State Health Officials Preparing for More Medical Marijuana Access

July 18th, 2019 by admin No comments »

On July 15, 2015, the Colorado Board of Health rejected a petition to add post-traumatic stress disorder as a medical marijuana condition, to the vocal dismay of a packed room of veterans and medical marijuana patients. Fast-forward four years, and not only is PTSD now an approved medical condition, but the board is preparing to usher in one of the most expansive sets of MMJ rules that Colorado has seen in over a decade.

Because of laws passed during the recent legislative session, the board doesn’t really have a choice.

Like PTSD’s addition as a qualifiable medical marijuana condition in 2017, autism spectrum disorder and any condition for which opioids are prescribed gained medical marijuana treatment approval at the Colorado Legislature. In order to secure that approval, advocates used lawmakers to bypass the state’s preferred way of adding new conditions, which was to petition the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (The CDPHE has rejected all such attempts.)

“We’re here today to propose revisions to the medical use of marijuana regulations in order to align with the following bills, which have been passed and sign by Governor Polis as a part of 2019 session,” Natalie Riggins, director of the CDPHE medical marijuana registry, told the board at its July 17 meeting. “There’s a lot of bills, and a lot changes.”

Emboldened by the election of Jared Polis, a cannabis-friendly governor, advocates pushed the legislature this year to not only add new conditions eligible for medical marijuana,

Article source: https://www.westword.com/marijuana/colorado-health-officials-preparing-for-more-medical-marijuana-access-11414656

These headaches for N.J. medical marijuana patients should go away, starting now

July 18th, 2019 by admin No comments »

EDITOR’S NOTE: The billion-dollar medical marijuana, hemp and legal weed industries offer an economic opportunity unrivaled in modern N.J. history. NJ Cannabis Insider features exclusive, premium content for those interested in getting in on the ground floor or expanding their operation. View a sample issue.

Beginning Thursday, some of the key elements of the state’s newly expanded medicinal marijuana law take effect, and that should help patients save money and buy more cannabis each month if their doctors recommend it.

Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown alerted patients and physicians registered with the program by email Wednesday that the law Gov. Phil Murphy signed July 2 allows patients to buy up to three ounces of dried flower every month, instead of the two ounce limit set in the original 2010 law.

Increasing the monthly purchase amount fulfills a request made by the family of Jake Honig of Howell, a 7-year-old boy with cancer who would run out of homemade cannabis oil mid-month, which allowed the waves of nausea and pain to return. The new law was named for Jake, who died last year.

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Article source: https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2019/07/these-headaches-for-nj-medical-marijuana-patients-should-go-away-starting-now.html

Study: Medical marijuana won’t help ease opioid crisis

July 18th, 2019 by admin No comments »

Some proponents of medical marijuana have claimed that its use against pain might help curb the ongoing crisis of opioid abuse.

But a new study refutes that notion, finding that state laws legalizing medical marijuana have had little impact on the issue.

“When comparing the overall effect of use after versus before medical marijuana laws were passed, we found small increases in nonmedical use of prescription opioids and slight decreases or no change in prescription opioid use disorder among nonmedical users of prescription opioids — even for states that allowed dispensaries,” said study first author Dr. Luis Segura. He’s a doctoral student in epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2004 to 2014. They looked at potential connections between individual prescription opioid use and opioid addiction and living in a state where medical marijuana is legal. The survey included about 70,000 people, aged 12 and older.

The study was published online July 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Some — but not all — prior studies on this issue found that opioid prescribing, prescription opioid abuse and opioid overdoses fell after medical pot became legal.

“The hypothesis generated from these studies is that after medical marijuana law enactment, health care professionals would be more likely to prescribe medical marijuana instead of opioid medications, and this in turn would reduce the chance of individuals to misuse prescription opioids and develop consequences,” explained study senior author

Article source: https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2019/07/17/Legalizing-medical-marijuana-hasnt-affected-opioid-crisis-study-shows/9731563393467/

Why Congress should pass the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019 | TheHill

July 17th, 2019 by admin No comments »

At first glance, it may seem like a strange partnership—one of the most vocal critics of the ever-advancing tide of cannabis legalization and one of legalization’s most ardent advocates—co-sponsoring a cannabis bill together. Dig a bit deeper into the debate, however, and our odd couple makes a bit more sense. We may come from different sides of the issue, but we can agree on one thing—the federal government should not stand in the way of legitimate, scientific medical cannabis research. From pro-legalization advocates, to law enforcement, to the medical and scientific communities, and on down to policymakers, all factions can agree there exists foundational barriers within the current regulatory schema to conduct research and access objective evidence as to the medicinal properties of cannabis. That is why, in 2016, we first introduced the Medical Marijuana Research Act. Now, three years later, it is past time that Congress act on our bill. As we prepare to reintroduce this legislation, we urge our fellow members of Congress to join us and finally take action to remove unnecessary barriers to legitimate medical cannabis research.

