.

Yet the barriers to providing medical marijuana to active-duty members of the military, veterans, and first responders are daunting. Veterans are able to discuss using cannabis with their doctors, but clinicians with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are not able to discuss cannabis use or write a recommendation for medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Veterans also fear repercussions as severe as losing VA benefits entirely.

The VA has taken a stance that it is “required to follow all federal laws, including those regarding marijuana. As long as the Food and Drug Administration classifies marijuana as Schedule I [substance], VA health care providers may not recommend it or assist veterans to obtain it.”

Cannabis is categorized as a Schedule I drug within the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which defines it as a substance with no currently accepted medical use, a high potential for abuse, as dangerous as heroin, and more dangerous than opium, cocaine, and methamphetamine. That categorization puts VA doctors — and their patients — firmly between a rock and a hard place.

But it’s the veterans who are suffering.

“One of the great tragedies of our time is the failure to adequately address the needs of veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon said

Article source: https://news.weedmaps.com/2019/07/for-military-and-first-responders-the-struggle-for-medical-marijuana-access-is-severe/

TEXAS VIEW: Measured expansion of medical marijuana the right approach

July 15th, 2019

Dallas Morning News logo 2017

Dallas Morning News logo 2017



Posted: Monday, July 15, 2019 2:30 am

TEXAS VIEW: Measured expansion of medical marijuana the right approach

Amarillo Globe-News

Odessa American

Article source: https://www.oaoa.com/editorial/views/texas_opinion/article_b54e6ec4-a5ab-11e9-a15b-e35cf76d8ae8.html

Sound Garden owners plan Maryland’s first medical cannabis lounge in Fells Point

July 15th, 2019

The lounge—inspired by similar businesses on the West Coast and Arizona— will be a members only club where card holders can pay a monthly fee to partake in medical cannabis educational sessions, yoga and cooking classes, according to its website. This business venture comes in two parts, the medical cannabis lounge on the second floor and a new restaurant on the first. The restaurant, Bird on a Wire, is in partnership with award winning chef and winner of the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” show, Kelvin Fernandez.

Article source: https://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bs-fe-medical-cannabis-lounge-20190715-kq7fiiddlfcsvilfen66vx2yze-story.html

Tampa company’s lawsuit upends Florida medical marijuana law

July 15th, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A major ruling this week on a Tampa company’s lawsuit has turned the state’s fledgling medical marijuana industry upside down.

A three-judge panel in Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that the state law regulating marijuana is unconstitutional and fails to adhere to Amendment 2, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2016.

The lawsuit was filed by Tampa-based company Florigrown, owned by Adam Elend, Jeff Marks, and legendary Tampa businessman Joe Redner.

Their lawsuit argued three main points about the state law written by the legislature regulating medical marijuana:

  • The law forced businesses to be vertically integrated — meaning the business must grow, cultivate, package, market and sell their own marijuana — when the amendment itself did not specify that requirement
  • The law effectively created a “special class” of businesses–nurseries that had been in business for 30 years–which then became the only companies who could get a license to sell marijuana
  • The law illegally capped the number of licenses

The appeals court ruled that the vertical integration requirement was unconstitutional, which effectively opened the door for Florigrown and other businesses to become licensed, and rendered the cap on licensees “unreasonable.”

“The legislature clearly wrote a law that was unconstitutional,” Elend said on Sunday on WFLA News Channel 8’s weekly local political show, Politics On Your Side.

“Not only do the MMTCs (Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers) have to do everything, but they have to do it alone. They can’t contract with anyone, they can’t wholesale between each other, they can’t work together to build an

Article source: https://www.wfla.com/news/politics/tampa-companys-lawsuit-upends-florida-medical-marijuana-law/

Medical cannabis is gaining momentum in Asia

July 14th, 2019

About half of China’s loans to developing countries are ‘hidden,’…

China’s lending to other countries has surged in the past decade, causing debt levels to jump dramatically, and as much as half of such debt to developing economies is…

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Article source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/15/medical-cannabis-is-gaining-momentum-in-asia.html

Blubaugh: Longstanding beliefs go up in smoke if medical cannabis provides relief

July 14th, 2019

Medical cannabis has been used to treat, among other conditions, chronic pain, nausea, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and mental health issues. There is not much hard science yet about its efficacy, but research tends to indicate it can reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation and even kill cancer cells. (Research also shows it stimulates appetite but, heck, even I knew that.)

Article source: https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/opinion/cc-op-blubaugh-071419-20190714-kjrkoonbybeuhckl6uth7q4dxu-story.html