As of 2016, 25 states had legalized medical cannabis, and four of those states had legalized cannabis for recreational adult-use. As a result of the 2016 elections, four additional states legalized medical cannabis, and the number of states with adult-use, recreational programs doubled to eight. The 2018 election brought adult-use cannabis to Michigan and medical cannabis to Missouri and Utah. Today, 33 states have medical cannabis programs, and 11

Article source: https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/453612-why-congress-should-pass-the-medical-marijuana-research-act-of

Medical marijuana doesn’t seem to reduce opioid misuse, study finds

July 17th, 2019 by admin No comments »

Medical marijuana laws had little impact on curbing non-medical use of prescription opioids, according to a new study that raises doubts over legal marijuana as an alternative to current substance use disorder treatments.

Non-medical use of prescription opioids slightly increased in states with medical marijuana laws, the study published Wednesday in JAMA Network Open found. Researchers analyzed substance use behavioral data from more than 672,000 individuals ages 12 and older from 2004 to 2012.

Medical marijuana supporters have argued the drug could be a substitute pain treatment in lieu of opioids, thereby lowering patients’ risk of developing substance use disorder or dying from an overdose. That argument gained more attention after a 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found states with medical marijuana laws between 1999 and 2010 had a nearly 25% lower annual average rate in opioid overdose mortality compared with states without such laws.

But subsequent studies haven’t supported the theory. One study published in June in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science that replicated the 2014 study found states with medical marijuana laws saw more deaths from opioid overdose than states without such statutes if they included data up to 2017.

“With our data, we found very little evidence of an association between the enactment of these laws and the misuse or opioid use disorder among people who use opioids,” said study co-author Dr. Silvia Martins, director of the

Article source: https://www.modernhealthcare.com/law-regulation/medical-marijuana-laws-not-linked-reduced-opioid-misuse

Bentonville Medical Marijuana Dispensary Is One Step Closer To Opening Its Doors

July 17th, 2019 by admin No comments »

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A Northwest Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary is one step closer to opening its doors in the next few weeks.

The Re-Leaf Center in Bentonville should be the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in Northwest Arkansas.

Officials with the dispensary announced last Saturday that the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will be inspecting their facility on July 29. This is the last step before the dispensary can officially open.

“That’s our goal for sure, to be the first one in the area to open our doors for the patients,” said the owner of the Re-Leaf Center Matt Shansky.

The Re-Leaf Center is one of the four medical marijuana dispensaries allowed to open in Northwest Arkansas. There will be two dispensaries in Bentonville and two in Fayetteville.

“They are just putting the final touches on the flooring, all the doors are up at this point, lights are up, HVAC is finished,” Shansky said. “We will be getting the final steps on the parking lot as far as striping and all of that. Then it’s just all the hardware, the fixtures and furnishings that will be getting done hopefully by the end of the week.”

Shansky says it’s been a long road to get to this point and they can’t wait to help all of their potential patients.

“Were close to three years I think since the initial passing of the legislation, so I know the public has obviously been extremely patient and so have we and we are all so excited, so thankful to even

Article source: https://5newsonline.com/2019/07/16/bentonville-medical-marijuana-dispensary-is-one-step-closer-to-opening-its-doors/

Let the free market work for medical marijuana | Editorial

July 17th, 2019 by admin No comments »


Republicans who control the Florida Legislature love to trumpet their support for the free market and opposition to government regulation. Yet too many of them are inclined to promote micromanaging and impractical regulations when it suits their political agenda. Case in point: Medical marijuana, where it has taken a judge to embrace the free market principles the legislators rejected.

In 2016, 71 percent of Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medical use, much to the dismay of many conservative politicians. Instead of creating a sensible legal framework, lawmakers and the Department of Health devised a Byzantine regulatory system. It includes an unreasonably low cap on the number of licenses for companies that wanted to get into the medical marijuana business. The rules also favor “vertical integration,” which requires licensees to grow, process, package and sell the product without much outside help.

The set-up has been inefficient in ways that a first-year economics student would have recognized. It curtailed production, limited innovation, slowed implementation, increased prices and created marijuana shortages. And it created a handful of cartels that control the entire industry and are sitting on gold mines. The so-called champions of free enterprise had taken a page from the Soviets’ playbook, the one that brought on famines and crushed entrepreneurial spirit. They either didn’t know

Article source: https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/let-the-free-market-work-for-medical-marijuana-editorial-20190716/

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

July 16th, 2019 by admin No comments »

“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 by admin No comments »

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 by admin No comments »

 

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